WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO VOLUNTEER TO TEACH THE FREE TO BE PROGRAM?
In my teen years and early 20's, I struggled with an eating disorder, poor body image and destructive behaviors. My journey to recovery wasn't perfect, I had plenty of ups and downs and I often felt like giving up - but I promised myself that when I got healthy, I would use my experiences to help others.
I became determined to "out" the media on the false portrayal of beauty. I wanted to inspire young girls and boys to believe in themselves and focus on the unique qualities that make them special, outside of their appearance.
Through an online search, I stumbled upon Free To Be and was nearly brought to tears by Renae's mission. I sent her an email introducing myself and explained that I wanted to do anything I could to help. Today, I've had the privilege of working with Renae for several years. She has taught me so much and I love getting to build and connect a positive online community through our social platforms.
WHAT GETS YOUR EXCITED TO JUMP OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
I sure do wish I could say I "jump" out of bed in the morning! I usually stumble over to the coffee pot! Honestly, I get so excited about the opportunity in each day. There are so many chances to meet someone new, try something for the first time, brighten someone's day, push beyond your limits...that's what I live for.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU ARE PROUD OF?
I'm proud of my initiative - when I decide I want something, I go after it, no questions asked.
IN YOUR MIND WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT FREE TO BE TEACHES?
Focusing on youth and empowering boys and girls to understand their value...what's better than that? I love that FTB teaches the importance of cultivating ourselves and others to become holistic people. By encouraging the message that we must focus on ALL aspects of who we are, we can free youth to develop confidence not premised on their appearance.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR 12-YEAR OLD SELF A PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would say "Be You." It's a tough world out there and we're constantly hearing messages telling us to look, act and be a certain way. Finally stepping into a phase of your life when you can really be unapologetically, you, is an incredible victory.