February 28, 2014

Back in my older YouTube days I made a friend, Emily-Anne. She was always different in a good way. While everyone else was making music videos to Ke$ha's latest hits (nothing against my girl Ke$ha, of course), she was making inspirational and uplifting videos. I always knew she'd make something great of herself.

Emily-Anne, holding up a sign for "Active Minds Eating Disorder Awareness + Body Positivity Week" (Feb 24-27).

Now, she has! Emily-Anne is the founder and director of a Realize inc. anti-bullying/self esteem-raising NGO called We Stop Hate. The main idea of WSH is to stop teens that put other teens down just to raise their self esteem. Stopping this prevents the harmful impact it can have on the ones who are bullied. The organization also strives to give teens ways to raise their self-esteem.
This is done on various social media platforms. There are hundreds on videos on the site made by fellow teens who have similar experiences and are willing to help. Knowing your not alone can be the first step to a happy life. The word is spread through through videos, apparel, newsletters, and social media platforms. Aside from being featured on The Today Show, Seventeen Magzine, Forbes, MTV, CNN, and more, Emily-Anne also shared that she is working on a huge project withYouTubers and Celebrities and a self-esteem guide to be released in 2016!
WSH has been sponsored by Nickelodeon and The Body Shop. 

picture from westophate.org

Click here to read, watch, get involved, or donate!

Now, what about Emily-Anne? She's currently attending Barnard College at Columbia University majoring in Urban Studies. Self-esteem building is no new idea for Emily-Anne. She interned at Seventeen Magazine and worked with a health editor to make body peace videos about the Seventeen Magazine staff. She also interned at the Chew. Between her busy life at school and organizing WSH, she took time to catch up with me and ask some questions!

What keeps you going on a day when you're stressed?
"I try to take things one task a time. When I'm really busy, I prioritize. I have giant sticky notes and write own all the things that I need to do, and I have another giant sticky note, and write down what order it needs to get done. It keeps me sane. It's nice to see it visually."

"The act of being able to juggle different things is such a good skill."

How does it feel making a difference?
It feels really good to give back. By doing things to serve other people... it helps give you a sense of purpose. It feels really rewarding to do something to make a difference in someone else's life. On days when I feel like there's a lot to do, I can look back and realize I did something to help someone else, and it makes me want to continue. Like if you give a compliment to someone else, you feel good about yourself."

Inspirational words for people trying to make a difference?
"There's this quote that I really love:
'You don't have to be brave to start, but you have to start to be brave'
- Big Ziglar
My biggest advice for people that want to make a difference is just start. I didn't have all the answers, I just believed I could do something... I just started and learned along the way and that mentality just stayed with me all the way. You just have to try and it will all come together."

"Its about figuring what you want then going balls to the walls after that"

What's next after school?
"I'm a sophomore, I'll be doing four years, and my hope is to work full-time at WeStopHate after I graduate, working on the mission and growing the business when I graduate."

She also had some advice for either college freshmen, like myself, or even highschoolers. "I learned so much freshmen year. Where I am today and where I was last year is two difference people. You'll have plenty of time, don't worry."

I hope Emily-Anne's story inspired you. Thank you so much, Emily-Anne for catching up and letting me put you in the spotlight! 

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