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Chi Omega Class of 2018 - a look back over the past four years

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Chi Omega Class of 2018 - a look back over the past four years

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Four years ago, they opened an envelope on Bid Day to find "Chi Omega" written on a piece of paper. They ran home to 804 Iowa Avenue to celebrate joining a group of women who would quickly become family. Here is a look back at some of the highlights and accomplishments over the past four years.

2014-2015 Freshman Year

In their first year as Chi Omegas, they were Homecoming Champions, Intramural Champions, held the highest new member class GPA, contributed to the highest overall chapter GPA, Dean's Circle Award, raised over $38,000 for Dance Marathon, won the Chapter of Excellence Award, and won Chapter of Year! They received their Big Sisters, were initiated and made official, and formed even closer friendships at various Sisterhood and Philanthropy events. 

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2015-2016 Sophomore Year

Sophomore year they became even closer after moving into the Chi Omega house together. This year was also their first time on the other side of recruitment, and they were excited to have Little Sisters. After Bid Day they went on to win Iowa Shout and 2nd Place Overall during Homecoming Week, received 1st place in Greek Week Follies and 3rd place overall,, overall Intramural Champions, won the Chapter of Excellence Award, raised over $10,000 for Make-A-Wish, and once again held the highest chapter GPA.

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2016-2017 Junior Year

Junior year they passed the halfway point of their time as active members of Chi Omega. The tradition of excellence continued as they created their first online recruitment hype video, were Iowa Shout Champions and 2nd place overall in Homecoming Week, Greek Week & Follies Champions, the Top Fundraising Chapter for Dance Marathon 23, once again held the highest chapter GPA, were named Chapter of Excellence, and recruited another amazing group of women into Chi Omega. They also held numerous leadership positions in Chi Omega, and organizations across campus. 

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 Katherine Mendieta Photography

They also cheered on two of their Sisters as they gave Commencement Speeches at Graduation! Kayln Hugdahl and Kimberly Chexnayder.

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Read about the future plans and favorite memories of Some of our Seniors Below!

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

MADI SMITH

Degree / Future Plans: graduating in December with a Nursing degree

I owe a lot of my successes to Chi Omega. To begin, Chi O introduced me to the most incredible women that I now call my best friends. Chi O encouraged me as I began my journey through nursing school and it shaped me into the leader that I am today because of the opportunities I had while serving on our executive board. Chi O cheered me on as I ran marathons, studied for countless exams and celebrated with me on every single birthday. Chi omega  has repeatedly pushed me to be a better friend, daughter, student, leader and women and I couldn't be more thankful. I will never forgot the memories I had as an active member and especially the 2 years I lived in 804 Iowa Ave! I miss it already. Xo

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

PAIGE SHOCKEY

Degree: Marketing Management, Certificate: International Business

Future Plans: I will begin my training as a District Manager for ALDI in the Chicago suburbs.

Favorite Chi O memory was the night before initiation freshman year. Our pledge class all came over to Kenzie and I's dorm room and we hung out, ordered food, and watched movies. We were so excited to officially be Sisters the next day!

kayln hugdahl

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology and Spanish Minor

Post grad plans: Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Iowa

Fave memory: My entire senior year! Bid day, Nashville, spring break, formal, just hanging out and playing games. There is nothing better than seizing every moment with friends before we go our separate ways. I owe a huge thank you to Chi Omega for introducing me to the best people I know.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography
 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Alex Griffin

Degree: Journalism Mass Communication & Business

Future Plans: Traveling this summer, then working for Insight Global as an account manager

When it comes to my favorite memories with my time in Chi Omega, it is almost impossible to choose one specific time.  It's the moments that we have had where we are all in sweats cuddling and dying laughing about nonsense together, or all of us jamming to 80's music in the bathroom while curling our hair, or the infamous amount of McDonalds runs we would all take packed into one person's car.  The simplest of times with each other, where we are close and laughing, are the memories I will cherish the most.  I have made friendships I could only dream of, and as much as it kills us all to be separating physically, we all know we all will always have each other in our hears and memories.

Caroline Rossberger

Degree: Marketing

Future Plans: Traveling this summer to Brazil and looking for a job! Chi O has given more than I ever could have asked for. I have met my best friends, role models and future bridesmaids. Some of my favorite college memories are with my Chi O's driving to Coralville Lake with the music up and the windows down! These past four years have been the absolute best and I have my Chi O's to thank for them.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography
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Kimberly Chexnayder 

Degree: Journalism & Mass Communication

Future Plans: Junior Rotational Executive- The National Football League 

Favorite Memories of Chi O: Meeting my best friends and soulmates through Chi Omega. Women in this house have changed me for the better. I know that without them my college experience would’ve never happened as magically as it  did. 

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Ashley Mazzocchi

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Minor: Spanish

Future plans: Graduating in December with my BSN and then will plan to work here at UIHC before moving back to Chicago! My career goals is to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in Oncology. 

Chi Omega has been the reason my college career has been so great. Because of Chi O I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with my forever friends. These incredible, passionate, caring women have been by my side through the many ups and downs of my college career. They’ve been with me to support me through my hardships and help celebrate my achievements. I am so lucky to know these women will be by my side throughout the rest of my life. Chi Omega has also given me the courage to travel abroad for a summer, to apply to the nursing program, and endless opportunities to make a difference both on and off campus. I have Chi O to thank for my passion for Dance Marathon which has shaped my career path into becoming Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in Oncology. Without Chi O, I wouldn’t have nearly as an amazing college experience. I will also cherish the trips and memories we have taken. From Nashville to Cabo to all the memories in Iowa City! Thanks for the absolute best four years, but thankfully Chi Omega is for lifetime.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography
 Katherine Mendieta Photography

JENSEN BISHOP

Degree / Future plans: Graduating in December with my BSN and plan to go into OB/maternity nursing. 

My college experience would not have been the same without Chi O. We’ve been through everything together. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. I will never forget all of the late nights living together, sharing bunk beds, running around Iowa City, and all of the road trips we have taken. Chi Omega is not just four years, it truly lasts a lifetime. 

ELIZABETH SHAW

Degree: Sport and Recreation Management with an emphasis in business studies, certificates in leadership studies and interscholastic athletic/activities administration

Future Plans: I will be attending the University of Iowa College of Law to pursue my Juris Doctor degree

Favorite memory from Chi O: is honestly meeting everyone from all of the different pledge classes and helping people navigate college! Sal Lee and Lucy Korsakov (graduated last year) really helped mentor me the past few years when it came to law school applications and I would have never met them if it wasn't for Chi O! I also loved being the Golf Classic Director this past year because it made me feel like I was truly giving back to Make-A-Wish and it was fantastic seeing everyone have fun out on the golf course.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography
 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Hayley Wilson

Degree: BA in Health Studies and minor in Business Administration, graduating in December 

Future Plans: Attend Des Moines University to receive my Masters in Health Administration & hopefully manage a pediatric specialty clinic in the future! 

Favorite Chi O Memory: IMPOSSIBLE to pick a favorite buttt my favorite memories always include snacks from Casey’s, and the chapter room full of girls “trying” to study but instead sharing stories and laughing about anything and everything.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

CORTLYN KASIK

Degree: bachelor in science in human physiology (pre-dent)

Future Plans: Going to dental school next year at Iowa!

Favorite Chi Omega Memory: Every part of senior year. It was the best year of my life because I had my best friends at my side! We really came together and finished college with a bang. We lived by the Tom Petty quote and cherished every second!

 Katherine Mendieta Photography Katherine Mendieta Photography
 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Lindsey Hiepler

Degree: Finance

Future Plans: working in Bloomington, MN as associate finance manager at Aramark

Favorite Chi Omega Memory: how do i pick?!?! Probably our road trip and adventure in Nashville this past fall.. We were only there for 48 hours but man we had so many good times on Broadway and on the long car rides.

RILEY COYLE

Chi O helped remind me constantly to push myself. I was constantly reminded of our values through the actions of the people around me. I’m thankful chi o was able to shape me the last four years. 

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Megan Frischmeyer

Degree: Environmental Bioscience and Public Health

Future Plans: Traveling!

Choosing Chi Omega 4 years ago turned out to be the BEST decision I made in college. I came to Iowa without a clue as to what I wanted to do here or who I wanted to be when I left but everything fell into place the minute I stepped inside. Each year brought new memories from dining together in Burge, having sleepovers every night in the house, or taking countless road trips and vacations with the women who know me best. I can't thank this amazing chapter for giving me the life I've always dreamed of and friends who support each other every step of the way. XOXO

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Lindsay Randklev

Degree: BBA in Entrepreneurial Management, certificate in International Business, minor in Spanish

Future Plans: District Manager with Aldi in Chicago suburbs

Favorite Chi Omega Memory: The late nights in the house, full of pokey stix and endless shenanigans.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

KELSEY WROBLE

Degree: Therapeutic Recreation with a certificate in Disability Studies 

Future Plans: attend graduate school for Special Education. 

My favorite memory from Chi Omega:  our Sophomore year sleepover on the porch.

Alexandria Seavey

Degree: English and Communication

Future Plans: I will be working for a company called All Community Events as an Event Manager for races from 5ks to Marathons.

I love Chi Omega because four years ago it brought me my best friends. These women will be my bridesmaids, my 4am call when life gets to be too much, my home team. I would not be the woman I am today without them.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Maddie Lorentzen

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology with honors and distinction 

Future plans: I will be headed to Rhode Island to work at the Rhode Island Free Clinic as a patient and volunteer coordinator for one year! After that I hope to attend medical school. 

I kind of think of Chi Omega as the best “cheat sheet” to college. Before getting halfway through freshman year I already had an amazing group of friends, help in my classes, a gorgeous house to live in. It’s the end of my senior year and as I snuggle on the couch with my best friends and sisters I realize I have a world of appreciation for the sisterhood that provided me with this impeccable “cheat sheet”. College would not have been nearly as great without it. 

Michelle Kannenberg

Degree: Marketing, a minor in Italian, and a certificate in international business

Future Plans: I have two full time offers, one in Chicago doing advertising and marketing consulting  and the other in Cedar Rapids doing digital marketing. I plan on choosing on of the 2 by graduation, spend a month at home, and then move/prepare for my full time career!

Favorite Chi Omega memory: Getting Katherine Crosby as my little. One of the reasons I joined Greek life was to have a little because I never got the privilege of having younger sibilants. She is one of my very best friends and I couldn’t be more blessed to have her and the rest of our Chi Omega family in my life. I know she will be a forever friend and I can’t thank Chi Omega enough for that.

Rosemary Adams

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Degree: Journalism and Mass Communication

Future plans: I will be working at Weber Shandwick in downtown Chicago doing Consumer Public Relations

Chi Omega shaped me into a more driven and strong young woman and showed me how to advocate for myself in order to accomplish my goals. It has given me friends for a lifetime and memories that I’ll cherish forever.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Seniors, we love you and are forever grateful for the lasting impression you have made on our chapter. We are so proud of you and can't wait to see you change the world. 

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

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As We Go On, We Remember... Reflections from our Chi Omega Graduates

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As We Go On, We Remember... Reflections from our Chi Omega Graduates

Chi Omega... the reason I’ll miss everything about this time in my life. I’ll miss living less than 2 feet away from my best friends. Our lives were all intertwined— so much so, that there was no need to update, because we already knew. We grew into a family— they were the ones by my side during every high and low these past four years. And I’m confident they will continue to— to be my lifelines, to be my rocks, to be my therapists, to be my soulmates. Looking back, it’s scary to think— WHAT IF WE HAD NEVER MET!? For that, I’ll never be able to thank Chi Omega enough!
— Lauren Cummings

Where to even start?!.. Chi Omega (The 804), has left me with some of the most amazing and worthwhile memories and lessons in life. I have literally gained my BEST FRIENDS and future bridesmaids and can't imagine my life without these ladies. I knew even before attending the University of Iowa that being a member of a sorority was exactly what I wanted to do, but I never knew I would land myself in the amazing sisterhood of CHI OMEGA!! From the four wonderful bid days that I got to be apart of, to the endearing event every spring---MOM'S DAY... I have been blessed with the absolute BEST! As I spent making dinner and watching movies with some of my best girlfriends and sisters last night (now alumnae, too), we reminisced about all of the incredible times we spent together from freshman to seniors. My words of advice to current and future Chi Omegas: Enjoy every lasting second and spend as much time as possible with your sistas, because time truly flies. 

XOXO, Chase Crane.

What I'll miss most about Chi O is the daily reminder of one of my most precious blessings. This blessing is something that without experiencing, you'd never understand, but after experiencing you can't completely explain. My closest attempt at explanation lies in the saying, "If you're the greatest person in the room, you're in the wrong room." Thanks to all of my sisters, I found myself in something more special than the 'right room', I found myself in the right house. In this house I was surrounded by women who were stronger, kinder, brightens, more womanly and more dedicated that I could ever hope to be. Though this inspiration to become my greatest self will always stay with me, the constant physical reminder my Sisters gave me through their daily company will be what I miss most. They are the source of my happiest memories, my proudest moments, and my greatest growths. - Hannah Rochford

The things I'll miss the most about being an active are the little things. Stuff like watching the Bachelor in an apartment with my entire pledge class, grabbing a quick coffee to chat with my great grand little Jenna, and the sweet good luck texts when I have a big exam (and the big hugs after no matter how it went!). Taking in the little moment of a huge group of us sitting on the pentacrest laughing about the night before or memories from freshman year. These girls are my world, and I can't wait to see how they change the world. Chi O made me a better friend, because these friends celebrate my accomplishments like they are their own. A better student because these girls are brilliant, but don't take that for granted, they work incredibly hard.  A better person because they pushed me to help others through Make-A-Wish and Dance Marathon. I know I'll take these things with me, and always have a home at the 804 :) - Tess Kilpatrick

Chi Omega has been a blessing to be apart of for the past 4 years at University of Iowa. I have made life-long friends who have pushed me to reach my fullest potential. I can confidently say that I wouldn’t be as happy, smart, positive, and confident as I am if it wasn’t for the women I surrounded myself with in Chi Omega. I will forever be grateful!
— Ali Klein
I never knew that I could be so inspired, loved and encouraged by a group of women. Through Chi Omega, I have found my closest and truest friends, and I have them to thank for molding me into the person that I am today. The life full of joy and happiness that you’ve given me these last four years will be almost impossible to beat in the “real world”. I will always cherish our crazy/sappy/lovey/sad/wonderful memories for the rest of my life, and I have Chi O to thank for it all on that fateful Bid Day in 2012! - Ashley Hoff
Chi Omega has changed my life in many ways. It has introduced me to a group of women who immediately became my best friends, surrounded me with beautiful women to look up to as role models, and gave me the confidence to be who I want to be while making a difference on campus. In addition, throughout my time in Chi Omega I realized that I am capable of so much more than what I had originally believed. I learned to never be discouraged and keep reaching for my goals. Overall, Chi Omega gave me so many things and I can't imagine what my college life would have been like without it. - Karly Dankert

Leaving college and friends behind is hard, but I know I'm so lucky to have something to always look forward to coming back to.  I wouldn't have accomplished half of what I did without these amazing women surrounding me, encouraging me and pushing me to be my best self. - Anna Cardamon

Obviously I'm going to miss a lot about being an active....eating coco puffs At the the house, the morale around Greek week or long days of recruitment wasting away in the basement with twizzlers and coffee...but the most underrated blessing of being an active is being in the same city as all of your best friends. Laying in your best friends bed on a tough day or shopping in her closet. Those are the two things that will feel like the biggest holes next year...which I guess is a good thing because I'm not worried about the long conversations, or the constant call to uphold our standards disappearing :) - Anna Santaga

I will never forget one day walking home from campus to the Chi Omega house, I was listening to 'It's a Beautiful DAy' by Michael Bublé on repeat and smiling because I felt so blessed about my life. Many of those blessings came from my decision to join Chi Omega. From three years of roommates who laughed and cried with me to nights in the rec room singing along to Frozen at the top of our lungs, from late night runs to Hynes Ice Cream because ten of us wanted it - surprised? … bet not - to running to the front of the dinner line to make sure I got to sit next to Miss Anne, from walking in as strangers on bid day to walking out hand in hand towards graduation. Funny thing is I’m not actually graduating *I have a victory lap* but even though I’m still considered a Chi Omega alumna, I am so thankful that some of those that Chi O brought me — shout out to the fam bam: Lauren, Rilez, and Sarah — will still be there to be my go tos. To my other best friends who are moving on to do great things with their lives: the times we spend together may be shortened, but the love and mems will never go away. - Kaylee Huber

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The Incredible Impact Chi Omega has had on My Daughter

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The Incredible Impact Chi Omega has had on My Daughter

We have had the great privilege of watching Cassidy and her Sisters grow both personally and professionally over these last few years. We are thankful for the guidance and structure that Chi Omega has provided and its dedication to integrity, friendship, sense of purpose and the pursuit of personal and professional excellence. I will also be forever grateful to Chi Omega for picking up where we left off… conveying the type of values that would help her make good choices…modeling philanthropy and a deep appreciation for community... teaching the importance of self worth and the worth of those around her.
— Debbie McDowell

Four years ago I watched my beautiful baby girl walk across the stage to receive her high school diploma.  My mind was filled with so many thoughts and emotions.  I thought about that first day of kindergarten when, just like every other parent, I hoped that her first day of school would be amazing and wonderful.  I hoped that she would make friends easily, pay attention to her teachers and that she would be happy.  As I sat through her graduation ceremony, I had all of those thoughts and more.  As I struggled to reconcile the fact that my little girl was graduating from high school, I couldn’t help thinking how fast the years had gone by and wondered if we had done our job as parents to ensure that she would have a successful future.  I wondered if we had passed-on the type of values that would help her make good choices.  I wondered if we had modeled philanthropy and a deep appreciation for community.  I wondered if we had taught her the importance of recognizing her self worth and appreciating the worth of those around her.  And most of all…. I wondered how she would manage without us when she went on to college. Had I known then that fate would place her in the welcoming arms of the Chi Omega family, I would have rested easier that night.  

Cassidy transferred to the University of Iowa as a sophomore after spending her freshman year at Boise State University.  Even though she had grown up in Iowa, the transition was difficult.  She missed the friends she had made in Idaho; she missed being a Boise State cheerleader; and she missed the small feel of the Boise State campus.  While she didn’t say it specifically, we knew she was second guessing her decision to transfer to Iowa.  She seemed sad and withdrawn and we struggled to know what to say or how to help.  I was cautiously optimistic when she said she was planning to rush a sorority.  While I was hopeful that the bustle of activity might help break her out of the unhappy rut she was in, I was also concerned that a sorority would take too much time away from school.  Who could have guessed that instead of taking time away, the experience would only work to enhance Cassidy’s college experience and leave her with a lifetime of memories.

Cassidy was thrilled to join the Chi Omega Sisterhood!  She loved the girls, the house, and everything that Chi Omega stood for.  As parents, we were thrilled to find out that she was joining a sorority that had the top GPA for several years in a row!  In addition, we were so happy to see how her Sisters had embraced her and helped make Iowa feel a little smaller. We noticed a change for the better in her demeanor.  We couldn’t have been happier when she started getting the sparkle back in her eye and living each day with purpose.  

The last three years have flown by as fast as the high school years, but Chi Omega has done it’s best to pack a lifetime of lessons, memories and friendships into those years.  The opportunities for personal growth and development have been numerous.  Chi Omega’s influence has gone beyond what is taught in the classroom. The life skills Cassidy has learned in Chi Omega will stay with her forever.

Photo by Katherine Mendieta Photography & Films

Photo by Katherine Mendieta Photography & Films

Since 2002, Chi Omega’s alliance with Make-A-Wish has served to reinforce one of the founding principles of the Sisterhood which is service to others.  The alliance has provided lessons too numerous and profound to quantify.  Reaching out and working with families that are facing constant struggle has had a grounding and humbling effect on those seeking to help.  Being involved with Make-A-Wish has taught Cassidy that no matter how discouraging her day might seem or how bad she might feel, there is always someone fighting a bigger battle.  And while watching the struggles of others can feel hopeless, participating in Dance Marathon has illustrated how rallying together for a positive cause can bring about change in the lives of others.  

Chi Omega broke the record for most money raised by a sorority at Dance Marathon 22, coming together to raise over $95,000! 

Chi Omega broke the record for most money raised by a sorority at Dance Marathon 22, coming together to raise over $95,000! 

The Chi Omega/Make a Wish alliance has provided a wealth of lessons and has had a deep impact, yet it is only one of the many learning opportunities Chi Omega has provided.  

Living in the Chi O house has taught her about community and how everyone must do their part to keep the community thriving.

The Mom’s day and Dad’s day celebrations have taught her to reflect and appreciate those who have supported her dreams and endeavors.

The weekly recurring meetings have taught her the value of structure and organization.  

The Chi Omega family not only opened her eyes to the opportunities that Iowa provides but also the infinite opportunities that lie ahead of her.  

We have had the great privilege of watching Cassidy and her Sisters grow both personally and professionally over these last few years.  We are thankful for the guidance and structure that Chi Omega has provided and its dedication to integrity, friendship, sense of purpose and the pursuit of personal and professional excellence.

Soon I will watch my baby girl walk across the stage to receive her college diploma.  I’ll watch with great admiration of the intelligent, compassionate and caring young woman that she has become.  Again, I will be filled with emotions and questions about her future but I will rest easy knowing that we did the best job we could as parents to ensure that she would have a successful future.  I will also be forever grateful to Chi Omega for picking up where we left off…  conveying the type of values that would help her make good choices…modeling philanthropy and a deep appreciation for community...  teaching the importance of self worth and the worth of those around her.  And most of all…. I will be thankful that fate placed her in the welcoming and loving arms of Chi Omega.

- Debbie McDowell

photo by: Katherine Mendieta Photography & Films

photo by: Katherine Mendieta Photography & Films

Chi Omega has been a wonderful experience for Ashley. During the past four years, we have seen Ashley become more interested in how she can make a difference in the world.  She has become very independent and thoughtful. Not only has Chi Omega guided Ashley with her personal and career development, she now strives for academic excellence and continual improvement. She has changed her professional goals to teach artwork that will help children express themselves. She has become committed to serving others by volunteering, not just for Make-A-Wish but for others that may be in need.  

Chi Omegas at the annual Make-A-Wish Gala

Chi Omegas at the annual Make-A-Wish Gala

Chi Omega has challenged her to be the best she can be: to put others first; to pursue friendships with those that need a friend; to continually think before making judgements. Our very shy child that would never go or do anything without a friend or family member is now a strong conversationalist, very funny, adventurous and outgoing!  Chi Omega has made her into a strong, confident woman, with integrity.  We are confident that by living and learning the Chi Omega Symphony, Ashley has now found a sense of purpose. Her Chi O house, her Chi O friends and her Chi O experiences have changed Ashley to be the best she can. She will make a difference in the lives of those that need that extra hug. She will make a difference in the greater good of the community. Chi Omega will be in her heart forever; and because of that fact, she will have a bright future!

- Diana Willits

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