Meet Emily-Anne Rigal, a 16 year old girl that is on a mission to "stop hate". She is pretty, smart, driven, and ppassionate about social change and youth empowerment. Emily is also the founder and director of WeStopHate.org. A program that is raising teen-esteem through the power of online videos and social media. Above is one of her many videos, which by the way has had over 35,000 views on a channel that has 6,500 loyal teen subscribers--> talk about positive influence! We had a change to chat with this phenomenal social change agent to get to know her a little bit more.
TSIMP: How did you come up with .he concept of "teen esteem" and for the WeStopHate.org movement?
Emily-Anne: I thought "teen-esteem" was fun, hip, and less intimidating than “self-esteem.” Additionally, I loved that we could create the definition of “teen-esteem” ourselves! We define it as being proud to stand out in a crowd and having the confidence to stand up for yourself and your beliefs.
TSIMP: If teens (and adults) could walk away with just one thing after learning about your organization, what would you want it to be?
Emily-Anne: My hope is that everyone involved with WeStopHate lets go of their fear of others judging them, and always remains true to themselves. I want teens to celebrate themselves for who they are!
TSIMP: So tell us more about these awesome wristbands..
Emily-Anne: We sell wristbands with “WeStopHate” on them at http://www.westophate.ecrater.com. Not only is it a great way to support the WeStopHate movement, but it also serves as a daily reminder to love yourself!
TSIMP: What do you think it would take to get young people to "Dream Big"?
Emily-Anne: Mentors and role models are essential for teens dreaming big, because having someone to look up to and believe in you, gives you that extra confidence to dream BIG! Young people should strive to find something they are passionate about and give it their all.
TSIMP: How have you been able to overcome any of your insecurities?
Emily-Anne: I overcome my insecurities by trying not to take things too personally because my insecurities were rooted in my fear of what others would think about me. Also, I make sure to surround myself with people who are positive and supportive.
TSIMP: To be so young and so passionate about giving teenagers the confidence to stand up for themselves ..where do you get your courage from?
Emily-Anne: Standing out and being different instead of trying to be “normal” and fit in has always been important to me. I am also very fortunate to have met some great role models and mentors who inspire and motivate me. It was definitely intimidating to start WeStopHate, but I think the key was just starting it and not over thinking what I was doing – once I started, it was not nearly as daunting as I had thought it might be.