Justin Zoradi was one of the very first people I met in Portland, when we both worked together at an afterschool program for kids. He laughed at my jokes (sometimes), wore cool t-shirts (always), and didn’t make me feel bad when I accidentally kicked a soccer ball at top velocity into a small child’s face (true story). I’m not gonna lie, JZ was a hard friendship nut for me to crack, probably because he sensed my “I-just-moved-here-please-please-be-my-friend” desperation. But eventually I wore him down, and now I consider him one of my nearest and dearest in this town– a true friend who is always willing to listen and respond with wisdom and encouragement (all while still wearing cool t-shirts).
Justin has always believed in me and my music. He believed in it enough to ask me, 2 years ago, to be an artist on the roster to promote his non-profit, These Numbers Have Faces, a Portland-based org that provides educations for the South African youth of Capetown.
To this day, being a part of TNHF has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. I couldn’t be prouder to get to use my music to support a group of people pursuing something SO undeniably important and POSSIBLE, and that’s why TNHF means so much to me. In this world where new problems and devastating statistics spring up every second, I believe in this org. I’ve seen what it’s done so far, and I see what it’s GOING to do.
When it comes down to it, I’ve seen what TNHF has done–not just for South Africa, but for me and my apathetic generation– and that is this: They have given me HOPE, and they have inspired me to ACT. And that’s huge.
Recently Dowser, the popular social impact website, wrote an article about JZ and TNHF and how they are changing the world, one college education at a time. You should check it out!
…And If you do, I promise not to kick a speeding soccer ball at your face.