Laciann Beadle embodies the spirit of Women's History Month!

Laciann’s Story: A Young Woman’s Power to Ignite Change

This Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating women who transform their communities through service and make our world a better place. Meet buildOn Bronx alumna Laciann Beadle!

Laciann remembers her first act of kindness–the moment that sparked her love for service. 

“I had just started the seventh grade, which is the beginning of high school in my home country of Jamaica,” Laciann recalls. “After a few weeks, I began to notice that a classmate of mine was going without lunch each day.” That’s when Laciann decided to learn more about why she wasn’t buying lunch like their other classmates. When she found out that it was because her family couldn’t afford it, this hit home for Laciann. 

“I empathized with her situation because I had been there too when my mom left her abusive husband and had to start her life all over again, with nothing. There were times I’m sure my mother struggled to find food for us to eat,” she says. 

Laciann’s family was still facing financial uncertainty, so even though she could afford to buy lunch for herself, she could not buy it for her classmate as well. So she thought of another solution.  

“I chose to sacrifice my lunch money and asked my mom to prepare lunch for both of us instead, which was more cost efficient. At school, you were considered lame or childlike if you brought lunch to school, but none of this mattered to me.”

By making this sacrifice, even at the cost of her reputation with her classmates, Laciann planted a seed of kindness that would blossom into something much bigger. Seeing her daughter’s empathetic act, Laciann’s mother decided to help her classmate’s family further. 

“When she could afford to, my mom made it a duty to get in touch with my classmate’s mother and supply them with groceries,”  she explains. “Now, not only was my classmate receiving help, but so was her entire family. Here we were, just one family helping another… My only hope was that someday they would also be inspired and help someone else in need.”

Our fundamental responsibility here on Earth is to care for one another.

Laciann Beadle

Witnessing the impact of her initial act of kindness inspired Laciann to work toward systemic change in her community. This led her to buildOn.

At buildOn, Laciann found a supportive and empowering community of women and men who shared her passion for service. “Through buildOn, I have the opportunity to create lasting change,” she says. “We have strived to enhance the quality of life in our communities through services like food and clothes drives, as well as soup kitchens and pantries.”

One encounter at a soup kitchen stands out for Laciann. “I had a moment where I truly realized my impact. I generally approach every service project with positivity and energy and I treated this one like all others. I spoke and served with a smile on my face and a kind attitude.” As the service wrapped up, an older woman gave her a token of gratitude–a Starburst and a heartfelt note.

 “Thank you so much for taking care of us,” the woman said in the note. “I wish I had more to give you, but enjoy this Starburst.” This simple gesture served as a powerful reminder that even seemingly small acts of kindness can mean the world to others.

“I still have that note today,” Laciann explains. “Because it reminds me that even on my laziest or grumpiest of days, I should get it together and go brighten someone’s day. Each time I get the opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face or impact their life at all, it fills me with pride.”

Laciann hopes to empower individuals and families, particularly women, to break free from the cycle of poverty and build a brighter future for themselves and their communities. Her story exemplifies the power of compassion and action, and how even a small act of kindness can create a ripple effect that can transform entire communities. This Women’s History Month, let’s recognize the women who inspire us and join hands to create a world where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. 

“I wholeheartedly believe that our fundamental responsibility here on Earth is to care for one another,” she declares. “To uplift and motivate each other and most importantly to catch each other whenever we may fall.”

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