Imagine starting a nonprofit when you’re 13. Or travelling to Israel, Syria, Afghanistan and Jordan when you’re 19. How about running for Congress at age 24?
Erin Schrode has done all that and more. For the past six months she has been in Puerto Rico creating kitchens for those affected by Hurricane Maria. She took a break to come and speak to students at MSU.
Schrode gave a motivational presentation on April 10th that left attendees feeling like they could take on the world.
“I came because I wanted to be inspired, and I definitely feel inspired,” Blair Bean said.
Schrode lives by many mottos, and one is, “I am but one, but I am one.” She encourages young people to make a difference and that a change can start with one person.
Fentanesh Yanihodege is the Israel Fellow at the Hillel at MSU and invited Schrode to talk.
“It’s important to bring people like Erin to campus. She has a cool story and she’s engaging,” Yanihodege said. “She attracts students and gets them to become enlightened.”
Hannah Cohen is a sophomore at MSU and saw Schrode speak at Grand Valley State University last year. She is interning with one of Schrode’s nonprofits, Turning Green, this summer.
“I was just really impressed and wanted to hear her speak again,” Cohen said.
Schrode said that “to change the world you need to change the young people.” That’s why she enjoys coming to campuses and talking with the next generation. It starts with face-to-face interaction.
Currently, Schrode is living in Puerto Rico. She has opened 26 kitchens and has served meals to more than 3.4 million people. She said she’s “exactly where I’m supposed to be.”