A self-described “inspiration junkie”, World Muse founder Amanda Stuermer is quick to drop a quote from Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Stuermer and her family moved to Bend 14 years ago. “My family is my passion,” she says. ”I have loved watching my kids grow up here—lacrosse games, ski races, dance recitals. Like most Bendites, I am passionate about the outdoors; I love to ski, run, and hike.”
While working at Outside Magazine, Stuermer began volunteering with a non-profit that taught creative writing in a juvenile detention facility. “When I saw the way storytelling empowered those youth,” she says, “I was hooked.” This set her down a new path: helping others discover and unlock their potential. “I feel very fortunate that my work is my mission in life,” she says.
Stuermer started World Muse eight years ago as an empowerment program for teen girls. “I took it to a couple of local schools weekly,” she says, “along with a basket of yoga mats and a big bag of art supplies. Within months, I was offering after-school programs and summer camps as well as in-school visits.” Muse Camp launched in 2011, and Muse Conference in 2013: “Our programs have grown by leaps and bounds since we hosted that first Muse Conference.” Muse events now pop up all over central Oregon, funding social change projects created by women and girls all over the world. The World Muse Conference is happening right now in Bend. March 2nd-5th. Visithttp://theworldmuse.org/muse-conference/ for more details.
Stuermer encourages Bendites to dive into the culture of community involvement that shapes this still-growing city: “We all have a role to play in paying that forward to future generations.”
She loves living in such close proximity to breathtaking hikes, trail runs, and skiing: “Being out in nature is a gift to my soul. Bend provides me with ample opportunities to receive.” Stuermer’s favorite running trail? Not so fast: “Some things should remain a secret. I have some running trails that are pretty magical.”
Amanda thanks so much for being a part of Go Local Bend. We really appreciate all that you do!
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Photo credit: www.jasonbagby.com
Story credit: Todd Yerman