Senior Julia Strouk, founder of the Motivational Project, tilts her head and smiles for a portrait. The project’s online presence motivated students, faculty and alumni to accomplish their aspirations for life. Photo courtesy of Julia Strouk
The birth of an online platform, the Motivational Project, founded by senior Julia Strouk is helping the Pepperdine family chase after their dreams, while also encouraging others within the community. The project provides practical tools, plans and guides on healthy mindsets through shared inspiration and how to believe in the power of self, which motivates the reader to work harder and strive higher than ever before.
“The Motivational Project is really a platform that is aimed at building a community of self-driven and ambitious individuals,” Strouk said.
Strouk said she felt the energy and dedication exuded by Pepperdine’s community needed to be highlighted. Participants in this project will be pushed to do their best by viewing others’ specific dreams, whether it’s a new business, career plan or personal goal.
“I discovered a passion for pushing people to see beyond their own limits and actually go after what they want in life,” Strouk said.
Strouk started the project this July but said she has always adored being the person to cheer up her friends and give them advice on what direction they should take.
“I started this project with the intention of building a community of individuals who believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to; my goal is that others will adopt this mindset,” Strouk said.
Strouk said she is always working on new ways to expand her project. New features include becoming a member on the website and writing forum posts. She is working on a feature where users can chat. A new IGTV (Instagram TV) series is also coming to the Motivational Project’s social media account in the upcoming weeks.
A new extension is launching this week, Strouk said. This section will include a network of people who want to support one another throughout the process of self-employment and business ventures.
“The entrepreneur’s section is going to be about discovering and supporting young entrepreneurs, and I’m hoping it will motivate others who want to start a business,” Strouk said.
“As of now, I’m only selling the chocolate bars in Peru, but the goal is to one day make it available worldwide,” Iamachkine said. “My passion for sports has guided me to find healthy foods that are grown in pure environments.”
As Strouk observed Iamachkine navigate her way through her own business, she said she knew Iamachkine had to be involved in her project.
“In five years, as my long-term goal, I want my chocolate brand to be worth $5 million,” Iamachkine said.
Iamachkine is one of many students who has been featured by the Motivational Project, and she will also appear in Strouk’s new entrepreneur section.
“When [Strouk] launched her Motivational Project, she reached out to me and asked if I want to be part of it,” Iamachkine said. “I agreed to be part of the community she is building because I think it is a great project creating a close network of highly driven people.”
Senior Jorge Contreras became involved with the Motivational Project when it was his turn to be featured. Contreras said he is excited by what is going to happen within this project.
“I’m a big finance guy,” Contreras said. “I’m really into investing, and my goal is to build a hedge fund to manage and invest in successful portfolios across the globe.”
At Pepperdine, Contreras said he finds it easy to build relationships through a community that continues to inspire him. He said that he has pursued his goals on campus and will continue to while school is remote.
“Right now I lead the Investment Club; because of that, I have met so many people and offered opportunities to them,” Contreras said.
“Pepperdine has really shown me the values of leadership, service and purpose,” Contreras said.
Contreras said Pepperdine’s smaller community is all about giving people opportunities and fostering an environment where everyone can succeed — even in a time when the student body cannot be together on campus.
“Due to what our country is experiencing with the cultural crisis, I think it is more important to have a community where people are motivated and inspired by each other because it’s difficult to have that when we’re not together,” Contreras said.
Strouk said the virtual aspect of the fall semester will not slow down the movement.
“Being at home shouldn’t be a challenge because [the Motivational Project] is online and [through] social media,” Strouk said. “Especially in these times of COVID-19 where people feel isolated, this platform can really bring people together and it’s a great way to feel supported.”
Strouk said she is still learning new things every day from this endeavor. She said her evolving ideas and visions keep on coming, which she finds exciting.
“I myself am trying to make it in this world; I’m still a college student trying to achieve my own goals, but I want to do this with everyone,” Strouk said.
Strouk said students can get involved in many different ways. These ways include being featured on the Motivational Project’s Instagram and website, which are open to students of all grades. Strouk said she is hoping to one day grow this beyond the Pepperdine circle.
“I send [the people being featured] interview questions about their goals, motivations and daily habits,” Strouk said. “The goal with that is to inspire others to believe in themselves.”
Strouk said she encourages students or alumni to submit a form on the website to be featured in the Motivational Project’s profiles section.
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Email Beth Gonzales: Beth.Gonzales@pepperdine.edu