The Smile Project Ambassador Program is your opportunity to be part of a collective movement for joy. We believe that simple changes make a big difference and we know that when we are at our best, we have more to give to our loved ones and our communities. By joining the Ambassador Program, you are embracing the challenge to look for the good each day and to encourage others to do the same. Learn more or sign up today at the-smile-project.com/ambassador.
We are so proud of the folks that make up the ambassador program. Today, we are thrilled to feature one of our founding ambassadors, Alli Dingman, who started recording “Happiness is” on December 19th, 2019. This is her story.
Liz: Let's start in traditional Smile Project fashion. Give us a favorite "Happiness is.”
Alli: Day 208: Happiness is waking up happy. It truly is something special to wake up in a great mood and this is something that not many people may notice. My thing with recording daily happiness is taking a moment at the end of the day to really think about those little things that made me happy or brought joy to others around me.
Liz: Tell us a little about yourself.
Alli: I am 20-years-old and just finished my junior year at Slippery Rock University (SRU) in Pennsylvania for their childhood education and special education program with an art minor! I’m really excited to get back out there and start teaching again! In my free time I try to paint and draw which is a skill that I learned early on in elementary but that doesn’t always end up happening. I am also a mom to a super awesome leopard gecko named Gizzy who is my quarantine pet!
Liz: How did you get involved with The Smile Project and what made you start writing daily Happiness is?
Alli: Initially I joined SRU’s SPARK club because I really like what the club does for the university. From there I figured out the meaning behind the club and found The Smile Project. I thought it was a really good idea to record happiness daily especially with all the negativity going on in this world. Since then, many people that I go to school with, professors, family, and friends have reached out to me saying that I have impacted them by recording my daily happiness and sharing it.
Liz: How has recording daily joy impacted your life?
Alli: At the time I started, I felt that I was complaining more than I was pointing out my happiness and I did not like that. I thought that if I started recording happiness, I would improve on that. It has helped so much more than I initially realized. Instead of focusing on the bad parts of the day, I started focusing on the good and trying to find something happy to share with everyone. It helped me become a happier and more positive person who was hidden inside of me just buried under negativity.
Liz: Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice that keeps you grounded or inspired?
Alli: Something I heard in a tv show the other day really stood out to me: “The steps you take don’t have to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction.” I feel like this relates a lot to recording daily happiness. You don’t always have to have big moments. They can be small moments that seem pointless, but the end result is that it made you happy. That’s all that matters.
Liz: What didn't we ask you that you'd like to share with us?
Alli: I just want to say thank you to the SRU SPARK club for starting this all off for me and to those who have reached out regarding my daily happiness. It means a lot to know that this is impacting others around me!