Hello, friends! My name is Megan Koontz, and I am a small-town girl born and raised in the hipster hub of Rogers, Arkansas. I am one of four kids, sandwiched in the middle of an older sister, a younger brother, and a younger sister. In December, I gained an older brother when my sister married her best friend.
Despite my razorback roots, I chose to attend a small, Christian school nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks called John Brown University. On a whim, I decided to major in communications because it seemed as if I would have a lot of options career wise after I graduated. As a communication major at JBU I am required to write for my school’s newspaper for at least three semesters. At first, I was not excited about this possibility. Even though I loved to write, an English class I had taken my first semester at JBU had destroyed any confidence I had in my writing skills. Yet, if I wanted to graduate, I had to comply.
One of my first big assignments was covering the Women’s March in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I had the opportunity to talk to so many amazing women at the event: immigrants, professors, refugees, believers, atheists. And I got to share all their stories. This was the perfect pairing of two of my passions: writing and advocacy.
After that, I knew journalism was the path I wanted to take after graduation, whether that becomes a full-time career or if I freelance on the side. I am passionate about telling the stories of marginalized people and communities. I believe the way to enact true change in their lives is to make their voices heard and their stories known, giving them the chance to share how people can truly help without hurting those communities. I also believe that no community is a monolith, which means no one person can speak for the whole community. Thus, it is important to listen well to and share as many stories as possible.
This summer, I will be working as the Social Media Marketing and Copyediting intern for Healing Waters International. I am excited to increase awareness of Healing Waters’ mission through Instagram, Facebook, and blogs. The first week of the internship was a vision casting trip to the Dominican Republic where we visited four different sites in which water stores and water projects are already established. During the trip, I think what stood out to me was the community of Consuelo. The church there is so inspiring, and I think they function as the church was created to function. I think sometimes, in Western cultures, we assume that someone else is going to put in the work to care for others: Welfare will help, food stamps will help, non-profits will help—whatever excuses we come up with. But in Consuelo, the church runs the water store, the church employs women in a bakery, the church initiated and worked tirelessly on bringing electricity into their community. The church there sees needs and works to meet them
During my internship here at Healing Waters International, I am excited to share the stories of inspiring, marginalized people with you, and I am excited and open to learn more about this incredible organization. Thank you for joining me on this journey and for supporting HWI.