The Validation Project

Helping young people turn their passion into positive action.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
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Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

February 23rd, 2018

Where are you located:

State 1: Allentown, PA 18104 (where I'm located)
The Validation Project is present in all 50 states, as well as internationally.

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

www.thevalidationproject.org
www.valerieweisler.com
Facebook: The Validation Project and Valerie Weisler
Instagram: @thevalidationproject and @valiswiser
Twitter: @TheValidate and @valiswiser

Date Started

January 16th, 2013

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

I was bullied brutally my freshman year of high school because I was so shy. Kids would tell me to commit suicide and spread rumors that I was mute. One day, I saw another student getting bullied and he told me he was planning to take his own life before I went up to him and said, "You matter". This inspired me to start The Validation Project. My generation faces immense insecurities and self-hate. I vowed to provide a place for young people to have the support, resources, and tools necessary for collaboration to turn their passions into platforms for social change.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Far too often, my generation is described as lazy, entitled, and self-obsessed — which could not be further from the truth. We have incredible potential brewing inside of us, but so many people disregard our ideas as unworthy simply because of our age. This disregard to our ideas translates into an intense, and often permanent, decrease in our self-esteem.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

The Validation Project (TVP) is a unique space both by and for young people, providing the resources and support to elevate these ideas and turn them into platforms for tangible change. Over the past five years, TVP has become an international movement, working with more than 6,000 young people in 105 countries through one-on-one mentoring. Following this mentorship, the young people are assigned a skill-based social justice project. For example, if they are passionate about cooking and just mentored with a chef, they will be sent to a local homeless shelter to help ensure the meals provide proper nutrition. In addition, my self-designed "kindness curriculum" is taught in nearly 1,000 schools, teaching educators how to work with their students to solve problems in their community. 90% of schools teaching the curriculum say that within four months of its implementation, bullying decreases immensely, cliques diminish, and students have an increased interest in social justice and sense of self-worth. The Validation Project provides two-part validation; young people learn their worth and are given the resources to use their worth to make a positive impact.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

A while ago, high school senior named Valeria reached out to TVP. Valeria was living in a small village in Peru. Valeria shared that her teachers told her and her female peers that they would never be more than housewives after high school. Valeria, who aspired to be a fashion designer, was outraged and wanted resources for her and her peers to surpass their expectations. We worked with Valeria to launch #ThisIsForTheGirls, a social media campaign that encouraged girls globally to share both why they are proud to be a girl and the struggles they face because of their gender. Valeria's school then approached TVP about teaching our kindness curriculum, which we focused on women's rights. We also partnered Valeria with a clothing designer, and she now attends the Fashion Institute of Technology. Valeria wants to use fashion as a platform for social change.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

The Validation Project is dedicated to showing young people their worth. My work is unique because I am living it as I am leading it. Our entire leadership team (representatives of states and countries, Validation Project chapter presidents) is made up of youth. We are proving to the world that young people anything but self-absorbed. We are self-aware and dedicated to changing this world for the better. TVP provides the resources and support to make that happen.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

The Validation Project works with 6,000+ teens and 3,000 mentors in 105 countries. TVP's social justice campaigns have raised awareness and $65,000 in goods/services for causes such as homelessness, domestic violence, LGBTQ rights, women's rights and more. Our "kindness curriculum" teaches youth and educators in nearly 1,000 schools how to move past tolerance and create positive change.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Since receiving the L'Oreal Paris Woman of Worth Award in 2017, I've worked to launch Trailblazers, a new campaign that will provide low-income middle and high school girls in the United States with career field trips to high-profile companies (hopefully T-Mobile and Ashoka!), in addition to professional supplies, women-led workshops and female mentorship. Trailblazers will begin in NYC in the Fall of 2018 at L'Oreal Paris. I am also launching Popcorn Pop-Ups, which will provide young people with free screenings of films tackling various issues, with a panel of leaders afterward. The first pop-up occurred in May 2018 in Allentown, PA, where 101 young girls and their families watched RBG and I moderated a panel of local female leaders.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

I need connections to more high-profile companies that will be open to hosting middle and high school girls as Trailblazers at their headquarters for a day of networking, workshops, and experiential learning, as well as funding to support the students involved in Trailblazers and to continue holding Popcorn Pop-Ups. I also need mentorship to properly execute these two new campaigns, as they will be our first national campaigns that are not fully online-based.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Donations over $10k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

I would like to work with school leaders around the United States to have their female-identifying students become Trailblazers, in addition to working with these school leaders to hold Popcorn Pop-Ups at their school/local movie theater with film(s) about the most prevalent issues in their area and on the national and global scale. I would also be interested in working with different young leaders to start more Validation Project chapters at their schools/in their communities. In addition, I would like to partner with other youth leaders and hear their thoughts on how Trailblazers, Popcorn Pop-Ups, and The Validation Project as a whole could grow and be more active in different geographical areas and different areas of social justice.
Currently, I am working closely with L'Oreal Paris to launch the first Trailblazers event at their headquarters in New York City this November. I also worked closely with the local theatre, Boys and Girls Club, and Girls on the Run in Allentown, PA, (where I attend Muhlenberg College) to plan the first Popcorn Pop-Up for the RBG Movie, securing female leaders as panelists and involving youth organizations to bring their students.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Disability community
  • Low-income community
  • LGBTQ community
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

Evaluation results

13 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 61.5%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 15.4%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 23.1%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 76.9%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 7.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 15.4%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 23.1%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 53.8%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 15.4%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 7.7%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 20%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 20%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 10%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 53.8%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 15.4%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 15.4%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 7.7%

1 - This entry is weak here - 7.7%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

This inspired (1)

Prosthetics for Change

77 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Armani Simmons
Team

Wow. Your platform has touched the lives of so many people. You are doing great things in the communities in which you serve..

Photo of Ariyan Miller
Team

Hey There Fellow Changemaker,

Congrats on moving to the next phase. I wishing you the best of luck ! & I am sending love and light to all the positive things that you do.

Photo of Haley Miller
Team

We absolutely LOVE your project. It would be amazing to work with you and possibly get mentorship for our project @Fourteen Reasons Why NOT. We are in the process of trying to get it into schools and spread the word about suicide awareness. Amazing job on all your hard work!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Haley! I'd love to see what we could do together. Amazing job on yours, as well!

Photo of Mamoudou Bah
Team

Awesome job Valerie Weisler ! I greatly appreciate how your project emphasizes the individual importance of individuals. Homelessness is an issue that I'm not okay with and I would love to work with you to tackle homelessness here in America and other parts of the world.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Mamoudou! I really appreciate your kind words. I would love to work with you - please feel free to email thevalidationproject@gmail.com!

Photo of Sohil
Team

Hey Valerie,
I love your project! I've known of you from JAF & Three Dot Dash, but this is the first time I'm reading about you more in-depth about the work you are doing. Inspiring would be an understatement. Keep at it!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Sohil! That really means a lot to me coming from a fellow GTL. <3

Photo of Sierra RyanWallick
Team

I've known Valerie since we met at the Jefferson Awards National Ceremony in 2014, and she has grown a lot since then! Keep it up, Valerie! Let me know if you ever want to partner on a project together because I think we could make some awesome change together! :D

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Sierra! I'd love to do something together!

Photo of Sierra RyanWallick
Team

Awesome! We can think up something that will definitely impact a lot of people! Let's do this!

Photo of Bug and Bee Lucas
Team

This is a wonderful idea and I'm so glad that you turned your ashes into something beautiful to help others. This is something that is so desperately needed.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you, Bug and Bee! That means so much to me.

Photo of Kathleen Kapila
Team

In these perilous times when it is so challenging to find positive ways to influence and implement change the Validation Project is phenomenal. Valerie Weisler is an exceptional person; extremely intelligent, energetic, creative, and determined. I firmly believe we will be seeing spectacular things from her in the future.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Kathleen! I loved working with you at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and your words mean the world to me.

Photo of Cait Spencer-West
Team

This is an amazing project that I hope to see grow! As a school based social worker, I see a dire need for projects like this every single day with my students. I also recently lost my 16 year old brother to suicide, and as I watch the rise of suicide I truly believe projects like this can help prevent more adolescents from feeling inadequate and hopeless.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Cait Spencer-West this message brought tears to my eyes. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. The work you do as a social worker is vital - I have no doubt that you serve as a life-changing member of your school. I would love to see how we could perhaps work together next school year. If you are interested, please email me at thevalidationproject@gmail.com. Thank you for everything you do.

Photo of Melina Economos
Team

Wow Val ! Incredible!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Melina! I always appreciate your ideas at our house!

Photo of Omar Varela
Team

I think the mixture of having a mentor and also doing something for others is a great way of tackling this issue. It feels like you’re providing a supportive and rewarding system for these young people.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Omar. I couldn't agree more - there's incredible power in having someone to look up to and being shown the power you have in yourself, too.

Photo of Lynne Richheimer
Team

Valerie,
I heard you speak recently in Manhattan along with Ruth Messinger. Your personal story and work are inspirational. I believe that you and your organization will help many.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Lynne, thank you so much for your kind words and support - truly means the world to me!

Photo of Sarah Dees
Team

Val is abou the most deserving, hardworking person I’ve ever met. If anyone should get this grants, it’s her.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Sarah, I can't thank you enough for your kind words. Love seeing how you're exceeding at Cambridge!

Photo of Cynthia Silva
Team

Amazing

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much for your support, Cynthia!! So excited to see what you do as a grad!

Photo of Esther Kimmelman
Team

Amazing work!! I love The Validation Project!!!!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Esther!

Photo of Cindy Cerone
Team

Valerie you are amazing! ��

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you SO much for your kind words, Cindy!

Photo of Brooke Weber
Team

Val, this is incredible! The Validation Project is such an unbelievable creation & I hope that through this more people learn about how absolutely incredible you are! Good luck!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Brooke, thank you SO much! It was wonderful to have you as the official artist for our latest program and I can't wait to work together more in the future!!

Photo of Meghan Coyle
Team

Val!! You never fail to amaze and inspire me!!! What you are doing is so important and your positivity and passion are so valued!!!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

MEG! Thank you so much!! I am beyond grateful to have your support!!!!

Photo of Taylor Hunsberger
Team

Val and her work have done so much for the Allentown community and this is only the beginning. I am so excited that I get to know and work with her and spread her message to my favorite place on earth.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

TAYLOR! It's a joy to have you as a Program Collaborator and I am so grateful for your support!

Photo of Michele Deegan
Team

Val is a true change maker who already knows how a little kindness can make a huge difference!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Professor Deegan! It's an honor to have your support and work with you!

Photo of Ariel Torres
Team

Valerie Weisler  this is Awesome! I can think of no one more deserving of this! Congratulations!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Ariel! Your support means the world to me!

Photo of Lisa Mansion
Team

WOW! I really hope The Validation Project gets chosen. My daughter runs a Validation Project chapter in St. Louis, Missouri and it completely changed her life...their programs made her realize her worth and potential. GOOD LUCK!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Lisa! We've loved working with your daughter and really appreciate your support!

Photo of Rena Dorph
Team

I learned about the amazing work you do at the Covenant Foundation Project Director's meeting in February. This project is amazing! Keep up the great work.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Rena! Your support means so much to me. I'd love to connect - I'm going to be in San Francisco and September and would love to see if there's a way we could collaborate.

Photo of Taylor Chase
Team

Everything you and this organization do is amazing and inspiring!!!!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Taylor!!!! Thank you so so much!!

Photo of Monique Beaupre
Team

You are so amazing in everything you say and do!! Your heart gets bigger and bigger and I will never not be inspired by you.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

I love you and am so lucky to have you in my life!! Always inspired by you, too. <3

Photo of Charlie Leppert
Team

I've been following the Validation Project since its creation, and I never fail to be amazed and inspired by the beautiful, necessary work Val does. Looking forward to all the incredible new things in the future ��

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Charlie - that really means so, so much to me. <3

Photo of Emily DeMazza
Team

INSPIRED

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

THANK YOU!

Photo of Michelle Gibber
Team

What an inspiration you are to so many - you restore my faith in the goodness in people and the unlimited potential we possess to make a difference. I’m so proud to know you and to watch your amazing journey!!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Ms. Gibber! I am so blessed to have your support!!

Photo of Matt Krass
Team

The best ideas are simple ideas. Val has cracked the code with such a simple idea here— validate others and let them know that they matter. There is no walk of life and no corner of the world where this isn’t applicable, and I am so glad to see Val carrying this message out there.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Wow, Matt. Thanks so much - your words truly mean the world to me.

Photo of Belle Goodman
Team

Val’s commitment to making the world a better place for everyone is so inspiring! She’s truly a breath of fresh air in such a damaging world.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Wow, thank you so much, Belle! That means the world to me.

Photo of Lisa Fiore
Team

Love what you are doing!!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Lisa!

Photo of Ali Ruchman
Team

I’m so proud of everything you’ve accomplished since 2013!! It’s been a long journey that is far from over and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future <3

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you SO much, Ali! Truly means the world. <3

Photo of Olivia Hardinnieri
Team

Hi! Ideas like these are super inspiring. We are so grateful that something like this exists. We are starting high school ourselves in only a matter of months. It is good to know that if something like this were to happen to us, there is a resource available.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Olivia! We are here for you!

Photo of Chris Weisler
Team

Valerie i hope you know how proud i am of you. You are such an inspiration to many young people today and knowing these young people can come to you for support,love, direction and guidance to let them know they are not alone. Love you!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Aunt Chris! Your support means the world to me. Love you, too!

Photo of Prabha Dublish
Team

Hey Valerie! I love this idea so much and think it's so needed. Congratulations on all your success thus far and wishing you the best moving forward.

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Prabha! Right back at you!

Photo of Tyler Vogel
Team

Thank you so much for sharing your message and amazing project Valerie! What an incredible program this is, I look forward to following more on what you do and how TVP continues to grow!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Tyler! I really appreciate that and find your work really interesting also!

Photo of Ashley Lin
Team

Valerie -
This is such an amazing idea! It's so important for young people to connect with their passions, and be provided the resources to pursue it on a deeper level. Finding my own passion for innovation and entrepreneurship has changed the way I see myself, my community, and opened doors to new opportunities. It's inspiring to see The Validation Project making this journey a reality for all students!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Thank you so much, Ashley! That means a lot to me. I love what you're doing also!

Photo of Ashita Dhadda
Team

Hello Valerie,
I am inspired by your commitment to this cause. The impact that the Validation Project has had is beyond commendable. I would love for The Validation Project and Prosthetics for Change to collaborate to increase youth involvement for humanitarian work. Our website is prostheticsforchange.org. Please feel free to reach out. I would love to learn more.

Thanks,
Ashita Dhadda

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Hi Ashika,
Thank you so much for reaching out! Your work seems incredible. I would love to see how we can collaborate. I'll definitely take a look at your website and reach out!
Best,
Val

Photo of Sara Boyd
Team

Hi Valerie! I'm amazed by how much traction your project has gotten. Congratulations! I'm a student at Lehigh University working on youth empowerment with the Student Political Action Coalition, and we are focused on re-engaging our age demographic in the political process. I think our two organizations could really learn a lot from each other considering how much they've done already. Feel free to reach out!

Photo of Valerie Weisler
Team

Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for reaching out! It's so cool to hear what you're doing at Lehigh. I'd love to meet up in the fall and see what we could perhaps do together. My email is thevalidationproject@gmail.com - would love to chat!