Without our community, BYOM wouldn’t be half as strong as it is today. A special thank you to our contributors, who generously share their thoughts and add dimension to our ongoing conversations about life, love and personal fulfillment.

Rachel SasserRachel Sasser, World Traveller + Blogger @ Trailing Rachel

So I’m actually very excited to be traveling by myself. I’m excited to make new friends and learn more about myself. I want to be independent, pursue self-sufficiency (something that’s not easy when you’ve got somebody taking out the trash for you all the time), and have some time for introspection. I’m hoping this solo trip helps me figure out what I want to do in the future in terms of my career and other life goals.”

– Why I’m Traveling the World Without My Boyfriend

shannon-oksman-contributorShannon Oksmann, ELA Teacher in NYC + Cultural Commentator

There is nothing fatalistic in accepting what you do not possess. It is merely embracing honesty and running with it, making something good out of it, and in turn, improving how you feel about yourself. That isn’t to say I always feel great about it. That would be another lie…But in finding an acceptance of who I really am, I found that plain, fat, 5’1 me in flats is not so bad. Hell, it got me a fantastic husband, 2 adorably crazy cats, an M.A. from one of the best universities in the country, a cacophony of incredible friends and family from all walks of life, wonderful former students, and mind-blowing journeys throughout this world.

All without a catwalk in sight.”

– The Beauty of Being Average

Kendra-Aliesha-Simmons-ContributorsKendra + Aliesha Simmons, Students + Active Adventurers

Sum up your sister in a few sentences:

Kendra: She is beautifully hopeless. No but seriously, completely hopeless yet completely lovable. I would say she is honest, sassy, kind, caring and adventurous. She is also a proud passionate feminist!

Aliesha: Quirky, intelligent and thought-provoking. She is super positive and constantly draws in people around her. Highly entertaining!”

– Winning at Twinning

Stacey-Venzel-ContributorStacey Venzel, Bahamas-based Zoologist + Freelance Writer

SISTERS ARE…best friends, soulmates, confidantes, supporters, dreamers, pranksters, defenders, time travelers, counselors, partners-in-crime, rationalizers, unconditionalists, problem solvers, truth-tellers, encouragers, memory-makers…humblers, other half, family, everything.”

– Sisters in 100 Words

Ella Harlacher, Student + Girls On The Run Participant

“The lessons I had learned from GOTR reminded me that I probably wasn’t the only one who was feeling nervous and dreading starting school. They taught me to have open communication with my friends and to let them know when I might be struggling with something. They taught me that by allowing myself to have a support system, I could give them better support when they needed it.”

 A Current Girl On The Run Tells Us What She’s Learned

Rachel-Leonard-BYOM-ContributorRachel Leonard, Thoughtful Scientist + Future Nurse

What makes me beautiful is my spirit, not my appearance, and that is true for all of us. As for my body, concern from others recently drove me to get a full check-up, just in case something really was awry, and I am 100% healthy! I take care of my body. I feed it and I exercise it. And that is something to be proud of, no matter what form or shape it takes. Love yourself and love your body!”

– This Is Exactly Why Body Positivity Really Matters