Cammy Nelson is a Sophomore at the University of Wisconsin River Falls where she is majoring in communications. She is President of the UWRF Actionist Network®, a group dedicated to inspiring students to take action on issues they are passionate about. Cammy is also the co-founder of Rep Your School – Build Your School, a simple idea with world-changing effects. Through purchasing a t-shirt and representing your school, you’re helping build a school in an underdeveloped nation and giving a child a chance at a brighter future. She is also training to be a motivational speaker and is in the process of writing her first book. Her dream is that one day all women and girls will make more positive comments about themselves than negative.
What does being fearless mean to you?
Being fearless to me means that you stand-up for what you believe in and you chase your dreams, no matter what anyone says. One of my favorite quotes comes from Dr. Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.
What do you think sometimes holds girls back from being outspoken and stepping out of their comfort zones?
I think girls are sometimes held back out of fear of looking silly or not being accepted. Looking silly can sometimes seem scary uncomfortable, but being silly is one of my favorite things. I love coming up with ridiculous ideas or asking a funny question. Doing both helps me learn and grow. More than that, it’s fun. The girls who look and act ridiculous are the girls i want to spend my time with, because being comfortable acting that way shows how confident and comfortable in their skin they are. Those are the best kind of girls.
What is the most fearless thing you have done?
The most fearless thing I have ever done was when I left my group of friends in middle school. We had been having quite a few typical girl fighting problems (gossiping, backstabbing), and I decided I wanted to get away from it and find true friends, so I left. It was a hard decision to make because I had been friends with the same group of girls since I could remember, but I knew I had to make a change. That was the best decision I made. Partly, yes, because I found a new group of friends and a happy ending, but mostly because I developed an awareness of a strength I didn’t know I had. It has been that same strength and belief in myself that has carried me through some of the greatest challenges I have had to face and difficult decisions I have had to make. Had I not had the opportunity to struggle through such a challenging time, I don’t know that I would be the person I am today.
What advice do you have for other girls on being fearless?
Always, always, always follow your heart and believe in yourself. Following your heart will lead you in the right direction, and believing in yourself will take you to places you’ve never dreamed of. Being fearless doesn’t have to be something major. It can be something as simple as trying a new sport or saying hello to a stranger at school. Or it can be something huge like chasing a dream with all you can. Being fearless just means that you are living your life in the way that is best for who you are.
Who is your fearless role model?
Where to begin?! First and foremost, I would say my fearless role model is Jessica Weiner. I met her when I was in sixth grade and I have had the great honor of calling her my mentor and friend ever since. I definitely would not be where I am today had it not been for her support and words of wisdom along the way as I’ve followed my dreams. After her, I would say my fearless role models are Kate Whitfield, Emily-Anne Rigal, and Becca Wertheim. All three of these amazing ladies are my guiding light every time I feel a little overwhelmed. I can look at them as friends and role models and know that I can do it! If there was one thing I could say to every girl who is chasing a dream, find a role model that you can have in your life on a daily basis. That support is one in a million and it will truly carry you through the not-so-great days, and they will also be there to cheer you on when the awesomely fabulous days come too.
What obstacles (if any) did you feel you had to overcome on the way to being authentically you?
The greatest obstacle I have had to overcome (still am, actually) is knowing my limits. I like to think I can do everything on my own. Turns out, there are only 24 hours in a day and I can’t go too long without that sleep thing. I’m learning that I have to ask for help, sometimes, and that I there simply isn’t enough time in a day to do everything I want. I’m learning to find my balance, and that is fearless, too!
And for fun, 3 fearless facts about you…
1. I’m working on writing a book!!
2. If I hear a song that I like, I will start dancing, no matter where I am (even if it’s in the middle of a store).
3. I love wearing heels. Even when it’s icy outside (I’ve only fallen once!!)