Bridgette has lent her charm and beauty to Ode in several of our photo shoots, and you may recognize her from our billboard or holiday commercial. We love Bridgette's poise, her sharp mind, and her generous heart, which she has shared with communities all over the world. Because we believe in Bridgette and all she does, Ode raised money to help fund her next adventure in Kenya, where she will continue to make her mark and help those around her.
Truly an inspiring woman destined for great things, here's a little glimpse into some of what makes Bridgette Fortier one of our favorites.
How did you get started volunteering?
I got started in volunteerism, and community service after high school when I joined the Americorps NCCC program. I completed 850 hours of need based community service in Colorado, Texas and Alabama. Although I didn’t feel this program was a perfect fit for me, it inspired me to continue servicing others. This summer I did an interchange program in the Dominican Republic working as a doula in the maternity ward of a public hospital. This was the most eye opening experience of my life and encouraged me to do more international women’s health work. This spring I will be studying health and community development in Kenya. I hope to continue my service with mothers and babies; I have a great deal of passion for this work.
What would you suggest to others interested in doing volunteer work?
I would say that it is really important to be happy in what you are doing. Although you will come across very challenging realities, and have difficult experiences, it is crucial that you stay positive. Most importantly, believe in yourself, anything is possible! If I listened to all of my self doubts over the years I would not be doing the things I am now. I continually surprise myself with what I am capable of, and how much I continue to grow as a person.
Where do you find inspiration?
There is so much in the world that is inspiring! I find inspiration in people, and women in particular. I think women have incredible amounts of strength, intelligence and passion. I also find inspiration through music, fashion, nature and art!
What are your plans for the future?
To travel, have fun, work hard and be happy! More specifically I hope to apply to nurse midwifery school and practice internationally for a period of time before returning home to service my own community. Having a family is also really important to me, so we will see where that fits in!
What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book?
“There is no greater gift to the world and to others than being true to your deepest self. So many times, out of fear of loneliness or other negative emotions, we form relationships that are good enough, but untrue to our uniqueness. Doing so risks flattening ourselves.”- William Powers , Twelve by Twelve
If you were a piece of clothing, what would be and what color/pattern?
I would be a floor length dress with a brilliant and intricate pattern.
What's your go-to "happy" song?
Probably anything Ray LaMontagne.
What super power would you like to have, and why?
Tough call, I might have to choose flying, there is a lot of freedom in flying.
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Honestly this happens quite often, usually in a state of exhaustion-perhaps over a delicious meal.
You can keep up with Bridgette and her travels on her newly launched blog, Through Inspiration.