April 18, 2017 2 min read

What does YOLO mean to you? The expression YOLO was originally coined by rap mogul, Drake and stands for ‘You Only Live Once.’ The acronym underwent a meteoric rise to popularity after it was introduced by the rapper. Pop culture’s use of the term was rather shallow; often acting as a cry for teens attempting to justify irresponsible actions.

But not for everybody – What may have started as a rash justification for acting irrationally meant a little more to some.

At Bella Ella, we found that some people have found the best side of the expression, taking it to heart and using it to motivate themselves to live a life that contributes to the world and that they can look at with pride.

We wanted to help those people achieve their goals, so we put together a scholarship for college students and seniors in high school – asking them to give us their best version of #YOLO and what it meant to them. The instructions were simple, post a picture, give us your version, and tag #YOLOBEB so we would see the post. The winner would win $500 to help with school expenses and help them pursue their passion.

Contestant after contestant, we were continually impressed with the quality of the submissions and the attitude of these outstanding contestants. Selecting the winner turned out to be a tough ask!

In the end, one contestant, in particular, stood out to us; Mandy Coulam submitted an outstanding post, and we think anyone that sees her version of #YOLOBEB will find motivation through her picture and caption.

Mandy’s original caption read:

Although I won’t be the first, I will be a part of the first generation to graduate from college in my family. The term “YOLO” has greatly shaped me through the trial of being a minority. We only snagged this one moment to serve, to learn, to grow. Seize it! I once heard, “it’s not about how long you live, it’s about how you live.” I know that to be true. I seek for pressure, so I might find the diamonds within myself. There is no chance we will fail if we continue to press on each day!

So, thank you, Mandy! We appreciate your persevering attitude and your passion for making the most out of life. We hope you continue to embrace your version of #YOLOBEB and inspire others.

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