When I’m in Roanoke – I’m usually with one of two people, Lori Ann Dowd, my best friend since fourth grade, or Lebron Johanna Parsell, the little girl I’ve babysat since she was just 3 months old. Those are my people. 

Where I Stand is big. It’s a big event. It’s a big idea. It’s a big deal – and as much as I’m going to try to convince myself that it is not so “BIG” in the days to come to calm my nerves – let’s face it – it is.
Have you ever wondered how it came to be? Well, reflecting back on it’s very beginnings always reminds me who I am, where I am from, and definitely What I Stand For. 
I was fresh out of and intensive treatment program, taking time off of school, frustrated with my life and feeling misunderstood. My best friend Lori Ann and I were on our way to target – what we were buying I could not tell you, but in that 20 min car ride a movement began.
It began in a rant – we do this thing… if one of us is upset we just let the other talk and talk and talk – let out the poison, no judgement, no criticizing, and no bringing it up ever again. “Why does no one ever talk about anything real?” “Why do I feel this way?” “Why does everyone pretend to be fine”….
In treatment all you do is talk about who you are, what bothers you and what excites you, what went wrong and what helps you go right. The transition is hard, for anyone.
On my ipod “Here’s Where I Stand” by Tiffany Taylor came on – and it hit me – that it was my choice to stand up and say what I need to say, or do what I needed to do, and the conversation turned.
We began talking about how one person inspires the next, and how thoughts and ideas spread – be it positive or negative – before we knew it, we had talked through Where I Stand…. and then it began.
Lori has been better than any best friend I could have hoped for. She’s made it so I’ve never had to stand alone. We’ve always stood up and through various life trials and issues – together – be it family drama, school drama, relationships, moving places – or my eating disorder.
We stand for spreading hope through ideas and love through actions. 
Where We Stand.