Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set out to provide their Sussex Royal followers with joy at the start of the new year by solely highlighting the journalist-run Good News Movement social media account. The page highlights various feel-good news stories from around the world. Meghan and Harry’s over 11 million followers weren’t the only people who found joy in the gesture. The account’s founder Michelle Figueroa was also shocked to have her mission become royally amplified. “I’m super thankful and appreciative of them recognizing me,” she tells HOLA! USA. “It was just another stepping stone for the platform.”
What started off as a simple way to spark happiness in others has become something much bigger for the Colombian journalist– who had the idea to start her account while sick in bed. “The idea was to meet people where they are and give them a place where they can see all the good things that are happening in the world that maybe they're not receiving through other outlets. And really becoming that outlet for an endless, kind of slew of positive news stories that show the good in humanity.” Keep reading to find out the surprising way Michelle got the news and what it’s like to have the Sussex seal of approval.
HOLA!: How did you find out the Sussex royal account was following The Good News Movement – and what was your reaction?
Michelle Figueroa: “I was on vacation in Puerto Rico, and I turned off my phone. I was traveling back to the city and had lots of messages. One of those messages was just congratulating me on being followed by the Prince and being featured in a post. So, they sent me a link, and when I clicked, I saw what the Sussex Royal Instagram said about me. Of course, it was a great feeling and a reaffirmation that I'm doing something that people want to receive, that there's an appetite for good news.”
The follow came around the same time the Duke and Duchess announced their news, do you think it was happenstance that they chose to spotlight your outlet at that moment?
“I haven’t really thought about that much. I think that they're positive people that try to do a lot of good for the world. And I think that my speech aligns with their mission. So, for them to recognize me and be the first outlet for them to showcase was great. It's a great way to start the decade for me, for them because it shows where their interests are taking them in a positive direction.”
Did you get the chance to communicate with Harry and Meghan directly?
“All I will say is that we basically share an appreciation for one another and what the other is doing. They were grateful for what Good News Movement is doing and the impact that it's having in the world. And I share appreciation for all that they do and all the causes that they support.”
What was it like to have your platform amplified on such a grand scale? Did it bring more high-profile eyes to the cause?
“I’m just happy to be a portal of good news and to expand the reach. I’m glad it’s amplifying my platform, and I’m very thankful. Before they followed me, I did have people with large platforms like Kristen Bell, Jennifer Garner and William Levy. Of course, the royal stamp of approval always feels good. I always say I'm grateful for people that are famous and all they do to use their platform for good. I'm also grateful to the person who's got 50 followers and just wants to be a part of something positive, and I welcome everyone and to me everyone has such value.”
Are there any plans for the Good New Movement to move beyond social media?
“I think further down the line that's excellent, and we have been chatting about doing events. The idea is to continue growing and encouraging people to find good news, and in person doing things that support its mission whether it's get togethers or getting people together to volunteer somewhere. I think social media has an incredible power to connect those who need help or with those who want to help.”
What do you want everyone to take away from the Good News Movement and this experience going forward?
“I hope that it will have people appreciate all of the beautiful things we have on this earth. I hope it'll brighten their days. I hope that it leaves people thinking, and it puts them in a good frame of mind and inspires them.”