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“I’ve fallen so many times and I’m very well aware of how easy it is to get back up.” Jennifer Caraway, Founder of The Joy Bus talks about being on her own since the age of 15 and turning hardship into success. Jennifer refused to let fear get in the way of her success. Jennifer grew up with a father who was both an alcoholic and abusive. At the young age of 15, Jennifer’s family abandoned her, and she was left without a home. Instead of fear, she felt relief being on her own. Jennifer kept going. She was determined to finish high school and motivated to succeed. She explains that being scared was just not an option for her. Jennifer says she was driven to prove that she is capable of anything. That determination helped her not let fear get in the way of her success.
Today, Jennifer Caraway is the founder and owner of The Joy Bus Diner, an idea that was founded after her friend, Joy, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She explains that while Joy was sick, making food for her was a way to support and comfort her friend. The Joy Bus Diner is a restaurant that donates 100% of its proceeds to support The Joy Bus. The Joy Bus, also created by Jennifer, is a non-profit organization that prepares and delivers meals to homebound cancer patients.
It is Jennifer’s goal to make those of less fortune feel as if they are going out to have a nice meal. Jennifer states that, “If I can do something to help someone, and make their journey just a little bit less painful, then I am stoked.”
Jennifer says before The Joy Bus, she had a, “bitter chip on her shoulder” and viewed people as selfish. It has been in working with the many selfless volunteers for The Joy Bus, that she now sees people differently. Jennifer’s biggest piece of advice would be to volunteer and don’t be a victim. She explains that by being a victim it allows the other person to win. She goes on to say how important it is to surround yourself with good people. Through her selfless efforts and motivation, Jennifer is a shining example of someone who did not let fear get in the way of her success. She is determined to continue making a difference in the world every day.