Valerie Weisler - Uniting Teenagers Across the World to Solve Social Justice IssuesMy Big Story
A teenager uses her experience of being bullied to create a global organization that helps teenagers overcome social justice issues and validates their worth
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Special announcement: This marks our one year anniversary of the show. We couldn’t be happier with the how this has happened and for all of our guests and listeners. We’re also excited to share a few changes coming up in the next episode to connect everything we’re doing, to tell even better stories.
Today on the show is Valerie Weisler, who founded The Validation Project, originally to help children who were being bullied in school, to now an international organization that unites teenagers in 105 countries to solve social justice issues. This sounds amazing, and it really is, but there is another ingredient that makes this story even more interesting. Val started The Validation Project when she was fourteen years old, when she was being bullied in school herself. Now at nineteen, she is busier than ever. She’s leading and expanding her organization. She’s also an ambassador for the U.S. Department of State, and she’s still in college.
Val and I talk about her backstory, why she created The Validation Project, how it has evolved, how these experiences are shaping her career and life, balancing everything, advice for others, and even more.
I’ve been wanting to talk to Val for a while now, and to be honest, I was happily surprised by how this nineteen year old is following her passions — because at nineteen, I was nowhere near this focused. Also, I really love how Val’s work and ideas are personal. They stem from situations she’s experienced, and she wants to make sure her generation has a voice in solving them.
[:01] This episode marks one year for Living Your Journey with Christopher Swan.
[1:52] Christopher introduces today’s guest, Valerie Weisler.
[3:23] What is The Validation Project?
[6:49] How Valerie turned The Validation Project into a movement.
[10:02] How can the organization help the victims and the bullies.
[11:27] What caused Val to start her own movement rather than looking for something that already existed?
[12:59] Have there been any big surprises for Val along the way?
[16:09] How Val has used her voice to connect youth with their dreams.
[18:38] Leading The Validation Project has shaped Val’s educational and career plans.
[22:38] The Validation Project is giving teenagers the opportunity to work toward the person they want to be.
[24:29] Who have been the biggest mentors and influencers for Val?
[27:58] Val shares how she has learned to connect a personal and professional life.
[30:33] Val discusses how she finds balance in her life when she’s so busy.
[35:10] The things that hold Val back and get in her way.
[39:09] What’s s next for The Validation Project?
[41:56] Where to find Valerie and The Validation Project online.
[43:16] What did you think? Any new ideas or questions? Call us at 1-707-347-9312 to share ideas, stories and feedback. Also, we have even more content, stories and ideas at accidentalinformation.com. Here’s how to connect and find out more.
Mentioned in This Episode
@mechristopher on Instagram
@mechristopher on Twitter
@accidentalinformation on Instagram
Accidental Information on Facebook
@accidentalinfo on Twitter
@thevalidate on Twitter
The Validation Project on Facebook
@thevalidationproject on Instagram
@valiswiser on Instagram
@valiswiser on Twitter
“I decided that this idea of ‘confirming’ something could be such a powerful thing for my generation.”
“I didn’t want to change people, I just wanted to confirm the skills and the passions they already had inside of them.”
“I wanted there to be a space where my generation had a voice.”
“I was putting all my effort into it because I wasn’t afraid of it turning into something huge.”
“Most teenagers don’t get the exposure to do what they want to do.”
“You should look at the world and not just see the problems, but also how you could create the solutions.”
“You have to try to use the people who tell you no as your fuel to prove them wrong.”
See Val speak at the TEDx Youth@Hewitt event