Name: Kennedy Odegaard, By Grace Brand Ambassador
School: I currently attend The University of Northwestern and am studying Nonprofit Business Administration.
One day, my dream is to be...
I have not a clue what I want to be. What I DO know is that I want to do something DIFFERENT. I don't want to follow the normal career path. I want to create something... something that empowers people that have been marginalized both locally and around the globe and also creates world changers out of people that have struggled with eating disorders. I'm not exactly sure how I will combine the two, but I'm trusting that God is stirring up both passions in me for a reason!
My favorite memory is... the first day I met my (soon to be at the time) little brothers in Ethiopia. It was honestly like they were my brothers from the day I met them.
A trip I will never forget is...My first trip to Ethiopia in July of 2013. My whole world changed because of that trip. I was planning to study fashion design and merchandising in L.A. and I completely went a different route - now I'm studying Nonprofit Business Administration at the University of Northwestern - St. Paul.
If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to EVERYWHERE because... I have this yearning to learn about other cultures and immerse myself in them. I want to meet new people, eat new foods, visit new cities. The last thing I want to do in life is end up being ethnocentric.
Where is one place in the world you wish you lived? You could probably guess that one - ETHIOPIA. I have fallen completely in love with the culture and the people and I love learning from them and offering them any insights I have as well. I don't know exactly what life would look like for me there, but it's definitely a longing in my heart.
My favorite thing about myself is... my passion for people. I love to love and make people feel loved. I try to send out little cards and leave encouraging sticky notes around for others, reminding them of how much they mean to me! And for my long distant friends, I love to keep in touch and check in with how they are doing often!
An insecurity I overcame was... countless insecurities. I was once a walking insecurity, essentially. I battled an eating disorder and by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit food, exercise, and weight are not the number one focus in my life any longer. Praise God!
The best compliment I ever received was...
Any compliment about inner beauty means the world to me!
A quote or Bible verse that has always inspired me is...
I love the quotes, "Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody" and "God never uses anyone greatly until he tests them deeply."
What is the best way for women to support women—rather than bringing one another down?
I believe one of the biggest ways is through genuine encouragement. Instead of tearing each other down, we need to be cheerleaders for one another.
I’m partnering with By Grace because...
I believe in By Grace. I see how the business model empowers and I'm excited to be a part of this movement.
How would you describe your style?
Depends on the day. One day my look may be bohemian, the next day grunge, but often I just end up running around in my workout clothes (because of those darn 8am classes!).
Give your best style tip on how to wear a By Grace original.
Gold and neutrals. Plain and simple. I like to let the By Grace pieces stand for themselves so that, when combined, they create a gorgeous yet effortless look! As Leonardo da Vinci said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."