New York City: unofficial capital of the world, main office of Born This Way Foundation, and birthplace of our co-founder Lady Gaga. What better city to convene our global youth advisory board, celebrate our local Kindness in Community Fund recipients, and launch an epic billboard in Times Square.
Of all the projects I’ve worked on during my time at Born This Way, building our youth advisory board that encompasses 30 young people from nine different countries on six continents has been one that I’m most proud of.
They began their term in the midst of the pandemic, which has meant that they’ve only ever connected with us and each other digitally. When we launched this group, we had high hopes that someday soon, we could host them all together in person to celebrate their time with us and all the work that they’ve achieved in building on and supporting our organization’s mission to support youth mental health and work alongside each other to build a kinder, braver world. Well, on August 12th, 2022, that finally happened. After months of prep from our team, we finally held our Advisory Board convening. Somehow, we avoided cancelled and delayed flights or other travel difficulties for those who traveled, and the ones who couldn’t make it joined us virtually. Together, we had an epic celebration.
It has been the honor of my life to see their excitement when they were selected over a year ago, to meet them on our first online meeting, to hear their ideas and feedback for our work, to watch some of them get accepted to colleges and graduate and win awards and meet the President (that really happened!)…the list goes on! But to just know them: that’s the real honor.
You’re an incredible group, and I’m forever grateful that your individual paths crossed with ours. Our world is better because you’re in it.
And to each young person reading this: we need you here, too. We’ll be sharing more about the invitation to apply to be part of next year’s Advisory Board soon, so stay tuned on Channel Kindness and our social media accounts.
During the Advisory Board convening – we had a surprise for them and the world: the launch of the Please Stay Pledge billboard in Times Square.
Times Square can’t shine as bright as you….yeah, YOU!
YOU’RE IMPORTANT (and so loved).
— Find Your Anchor (@FYAbox) August 12, 2022
We hope this message resonates with anyone and everyone who needs this life saving reminder. You matter, and we need you here. Learn more at PleaseStay.us.