Morgan Fisher
Morgan Fisher
South Africa 2015
My name is Morgan Kathleen Fisher, and I will be traveling to Johannesburg, South Africa to work with Joint Aid Management for six months. Read More About Morgan →

Ride The Waves

I am 73 days into my journey as a Lumos Traveller. It’s beginning to sink in that this isn’t just an extended vacation, but a 183 day commitment that is hands down the most difficult thing I have ever done.

3 months ago, I graduated from Belmont University. I had such a fulfilling college experience. I worked in the music industry, had endless community, lived on music row, had challenging spiritual mentors, a great education and what would be considered a very blessed life.  So, why go to South Africa? The call of God on my life was so clear and evident that I had to respond. Though it may not make sense to the world, it’s the will for my life and being obedient to that call determines if I am truly living or merely existing.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.-1 Peter 1:7

Living on base in South Africa is a challenging, yet fulfilling endeavor. Let me give you a vision of where I am at. I live on a gated property, South Africans would refer to typically as a large estate, about 45 minutes from the Central Business District. This property is surrounded by tall brick walls and fencing. The township communities are within walking distance of the base, but you mustn’t leave base on foot for safety purposes. Sometimes when we drive off the property, once we get passed the cows, you will see random patches of grass aflame. Just another day in the life, my friends.

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There are employees and their families living on the base as well. The children on base are the light of my life. They come to me after work and on the weekends to check in on me and bring utmost joy to my days. Other days, they manage to hide in my bathtub without me knowing they are in my home when I am home.  I have been blessed to share meals and fellowship time with families on base during some of my evenings. Other evenings, I eat what I have, usually avocados, because I can not always get a lift to the shops. A new intern arrived from Zimbabwe and her and I have developed a lovely friendship as we can relate to being single ladies without cars living on base. Sometimes we sit on my stoop and have challenging, faith based conversations. Other days, I miss sitting on the front porch of my house in Nashville with my best friend and roommate, Melissa, having similar conversations.



I think when people hear you are in South Africa on a travel scholarship, it seems very glamorous. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here and I am growing in ways that only God could orchestrate for my life. I am truly learning that His vision is far bigger than mine. However, the waves are sometimes big and feel like gnarly wipe outs. Somedays, I am ready to get off my board and head back to shore. This Oswald Chambers quote encouraged me and I hope it does the same for you.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).


Durban, South Africa

I had the privilege of making a road trip to the beautiful Durban, South Africa (Which I will refer to as Durbs from here on out, because the locals will appreciate it) with my co-worker Sandra & her husband this weekend. Sandra & Cyril are such an incredible, tender hearted, power couple. I sincerely enjoyed the conversations we had on the road!

I had my first Tramezzini on the road, which is an Italian snack sandwich. I have found it quite interesting how many Italian restaurants are found in South Africa. I still have not found the answer to why Italian food is so popular here, but I will report back when I know. It could simply be due to the fat that Italian food is always Lekker.

When we arrived Friday evening, I met Jeanette David. Jeanette leads the JAM Programmes in KwaZulu-Natal. I had the privilege of staying with her family in Umhlanga all weekend. Jeanette has two sons and a daughter. They are all entrepreneurial and spiritual warriors! The Lord absolutely has a hand on their lives and I am so excited to see the fruit of their future! I was well loved and absolutely spoiled by this family. I experienced challenging conversations,  wisdom,  and laughter being in their presence.


This was my lovely view for the weekend from their gorgeous home. The Lord definitely put some extra time in creating this place!

On Friday evening I met with my friend Bryn who I know through Bands that JAM for Africa endeavors & my music industry job back at Ditto Music in Nashville. Bryn is in a South African band called Yorke that is truly making waves internationally. You can check them out here:

Bryn & his friends invited me to a hip hop show that an American act was playing at a place called Freedom Cafe. This was the epic view! It was a great first introduction to Durbs!

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On Saturday morning, I had some of the most fulfilling spiritual conversations on the veranda with my host Jeanette. Jeanett continued to pour into me. I felt so encouraged and invincible just being around her!

I decided to explore Umhlanga a bit so I went down to the beach and spent some time alone by a lighthouse. There is a peace and comfort in Durbs that I truly haven’t experienced anywhere else. It was as if there was a spiritual covering over this city and it’s people. I had some very productive thinking time throughout the weekend in this place. I truly refueled me and lifted my spirit!

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In the evening, I joined Bryn & his friends for a movie night. I felt as if I was experiencing my friend group in Nashville as doppelgangers with South African accents. It was as if God picked me straight up out of a map from Nashville and placed me with a community of people in Durbs that He knew would encourage and inspire me.

Sunday was a very productive thinking day for me back at the lighthouse. I was able to simply praise God because He is, not because He answered my question of why I was there or what my purpose was in that moment, but just loving and thanking the Lord for the opportunity to be exactly where He wants me to be.

My friend Alex picked me up in the afternoon. Alex and I have been working together nearly 2 years via Skype and it was my first time meeting him! Again, it was a divine connection from the Lord. Alex works for an incredible NGO called LIV Village in Durban and has such a heart for the Lord, people, and positive music. We got along swimmingly! Alex joined me for church at Olive Tree where Bryn is part of the worship team. We were so blessed by the message and worship.

I continued on with Bryn after church for his bandmates birthday party. As an introvert, I spent a lot of my time there observing. Through my observations, I again found myself in awe of where the Holy Spirit led me. I was welcomed so warmly by these people and was surrounded by the joy that radiated through them.


On Monday, I had the privilege of meeting the JAM team that resides in Durban.  I attended the JAM feeding programmes in Durban at a creche in Adelaide Township. Nothing fills my heart more than being around these children and seeing the joy in their faces when the JAM porridge is being prepared by the creche mama. The monitor of the school explained that Jeanette and I are the woman from the place that brings the red bowls & food and a child immediately ran to me and embraced me as if he had known me his whole life. It was the sweetest, most perfect example of the impact JAM is making on the lives of these children. I am so glad I was able to see JAM’s impact in another province of this country. It is a testament of the scalability and need of their work!

I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to Durban last week and I did not know why, but was obedient to the call. God managed to open up every door that I set foot to walk through. He absolutely provided divine friendships and experiences for me. I am so thankful for God’s provision. I absolutely loved Durbs and cannot wait to return.


With love,


Post Mandela Day

I’ve learned faster in the previous 6 weeks than I have in any season of life. I started with my time in Angola where I witnessed some of the most heartbreaking stories and then quickly transitioned back to South Africa to begin working on Mandela Day events with the JAM International team. My experiences in Angola fueled the fire in my heart to make Mandela Day a success.
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I believe in a God that gives us big vision and when trusting in Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts. My greatest desires in life are to see the children of Africa be fed and for people to encounter the love of Jesus through me. I am certain that I am at the center of God’s will for my life and that in His time, the big vision will be fulfilled.

“If you can’t feed 100, just feed 1. ”
— Mother Teresa

I found myself apologizing for something that should not be apologized for. Due to the fact that I so desire for every child to be fed, I was discouraged that there weren’t more sign ups. To be honest, even if there were, I might have been disappointed that even more needed to be fed. The truth is, If just one child was fed on Mandela Day, someones life was completely changed. Someone was given hope for their future. A life being changed for the better is not something to apologize about, it is a celebratory matter.

On three different occasions that day, different individuals walked up to me and said,

“Be faithful in the small things for it is in them that your victory lies.”

Watch my friend Samuel Music honor Mandela through this U2 Ordinary Love cover and share how easy it is to make a difference through JAM.

At the end of the day, I helped book 3 venues in a country foreign to me, interacted and worked with cultural differences and language barriers, booked 3 of South Africa’s award winning bands to represent JAM’s mission, worked with an experienced international marketing team, saw a vision become a reality, and formed relationships and had conversations that challenged and inspired me.

Much love,


Pre Mandela Day

I have been working very hard alongside the JAM International team to prepare a campaign for Mandela Day. This is what we did with on Mandela Day.

On the eve of his 90th birthday Nelson Mandela challenged the world to take up his struggle for social justice when he said, “It is in your hands now.” The following year, his birth date of 18 July was established by the United Nations General Assembly as International Mandela Day in a move to celebrate his life and ensure his actions are never forgotten.

In recognition of Mandela’s 67 years of struggle for social justice, we as South Africans are encouraged to lead the global community in spending 67 minutes of our time helping others.

In celebrating Mandela Day 2015 this year, we at JAM have adopted his words, “It is in your hands” as our theme and we invite you to take these words to heart.

We have invited participants to join us at our JAM HQ on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 July to sort and package donated shoes and sew blankets. On Saturday 18 July, we will be hosting a WishList drive at the following four major shopping centres in Gauteng:

Menlyn Park Shopping Centre
Clearwater Mall
Maponya Mall
All donated goods will be distributed at some of the 1,227 Day Care Centres where we currently feed.

Please come by, meet our team while contributing a blanket or educational toy for little ones in need.

Celebrating ‘Madiba’s’ legacy is not about how large your contribution is, but that you give of your time and love. As a child-focused organisation, we believe that every day at JAM is a ‘Mandela Day’. Remember, your contribution can be to sponsor the filling of a JAM Red Bowl for a hungry child, for just R360 per year. Click here to donate.

If you, or your company can participate, please partner with us and contact Burton Moonsamy on 079 514 8443 or

Monark will be joining Moses Metro Man & Bouwer Bosch for a Mandela Day performance at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre Saturday 18 July at 15:00.

Angola Reflections


It’s been nearly a month since I have returned from Angola and I have just now processed through everything I witnessed and the lessons I have learned from this experience.

First off, I want to thank Peter & Ann Pretorius for giving me the opportunity to go into the fields with the JAM Media Team to capture the stories of the local people. I know this was a rare opportunity and I am so grateful to have been able to join such a talented and wise group of people.

Secondly, I want to thank the team that I travelled with Darren, Chadrac,  Murray, Clint and Peter. Thank you for your patience, wisdom, and concern for me as I witnessed some of these things for the first time.

I tried to emotionally, spiritually, and physically prepare myself for Angola, but there truly is no way to prepare for the things that we saw.


Visiting the malnutrition clinic was the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I remember Peter praying for a child to be healed and the week the team returned, we had heard news that the child passed. I was heartbroken. I have never seen such frail children in my life.

What I learned from witnessing this is that if God leads you to see something like this, you must use your voice to encourage others to feed and educate children so they do not end up in a malnutrition clinic like this one that we visited.

My most joyful moment in Angola was seeing JAM drill and hit water. The reaction of the local people was priceless! They say it is not how long you are in the desert, but what your attitude is in the desert. These people had been waiting for water their entire lives and witnessing their constant joy, even before the water was provided, inspired me.

Filming in the last village we visited, we captured some of the saddest stories I have ever heard. We listened to many stories of mothers losing children to malnutrition. As the night closed, we went to our campsite and I saw a box being carried by the locals. I asked what it was. It was a funeral happening right before our eyes. What got me through that moment was earlier in the day, Peter had said, we must bring these people food before we return to our campsite and we did. It was fulfilling to know that at least in the 24 hours we were there we could make an impact.

There is a selfless spirit. A spirit of humility instilled in African people. When we brought food, a little girl ran to her grandmother with utmost excitement to tell her there was food that could be shared.

From this experience, I hope to live life with the humility and selflessness of the people I encountered. I walked away from this trip heartbroken, yet inspired. For my entire life, I have something to fight for and I am grateful for JAM providing that opportunity for me.


With Love,


Looking for Lekker

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Neighbour Goods Market in Braamfontein with my friend Chane & her husband Chris. Before we left for the market Chane & Chris told me they had a surprise for me in the car. I asked if it was Rodriguez Sugarman (a musical legend in South Africa originally from Detroit). If you have not seen the film Searching for Sugarman, I highly recommend it as it is one of the most unbelievable stories I have ever encountered. What they had for me was not Rodriguez, but something not too far off. They brought me a record player to borrow for my time here! I was holding back tears! The joy was next level! I remember having to pack up my records and record player in Nashville and send them off with my family in Detroit. It was a very difficult farewell for my records and I. I cannot fathom to you the joy that this simple machine brings to my heart. It’s like a little piece of home and myself back in my hands. I am so grateful.

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Neighbour Goods market was an absolute dream come true. I was overwhelmed by the options for food! Everything looked incredible and had an aroma that made you linger near the table a bit longer than one is welcome to. We settled on some of the best gumbo I have ever had in my life. I had some good laughs with Chane, Chris, and their friend Dylan. They are all such creative minds as Chane is a graphic designer here at JAM, her husband Chris works in television, and their friend Dylan is a musician.

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I was telling Chane & Chris that I taught a friend back in the states the Afrikaans slang word, “Lekker,” which means, “Nice”..”Cool”..”Rad.” As my mind tends to wander into these absurd visions, I began to wonder what it would look like if Lekker caught on in America. Since the film Searching for Sugarman was such a success, I pondered the idea of creating a film called, “Looking for Lekker.” How did this word travel from South Africa to America? This is a serious possibility. Just waiting for the word to spread like wildfire. So my American friends, do your duty and start implementing this into our vocabulary.

One of my favorite finds at the market was Bamboo Revolution. I bought an incredible bamboo watch (photo below). I was so keen to support this company as this vision was a result of a postgraduate entrepreneurship program at University of Cape Town. I have such a heart for entrepreneurship, socially conscious products, and unique products. You can read more about their incredible story if you click on the Bamboo Revolution link above.

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Sunday was another epic day! I started off the day having breakfast with my sweet friend Mischa and her family. They were such a kind hearted, loving family. I truly enjoyed my conversation with them learning more about how their family ended up at JAM, what their lives looked like before JAM, and their wonderful sense of humor. Mischa and I then continued on to the mall to meet with her lovely friend Denise. We stocked up for a picnic and headed to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens to catch the Matthew Mole & Shortstraw gig. I met both of these artists last time I was here in South Africa, but never had the opportunity to see them perform live. It was really epic to finally witness the South African music I am listening to through my headphones in Nashville firsthand here inJohannesburg.shortstraw

I’ve been praying for community and with patience and trust, I know my God’s love never fails me. He has sent me wonderful, selfless, kind hearted, people that have brought so much joy to my heart. I am so thankful to have had plans this weekend! Plans that took me to places I fell in love with. Plans with people that made me laugh, smile, dance, and find joy in the simple things of life. I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life here in South Africa. I trust that this is just the beginning!


Here’s a photo my friend Dan took. He’s my pal teaching me an Afrikaans phrase every day. Unfortunately, I accidentally told him he looks like a garden gnome in Afrikaans (Sorry Dan). If you’d like to tell someone they look like a garden gnome too, this is how you say it, “Jy wil soos n tuin kabouter”

With love from Joburg,


Mandela. Music. Mission.

Nelson Mandela delivered a speech on the eve of his 90th birthday declaring, “it is in your hands now.” The United Nations officially declared Mandela’s birthday, July 18th, as a national holiday in South Africa that honors his dedication to the service of humanity. I have the privilege of working alongside the team at JAM International to develop events for Mandela Day this year. I cannot fathom my excitement for the events we are organizing (or should i write organising with an s because as our writer at JAM would say to me, “Americans can’t spell.”) I don’t want to give away any hints to the content, but I can assure you that it is going to be big! Follow Joint Aid Management- International on Facebook as we begin to share content.

Creative planning for these Mandela Day events has consisted of conceptualizing creative content for a social media campaign, sending it to a designer, getting the content approved, and implementing the content into a creative schedule. Logistics planning consists of finding venues in cities completely foreign to me, discerning which places will have the highest traffic, booking these venues, and organizing teams and entertainment for the day of the event. I am having so much fun with this!

I am also very excited to be bringing my passion for music into this workspace. This week, I have organized meetings with South African musicians to come learn about JAM and begin brainstorming how we can use music as a mechanism for social change in this country.

My sweet friend Samuel in Cape Town and I were able to brainstorm together early this week on a project to honor Mandela’s legacy and partner with JAM. I could not be more excited to share the final product with you! Samuel is a musician that shares his music and covers on Youtube. You can check his videos out here: Samuel Music.

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I had the privilege of meeting with the kind and humble Nhalnhla Majozi (pictured above.) We captured his reaction to the work JAM is doing and he shared a bit of his personal story. I can not wait to share this content. It was truly so raw and powerful! Major and I also got to bond over our favorite lines from The Office and New Girl. What a cool guy! Here’s one of Majozi’s music videos: Majozi-Fire2015-06-25 10.45.10

I also got to catch up with an old pal, Ruan Kruger who co owns Station Coffee Co., teaches music, and is in multiple successful Afrikaans bands in South Africa. This guy radiates joy! If you’re ever in Potchefstroom, South Africa you need to visit his coffee shop, because that coffee is seriously next level. Better yet, they partner with socially responsible products to have a mission centered business. Ruan & I also bonded over our love for superheroes. With his entrepreneurial mind and creative energy, we walked away with so much inspiration! Social Entrepreneur-Superheros unite! Check out his band here: Moses Metro Man -Mooirivier

I am looking forward to this weekend. I will be attending Neighbour Goods market in the heart of Johannesburg with our new graphic designer, Chane. She is a star! We will also be exploring some vinyl shops as her husband is a collector. On Sunday, my pal Mischa and I are going to watch Matthew Mole & Shortstraw play a gig at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. These are some artists I connected with last time I was in South Africa. I will report back to you with footage!

I’m also having my friend Daniel teach me an Afrikaans phrase everyday. So today, I leave you with this:

“jy mooi kyk vandag,” which means, “You look beautiful today.”

With love,


“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”



I write to you with utmost joy as my first 2 weeks in Africa have already exceeded my expectations. God tends to do that! After my first week of getting settled in and revisiting the JAM team, I felt completely at peace. This truly is a JAMily. There certainly is no feeling superior than being confident that you are at the center of God’s will for your life.

I had the privilege of traveling with the JAM film and photography team in Angola for a week alongside the co founder of JAM, Peter Pretorius. I feel so privileged to travel and work alongside such talented, yet humble people. I cannot stress how many times I felt encouraged and cared for by this brilliant team. And I mean seriously, how many people get to travel and work with their heroes? Peter & Ann Pretorius have had a significant impact on my life and it is a joy to have such valuable time with these influential leaders.

Angola stretched me in ways I didn’t know possible. I experienced joy, heartbreak, challenges, and victories all at once. My eyes were opened to the scale of operations that Joint Aid Management has globally. I was in awe of the logistics and framework behind developing the JAM porridge that the children are fed, to how the food is delivered to rural villages that don’t even have proper roads. It is rigorous and exhausting work that this team executes to ensure that your support gives these children food and education. I can attest to the fact that the support you give to

JAM is not just giving a child a meal, but also completely changing a child’s life.

While camping in villages where JAM feeds and drills water wells I witnessed joyful spirits, hopeful smiles, and children singing songs of merit. These were ecstatic days. I could truly grasp the impact that my friends and I have made through Bands that JAM for Africa having this firsthand understanding.

Midweek we visited a malnutrition clinic in Catumbela. I still struggle to find the words to express this experience. I recall the film crew trying to capture my emotions and ask me what I thought at present as we walked outside of the clinic, but I was speechless. I have never seen such frail bodies in my life. There was a child just 2 months old in the emergency room that had been there 1 month. For half of this child’s life, he lived in a malnutrition clinic. My heart remains broken.

Food and water can prevent children from having to end up in a place like this. Just $60 feeds and educates a child through JAM for an entire year. That is as simple as sacrificing one cup of a coffee a month to prevent a child from ending up in a malnutrition clinic fighting for their life.

My friends, you have been so prayerful and encouraging. I am so grateful and ask you to continue, because God is truly doing some incredible things through JAM and in my life personally. For those of you who have asked if I need anything or what you can send me, I am being taken care of and am loved well by the people here. What you can do is consider giving $60 to feed and educate a child. It would truly change their life. My prayer is to be able to return to the villages in Angola that JAM is not feeding at yet and witness the fruit of your faithfulness and generous spirits.



South African Soil


Alas, I am on South African soil once again! The peace of God that transcends all understanding has surely been a testimony to my travels here. I am learning that when you step out in faith and let God do His work in your life, He continually provides and exceeds your expectations.

The prayers that were prayed before my departure have truly shifted and impacted my life. For my mentors, family, and friends that were a part of those prayers and continue to pray, I am forever grateful. With sincerity, I can attest to those prayers being powerful. I am at complete peace where God has me and I could not be more joyful. I mean, seriously, I woke up at 4am today grinning from ear to ear with the utmost joy simply because I am where I am!

I must say the company culture at Joint Aid Management plays a massive role in their success. I have never seen community, faith, and professionalism lived out so eloquently in a workplace. It is an absolute privilege and honor to be working alongside the JAMily here in South Africa.

I am working as the global marketing intern. My work focus will be on marketing JAM UK, US, and Canada. It is just day one and I am already increasing in wisdom because of the leadership I am surrounded by. I am learning about global campaigns, niche markets, effective communication, analyzing social media productivity, and so much more! I haven’t even been here 24 hours! I am so encouraged by the people I am surrounded by. I am certain that this experience is going to challenge me and develop me professionally.

Next week I will turn 22 and travel to Angola to do field documentation for JAM. The doors God has opened in my life stun me. I am absolutely in awe of His grace, love, and plans that are always bigger than my own. Again, the opportunity that the Lumos Scholarship and Belmont University have given me is an absolute dream come true. I am so humbled by this opportunity and I know great things are ahead.



Movie Moments

Movie Moments


I’ve seen it in films before; the nostalgic head turn, looking back at the skyline of a city full of memories, trials, celebrations, and love in your rear view mirror. It wasn’t until today that I experienced the overflow of emotions that dwell in the vehicle as you drive away from a place you’ve called home.

John Piper said, “When you give up the sense of at-homeness you had in your house, you get back one hundred times the comfort and security knowing the Lord owns every home.”

In the previous 5 days, I graduated from my dream college, held my grandmothers hand during her last breaths, and have immersed myself in a community of people that have showered me with God’s love. These moments are invaluable to me for eternity.

As I walk into the mission field, at the center of God’s will for my life, I will be the first to confess that the glamorized image of dreams coming true isn’t as picturesque as the movie trailer life in which we selectively display our supreme moments in. Dreams coming to life are accompanied by the price of spiritual warfare and tests that I have never encountered at such intensity before.

A dear friend of mine shared this convicting T.S. Eliot quote with me before leaving my beloved Nashville:

Because I know that time is always time

And place is always and only place

And what is actual is actual only for one time

And only for one place

I rejoice that things are as they are and

I renounce the blessed face

And renounce the voice

Because I cannot hope to turn again

Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something

Upon which to rejoice

I can only hope to walk through the next 6 months in Africa with such faith and humility. I trust that God is going to give me “movie moments.” Vision is the lens that interprets the events of our life, the way we view people and our concept of God. I trust that I am going to witness things that are meant for my eyes to see to deliver stories to others through the lens of God’s vision.

I cannot fathom my gratefulness to be a Lumos Travel Scholarship recipient. This is an honor and privilege that I have dreamt of since the beginning of my college career and it is surreal that this vision has become a reality.

I am so looking forward to the opportunity to put into practice everything I learned in the Social Entrepreneurship program at Belmont University as I work as a Marketing Intern at Joint Aid Management. This is an organization that I have been passionate about for many years with a community of people that I have so much respect for.

Endless love,

Morgan Fisher

“The level of sacrifice that an environment requires will determine the size of people that will follow” -Kris Vallotton