The Power of Validation
The Validation Project began because I was at my lowest point. I was fourteen, barely surviving my freshman year of high school, knee-deep in the familiar trope of a broken home and bullies at school. I tried to discuss these issues with family and teachers with no luck. Far too often, my generation is described as lazy, entitled, and self-obsessed — which could not be further from the truth. I craved a space where I could work with other youth to solve the issues we face and prove to the world that we are worth listening to. When I couldn’t find that space, I thought, why not create it? I was already at my lowest point; being at rock bottom meant I had nothing to lose. One day, I saw another student being bullied. I went up to him and said two words that would change both of our lives; "You matter."
His response, that my words "validated" him, brought me to the inspiration for The Validation Project, an opportunity for my generation to prove its worth, and use its talents for social change. Five years since starting The Validation Project, it’s grown into an international organization that works with more than 6,000 young people in 105 countries to solve pressing issues through social justice assignments, mentoring, and "kindness" curriculum that currently replaces government anti-bullying curriculum in 1,000 schools worldwide, teaching educators how to work with students to positively impact the community, as opposed to simply teaching tolerance.
The Validation Project is led by myself, a team of people managing various aspects such as public relations, fundraising, chapters and mentoring, as well as educators, mentors, and student leaders of our Validation Project chapters.
As for what's next for us: I was recently one of the ten women in the U.S to be honored as a L'Oreal Paris Woman Of Worth, providing me with a $10,000 grant to continue my work and access to mentorship from L'Oreal Paris. Now, I am partnering with L’Oreal Paris to launch Trailblazers, a Validation Project campaign that will provide low-income middle and high school girls in the United States with career field trips to places such as L’Oreal, Google, Bloomberg, and Facebook, in addition to professional supplies, women-led workshops, and female mentorship. I am also launching Popcorn Pop-Ups, an additional Validation Project campaign which will provide free film screenings for middle and high school girls about women’s rights and activism, with a panel of local female leaders for subsequent programming.
Sevenly is honored to stand by Val's incredible movement, spreading kindness and love throughout schools all across the country, and to children across the world. Support Val's Education Collection today #BecausePeopleMatter