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31 Days of Brave Hearts | Day 13, Lori Droege


Word on the streets is that she is a scavenger-hunting, cupcake-making superhero named Cupquake.  She has a smile that lights up a room.  You can find her online at @lorenelizab3th (Instagram and Twitter), but you saw her here first!  Meet Lori.

What is your superpower?  Sometimes, I think I have a magnified optimism that baffles the people around me (as well as myself). Maybe that’s a super power?

Who do you adore?  Who don’t I adore? I think everyone has something completely adore-able about them. I adore my mom for her strength, thoughtfulness, perseverance, and sense of humor. I adore my sister for her smile and her ability to come through when I’m in my darkest times. I adore my dad for the innocence with which he approaches life. I adore my brother for his responsibility and big-brother way of protecting me as well as his silliness. I adore my best friend Emily for her patience, her sense of adventure, and her enthusiasm. I adore all my friends for accepting me for who I am. I adore all of my co-workers for their beautiful hearts, resilience, and selflessness. Annnndddd I adore Ellen DeGeneres for being the dancing, loving, accepting person she is and Spencer Reid for his nerdiness.

Describe your brave heart outfit.  I don’t know that I have one specific brave heart outfit in mind especially since it would depend on the situation (whether that is pajamas or pencil skirt – man, those pencil skirts make me feel powerful). I’d imagine that it would involve brightly colored tights, some funky socks that show just above my black mid-calf boots, possibly a black shorter skirt, a polka-dotted tank top and my cardigan with sugar skulls. Yes. I need to make this outfit happen soon. It sounds delightful as I’m imagining it right now.

What book has shaped you?  Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. And the Harry Potter series has changed my life as well – it’s one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read.

What is your favorite movie?  My favorite movie is Stardust! Claire Danes plays Yvaine, a fallen star, and she gives probably my favorite quote from a movie ever. She is delivering it to Tristan – who has been turned into a mouse – and thinks he cannot understand what she is saying:

“You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and… What I’m trying to say, Tristan is… I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I’d know it for myself. My heart… It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it’s trying to escape because it doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange – no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me, too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.”


What was the best trip ever?  I’ve been fortunate enough to have so many wonderful trips in my life! I’ve been to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts and shared butterbeer and cauldron cakes with some of the best people. I’ve queued up to wait for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Picadilly Circus in London. I’ve wandered the streets and canals of Venice, explored ancient ruins in Rome, Athens, Mycenae, and Nafplio, hiked on my own into the mountains of Switzerland, climbed to the heights of and trespassed into the monasteries of Meteora, witnessed the beauty of Grecian islands like Hydra and Santorini, ridden roller coasters and been to the beach with my family, dined with princesses and run a marathon in DisneyWorld, hiked through Red River Gorge, gone rafting on New River, traveled around the world to South Africa to learn about and address the effects of apartheid and to India to contribute to ending sex slavery in Mumbai. How could I possibly pick a best out of all of those? How in the world did I get so lucky?


What is the best gift you’ve received?  The best gift I’ve ever been given by God? He gave me to my parents at the precise time He did. Everything I have, all my opportunities and the very person I am, boil down to that one circumstance. It amazes me every day.

What is the ultimate party?  One time, a few friends and I decided to go caving one Saturday. Equipped with just some chalk, a couple flashlights, and glowsticks, we spelunked through this random cave outside of Lexington with water up to our knees in parts. One of my friends fell in the water, but that didn’t stop us from still having a good time. When we got back to Louisville, we turned off all the lights in our apartment, turned up the Family Force 5 and danced our hearts out with our glowsticks in the dark. We still refer to it as the cave rave. Maybe it’s not the ultimate party, but it had all of the elements of a good party – good friends, good music, dancing, silliness, no judgment, and even some yummy food. I’m sure cookies were involved…


Your mother always told you…I love you.

Who do you secretly want to be?  Cupquake. The drummer for a rock band. A wife and a mom. I don’t think any of those are secret ambitions, though. I wouldn’t mind being the best friend of Sara Bareilles or JK Rowling.

What fuels you?  All of the people who have shared their stories of hurt with me. All of the people who have not been hurt yet – the people who stand to gain the most by the prevention work we engage in. I want as many people as possible to know personally what it feels like to be in a healthy relationship with encouragement and laughter and growth. My faith fuels me – the belief that I am here to serve others, to be an instrument of God’s love on earth, to do what I can to change the world, the belief that the world can change and that the people in it are oh so powerful and can make that change.

What’s in your office? In addition to all of my normal office-y work-related things, there is a bubble making machine, some peanut butter, a cool quote book from my best friend for Monday morning inspiration, and Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes action figures.

What is your shelter/refuge?  The first two things are music and God. Both music and my relationship with God calm me, excite me, and can do things for me and speak to me in ways that nothing and no one else can.

What is your favorite word?  My favorite word is “cadence.” It means rhythm. As someone who desperately wants to learn to play the drums and has of late been discovering the deep need for dancing whenever possible, not many concepts could rival that of rhythm. In addition to its meaning, it just has a beautiful sound. Say it out loud. Cadence. It has its own rhythm. One day, I hope to be lucky enough to have a daughter and name her Cadence.

What did you study?  Psychology.  And Spanish.  In grad school, I decided to pursue a degree in Public Health. I never realized this until grad school, but I am super passionate about health. I think it started when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and just extended throughout my life from there. While there, I stumbled across an inspirational woman (Amanda Houpt) delivering a Green Dot overview speech. I knew at that moment that that was what I wanted to do.

What is one outrageous thing you’d love to own?  I would LOVE to own a bathtub aquarium! What I mean by that is that I would love to own a bathtub made of glass or plexiglass that we could fill with water on the inside (not for me to sit in), but so that I could have fish in there all the time and when I took a bath or shower, I’d be swimming with the fish!

What is your most cherished thing?  It’s probably my baby blanket.

What do you want the world to know about your work?  When we talk about work, people usually say they think it’s great that I can do something like that. I guess I would want people to know that I think everyone can do something to change the world. You don’t have to have a giant heart or a degree in Public Health. You can just be nice to the people around you, pay attention to what messages media and society are sending (and respond), refuse to be quiet about injustices (big or small), and so many other things that can effect change. That’s the beauty of something like Green Dot, we can all do things without needing a program or a structure within which to operate.

I also want the world to know that teens are powerful people. They are worth listening to and have so much energy and will be the ones to change the world.

Meet more Brave Hearts like Lori, at 31 Days of Brave Hearts.


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