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Danielle Raymond

Why did you decide to volunteer to teach the Free To Be program?

We are living in a time when eating disorders and body image issues are rampant. Children are being sexualized, forced into gendered boxes, and filled with limiting beliefs about themselves. Much of this comes from the media. This program teaches media literacy, positive body image, and gender equality, all of which are absolutely crucial to facilitate healthy development. I wanted to be a part of that.

What gets your excited to jump out of bed in the morning?

The prospect of having coffee. I am not a morning person. 

What is something you are proud of? 

My advocacy work.

In your mind what is the most important thing that Free To Be teaches?

It teaches critical thinking. This is curricula because children and teens are consuming so much media, often without understanding and questioning it's power, persuasion, and deception.

If you could go back and give your 12-year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Not everyone who enters your life is worthy of your time and attention. Set and stick to your boundaries. If you're hurting, use your voice, not your body to convey those feelings. Appreciate your body for what it can do, not for what it looks like.