CoverMyQuest 2019

CoverMyQuest: Meet Our Winners

September 13, 2019  |  Jenny Rogers

Another CoverMyQuest has come and gone, and this time, 10 employees received $4,000 mini grants to pursue their big adventures — that’s two more winners than in years past.

Each of the 10 Quests — chosen from more than 100 entrants — exemplifies what it means to live by CoverMyMeds’ core values. Read on to see how this year’s winners are embracing challenges, doing the right thing, acting selflessly and, above all, being themselves.

Jesús Arrayago: CoverMyVisas — and CoverMyReunion

For my Quest, I’m helping my mom and siblings renew their passports so we can start their Tourist Visa applications (these processes are way more complex in other countries) and, potentially, bring them to the States for a few weeks. We’d be reuniting after five long years.

I will also use the Quest to help my aunt flee Venezuela and to also help my mom go back to Venezuela for a few days so she can see my grandpa before he passes away.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: This Quest means I get to give a little hope to my family and that, hopefully, we can reunite after so many years apart. Seeing them happy makes me happy and helps me keep going and working hard so I can provide better lives for them. I am beyond thankful for this place I get to call work.

Johnny Barton: “This is What?”

“This is What?” will be a collaborative rap album told from the perspective of me, along with seven of my friends (including several CoverMyMeds employees), that showcases their identities, their beliefs and their adversities.

The project starts by asking the question, “What is it that you’re called to be, and what roadblocks do you encounter in this world that make you feel like you can’t?” The answer will be in the form of “This is what ‘blank’ looks like,” embracing that call despite the adversity.

The journey of this question and answer will be captured in a collaboration of seven different songs featuring these seven performers, as well as seven different producers. Additionally we’ll be working with CoverMyMeds’ photographer, Megan Leigh Barnard, to create portraits of each performer and their “what.” The outcome of this diverse group of performers and producers seeks to tell a story of life that discusses social issues such as racism, classism and heterosexism.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: Winning CMQ means that there are people that believe in me and my music, and it gives me encouragement and confidence to pursue my craft.

Nirdesh Bhandari: Med-Trek across the Himalayas

For my Quest, I’m going back to my home country and venturing deep into the mountains of Nepal. I want to use this opportunity to help the remote and isolated communities that live high up in the mountains and do not have access to health care and medication.

To achieve this, I will partner with the NGO Education and Health Nepal (EHN) to embark on a two-week med-trek across the Himalayas. I will pair with a team of doctors and guide them through the mountains to some of the most remote places in Nepal to set up medical camps for the locals. This will be a wonderful opportunity for me to see the scenic rural parts of my country, to live with and live like the locals and to bring a smile to a lot of faces.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: Being selected for CoverMyQuest is an exciting opportunity to engage in a journey that sits close to my heart.

Jenni Brown: Happy Little Quest

We all know Bob Ross’s famous quote, “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.” We can all use this reminder (and Bob’s gentle, affirming life advice) from time to time.

I used to fall asleep watching Bob Ross videos when I was anxious or overwhelmed with the state of the world (I still do, sometimes). And I’ve always firmly believed that Bob’s ability to paint incredible landscapes in 27 minutes or less is the only solid scientific evidence of a superpower in this world.

I may not have been blessed with superpowered-Bob-Ross-level speed painting, but I found out that I can learn the techniques the hard way. For my Quest, I will travel to New Smyrna Beach, Florida — still the only place in the world where official Bob Ross classes are taught — to train to become a Bob Ross Certified Instructor.

While there, I will undergo 120 hours of intensive Bob Ross landscape training. But more importantly, I’ll learn how to teach others The Joy of Painting as well. I hope to use this certification to show people in my community that, as Bob always said, “Anyone can paint.”

These days, we can use more people like Bob, and I can’t wait to do my part to spread love, positivity and paint with the world.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: Winning CMQ is an incredible opportunity for me to learn more about my hobby, improve my art and gain the skills needed to spread love and art to my community in an amazingly tangible way.

Sara Mellott: The Brotherhood Graphic Novel

Last August, I started at CoverMyMeds, which was great! Then, I was encouraged to apply for CoverMyQuest, which was scheduled for the very next week. Unfortunately, there was no way I could put together the project I wanted in less than a week — much less win a vote. So, I decided to work hard and pitch my idea the next year. After a year of work, I was able to present a completely finished script for my graphic novel.

“The Brotherhood” is a passion project that, for the past six years, has been constantly delayed by life’s every-day fires. The story is a thriller full of twists and turns that will lead you down a rabbit hole of sinister secrets and into the arms of a network of villainy that will make you question who’s side your own.

Over the next year, I’ll complete the art for this project, as well as begin my search for a literary agent to publish the finished product.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: Winning CoverMyQuest means I get the opportunity to take something that’s only ever been a dream and finally make it reality.

Amy Miller: Sending My Parents to Italy for their 40th Wedding Anniversary

My parents are loving, hardworking and selfless. Their most selfless act was their decision, in the mid-1990s, to become licensed foster parents. During my high-school years, we had a number of young children in my home, in addition to my parents raising me and my two biological sisters.

My parents eventually adopted two children and continue to raise my brother, who is still in high school. Because my parents decided to expand our family in this way, they are not yet empty-nesters, and my dad is not yet able to retire.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve known my mom’s dream has been to visit Italy, where her family is from. There were some invitations and opportunities to visit when I was in high school, but due to tight finances and our growing family, it was not possible at that time.

In recent years, my parents have carried a lot of stress and family difficulties, including my dad’s health. I feel the time is now for them to take this trip, and I am so happy to give them this gift to make it possible for them.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: CMQ is enabling me to fulfill a dream of seeing my parents honored in a tangible way. While this trip won’t compare to what they’ve sacrificed over the years, I’m so thankful I can show them how much their love and care has meant to me and all my siblings. Knowing that the judges picked my Quest after hearing a small bit about my family reminds me how special my parents really are!

JP O’Donnell: International Penny-Farthing Race

Once every 10 years in the town of Knutsford, England, a great race occurs: a race of penny-farthings, also known as high wheels. The race draws people from all over the world to compete; at the last race, in 2010, competitors traveled from Australia, England, Scotland, America and other countries.

For my Quest, I’m sending my father-in-law and myself to Knutsford to complete in the race. My father-in-law has been riding a high wheel for over 40 years, and he got me into the sport about four years ago; I was hooked. We ride in parades and around town, and I am super excited to be able to race with him in this once-a-decade race.

The format for the race is to see who can go the furthest in three hours. The race, held at the Heath in Knutsford, starts at 1 p.m. with the shooting of a cannon. The course is a 1-mile loop around the town, and the last winner completed roughly 53 miles.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: Any company that invests in their employees’ dreams, no matter what they are, and financially enables them to pursue those dreams, is truly a best place to work. It makes me proud and happy to work at a company like CoverMyMeds.

Zach Palchesko: The Journey of a Lemon

My Quest is to take a car that is the lemon-iest of lemons and turn it into a glorious driving machine that I will use to compete in the epic 24 Hours of Lemons race.

This race is the most ridiculous endurance race, using the junkiest of cars, modified to suit any look or style you can imagine. I will purchase a car and, over the course of this year, build it in prep for the race. (I’ll provide updates along the way!)

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: Cars (and anything with a motor) are a huge part of my life and I cannot wait to continue this passion with the generous help of CoverMyMeds.

Meigan Way: CoverMyIdentity

My Quest involves adventure, a search for the truth, and giving back. I was born in Xianning, China, and adopted by my parents at a little older than a year. I have three sisters who were also adopted from different areas of China.

I haven’t been back to the city I was born in since I was eight. This leads me to my quest: I will travel to China in June 2020 to learn more about where I was born and to hopefully track down any biological relatives I’m able to find. I will begin my adventure in Beijing, where the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption center is located. From there, I plan on going to three cities, including where my orphanage is — though this may change depending on the information I learn throughout my Quest.

I will share my experience via a blog or social media account so others can follow along with my journey. I also want to act as a support system for other adoptees who may be curious about their biological family history and culture, but don’t know where to start. Closer to my Quest date, I will launch a fundraiser for monetary or supply donations for my orphanage and to help the abandoned children who live there now.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: Regardless of my Quest’s outcome, I know that by doing this I will have found a piece of myself, given back to those in need and, hopefully, inspired others like me.

Jaimee Williams: CoverMyHope

Suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the U.S; the majority of suicides are by people struggling with mental illness, and an estimated quarter-million people become suicide survivors each year.

I’m one of those survivors, losing a husband, brother and a pastor to suicide — all within 3 years of each other. Each was buried out-of-state, and I haven’t been able to travel to their burial sites and pay my respects since they passed away.

My Quest is to visit each loved one’s grave, to get closure and say goodbye, and to participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Community Walks in each of their home cities. I will invite each loved one’s family members and friends to participate with me, so that we can honor their memories together.

I’m also participating in the local Columbus walk in October, to honor all three of their memories, and will gather a team from CoverMyMeds to walk with me. My goal in all of this is not only to mend my heart, but also to give back to an organization that helped me out of a dark place and be a light for others who may currently be going through it.

My hope is that the story of my tragic loss, paired with how far I have come since then, will provide some hope to those that are hurting — and serve as living proof that it does get better.

What winning CoverMyQuest means for me: Winning CoverMyQuest means not only being able to take some steps toward healing, but also helping others do the same.

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