Wednesday Dec 28 2011
Rocklin teen uses blogs to make a difference
By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald Correspondent
Tumblr blogs generate funds for charities
With the click of a camera and a computer mouse, one Rocklin teen is reaching out to all corners of Planet Earth. “It really breaks my heart to see teenagers exposed to so much negativity in the world. I wanted to make a blog that is a positive influence,” said Brittney Borowski, 17, whose Tumblr blogs generate $1,000 per month through Google Ad Sense. Each month, the blog’s earnings are distributed accordingly: 10 percent to savings, 20 to taxes, and 70 percent to a charity of her and her 45,000 followers’ choice. Chosen charities to date include Invisible Children and Operation Christmas in Canada. She has also supported programs that bring fresh water to underprivileged populations and is currently supporting construction of an outpost house in Australia where the homeless are nourished and medicated. Sometimes she donates to two charities a month. Borowski manages seven blogs on Tumblr, but uses only two for her business. Her number one blog, “I will Trust in You,” is Christian-inspired and a forum for questions relating to faith and God. She says her faith is the common thread connecting all of her blogs. Originally, Borowski began blogging as a “release” and escape from Facebook. She started out uploading her personal collection of photography. Another of her blogs, “bleautiful,” is a Tumblr blog dedicated to photos in a spectrum of blue hues, while another features black and white photos exclusively. While the photographer’s blogging adventures began two years ago, she says her passion for photography dates back to her childhood. During a visit to the San Diego Zoo, then 7-year-old Borowski asked to borrow her dad’s camera and fell in love with the art form. Now, Borowski said, she wants to partner with her father, Olaf Borowski, to design a clothing line featuring motivational and inspirational phrases in an effort to raise additional money for her charities. She said the clothing line will be called “Consurgo,” (Latin for “to rise”), which is also the title of one of Borowski’s blogs. Borowski indicated that not all the phrases on the clothing line will be Christian-based or religious. However, the messages will always be uplifting and positive. Outside of her blogs on Tumblr, the teen has started a business specializing in family and senior portraits. Currently a senior at Rocklin High, Borowski is a student in AP 2D Design with an eye on a career in graphic design and fashion. She is also a member of the leadership team for the youth group at Community Covenant Church. “I feel I’ve been very blessed,” said the teenager, wearing a sweatshirt reading “Dreamer, keep on dreaming” against a sunset background and sporting a “He > I” bracelet. Her blogs, which advocate tolerance for all beliefs, ideas, and people, including atheists, are open to anyone’s comments. Borowski says along with the daily questions of faith, she has received anonymous hate mail containing profanity. At first, Borowski admits the antagonism was hurtful, but she has now adopted an “I don’t care” attitude. “If you can’t stand up for what you believe in, then why say it?” Borowski said of the anonymous comments. The blog has also evoked discussions, sometimes regarding controversial political topics. The discussion and content is monitored by Borowski and her six staff members, who will only delete something if it does not comply with the tolerance policy. Staff members, ranging from 17 to 30, are followers of different branches of Christianity with the mission of promoting diversity, Borowski explained. When she first uploaded applications for the staff position, Borowski was overwhelmed by the response. She received 57 applications within the first 48 hours. The staff members she selected are Tumblr bloggers residing in Canada, Australia, and the Philippines. Last Easter, a conference for followers was held on Tiny Chat. Outside of the world’s socioeconomic struggles, the staff also works to abolish universal teenage struggles. Each blog has links to hotlines for suicide prevention, eating disorders, family and sexual abuse, pregnancy and other concerns facing teens. She’s also focused on social insecurities, which she says, disgust her. She wants young women to understand there is no need to reveal themselves or party excessively in an effort to attain a good self-image. To mark the one year anniversary of her blogs, Borowski plans to start a “No Make-Up” blog in January. Her plan is to encourage young women to upload pictures of themselves sans make-up. Celebrating the originality of each individual, Borowski believes each person is their own “masterpiece.” Check out Borowski’s blogs at iwilltrustinyou.tumblr.com and consurgo.tumblr.com.