The results of the 2024 Helen Donovan Memorial Essay Contest are complete. Once again the young pro-life voices in the state are showing how thoughtful they are on pro-life issues. We are grateful for the participation of all those who submitted an essay this year.

This essay titled Promoting the Culture of Life won third place and is by Isobella Jameson.

My podcast, Shifted Voices, would reach all different social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, X, and Spotify. The podcast’s main focus would be the preservation of life with emphasis on the value and dignity of every human being from the moment of conception until natural death. Topics on modern-day struggles, government and politics, lifestyle, religion, morality, and many more would be open for discussion as well.

What would make Shifted Voices different from most social media outlets that strive to influence the value of human and human dignity is that everyone’s voice will be heard. Most social media platforms today use an algorithm to shape our feed to the platform’s political view. This form of bias can throw off our culture and can influence us to think a certain way.

Avoiding this bias and agenda drive algorithms would better help educate our culture, especially our young people, on the value of every human being.

My podcast would include myself and my mother, a fighter for the value and dignity of my brother Ronan. Ronan has a mitochondrial disease, seizures, is non-verbal, and also has autism. He has developmental delays and intellectuals delays also. She fights every day to persevere his dignity. Just like my mother, we would invite other role models to the conversation and share their stories. That speaker line up would include Bishop Burbidge, a staunch support of human life; Dr. Bruchalski, a former abortion doctor whose conversion story created his pro-life OB/GYN practice and non-profit in Fairfax; and Katherine Wilson, Director of Mary’s Shelter in Fredericksburg, a group that provides a home and social services for women working through an unplanned pregnancy. As we grow the podcast, we’d have St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School faculty and staff join us as well.

Beyond the local groups and voices, our goal would be to also reach national and international audiences. Shifted Voice can do that with interviews with members from groups like Life Runners and Live Action. I believe it would also be important to regularly have podcst guests speak on the value and dignity of those with disabilities. It’s from my brother that I learned how important human life is. Sharing his story and the stories of so many more can really promote the concept that every human being is valued, especially because those with disabilities have sometimes been looked at as unimportant or invaluable.

Shifted Voices would include people who fight for the dignity of humans in every stage of life. We would encourage listeners to join in the conversation, asking questions and such. We would have people talk about their experiences including those who are struggling with their own dignity and self-worth. We would have people encourage and invite others to fight to support the dignity of every human being. We’d expect some kickback from those who have a different viewpoint, but we’d invite them to talk with us, too. That’s because the conversations would never be one-sided on Shifted Voices. They’d be open to everyone with the hope that by the end of a podcast, we’d have made a positive difference to a non-believer or to someone who is questioning why we support the culture of life.

Shifted Voices would not only be just a podcast but a place where people can donate to organizations and to support agencies that strive to promote the welfare of mothers and their children, including children with special needs. Groups, companies, and agencies we would support would include but are not limited to local churches, The Gianna Center, Sanctuaries for Life, The Guadalupe Free Clinic, Mary’s Shelter, Porto Charities, and many more. Some people “talk the talk” saying they support life. We at Shifted Voice would also “walk the walk”. We’d do that by donating our own time to a life-affirming organization, like Divine Mercy Care. We’d also have their own fundraisers like sponsoring a baby shower for places like Mary’s Shelter. Supporting the culture of life is possible by giving some of our own time and by giving some of our own talents. It would be a gift to be able to honor every human at every stage of life through a podcast like Shifted Voices.

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