Nine years ago on Leap Day – February 29, 2012 – my daughter and I took our own “leap of faith” with the creation of Born This Way Foundation.
When we set out on this journey together, we didn’t know exactly where we would land one year or much less nine years out, but we were sure of two things. First, our mission would be both simple and massive: to collaborate with young people to build a kinder and braver world. Second, those young people would always be at the heart of our work. No matter what, we would always follow their lead and let their unique perspectives and ideas inform each element of our initiatives. I’m proud to share that through the years, we’ve kept that promise and have been working to identify ways to validate and celebrate young people everywhere. You can read more on that in our Impact Report.
I’m overjoyed today to welcome even more young people into our legacy as we announce the search for our next class of Born This Way Foundation Advisors! This group of changemakers, ages 15 to 24, will play a pivotal role in the campaigns and projects core to our mission. Young people make a significant impact in communities around the world every day, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to invite them on as Advisors for our work.
Throughout the past nine years, young people have been paramount to our success in making kindness cool, validating the emotions of young people everywhere, and eliminating the stigma around mental health. In fact, three members of Team Born This Way Foundation started their journey with us as youth advisors – Shadille, our Communications and Outreach Manager, has been with us since the beginning, starting as a founding member of our inaugural Advisory Board. Two of our newest team members, Josh and Taylor, began as Channel Kindness Reporters (and are now New York Times Best Selling Authors!).
We’re honored to bring even more of these brave and compassionate individuals – like Shadille, Josh, and Taylor – into our orbit and continue to follow their lead as they pave the way for kindness, mental health, and inclusion.
It’s hard to believe next year when I sit down to write this anniversary email, we’ll be celebrating an entire decade of our work together. The years have flown by since Stefani and I took that leap of faith nine years ago, but all of your brave stories, your kindness, and your support have helped us to soar.