What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
I wanted to be a pediatrician, but I think that’s mainly because we are asked to answer the wrong question when we are children. Had I been asked, “What problem in the world do you want to solve?” or “How do you want to make the world better?” I think I would have still wanted to do something meaningful that impacted children in a positive way; but I would have explored more options at a younger age.
What are some different jobs you’ve had in your life?
I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkmenistan when I graduated University. I then, taught English in South Korea before becoming a curriculum designer and redesigning learning programs in over twenty countries.
What do you work toward in your spare time?
I truly believe that I was brought here to make learning a feel-good experience for kids everywhere. So, my work feels like play and is often intertwined. I love to create songs for kids, create games, visit children in different communities, study foreign languages, and read. Reading fuels my creativity.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I’m most creative at night. My favorite time to wake up is 2pm and my favorite time to go to bed is 7am. There is magic in creating while the world seems to be asleep.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my connection to children all over the world. I feel so lucky and I believe that those experiences have provided me with the most lessons, the most clarity, and a beautiful opportunity to grow in emotional intelligence. Traveling in itself is a beautiful experience. But, combining such travel with opportunities to really connect with those who will be responsible for shaping our future world, provides hope and inspiration.
What are you known for?
I’m known for inspiring others to create an impact in their lives, especially children. Everyone wants to feel seen and like they are doing something that matters. Whenever I create a program or sit with a child, I consider a way to create an instant micro win for them. We are so used to spending years to maybe accomplish something, but kids want to be heard right now, just like you. Grab your phone and record their cooking show. Publish their stories on Amazon and help them to become authors. Give them a teaching role in the family and stick by that. I’m definitely known for being “team-child”!
What inspires you?
Ahhh…I am so easily inspired. But, mostly, hardships inspire me. I imagine us all as little spirits begging to come to Earth one day to learn all of the lessons, so that we can one day use them to help others. So, whenever I experience something that may not be the most feel good experience in that moment, I ask, “Okay, I asked for this. So, what gift is it helping me to provide to the world?” That feels so good!
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
I’ve taught all over the world. Sometimes in places that were governed by dictators who did not support the education of girls. I’ve been harrassed by KGB secret police, threatened, and even had my telephones tapped. That’s how important education is. That’s how powerful it is. I’m grateful to be chosen for this work.
Why did you apply to be an O Mag Insider?
When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkmenistan, I had an O Magazine, and I would use it to help teach some of my girls English. The topics were so powerful. We would sit and debate them. We bonded closer than ever. It’s an honor to have a chance to support the brand and help it to succeed.
How do you live your best life?
I live my best life by following my curiosities. I believe that curiosities are the seeds that really make a beautiful life. The concept of having a passion can either empower you or compel one to feel inadequate. But, there is tremendous joy found in dancing with one’s curiosity and honoring it for having chosen you.
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Doesn’t Work by Shefali Tsabary.
What’s a day in your life like?
It really depends on what country I am in. Right now, I am in Thailand. I read as soon as I wake up. Then, I hit the gym and usually meditate on my yoga mat before I work out. After that I eat and do a bit of writing. Then, I either visit a school or have a conference call with educators. Then, it’s time to create. Right now, I’m working on an animated course about EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for kids. I spend a few hours developing programs for kids or teens in different countries and on my own learning platform, kidyouniversity. At 8pm, I host a digital mastermind for entrepreneurs who want to build businesses that make an impact. After the mastermind, I often have a few other calls to make. Then, I get to play. Sometimes I create something fun. Other times I go for a swim or venture out to experience the culture a bit more. I keep a schedule that’s pretty flexible and allows me to create content that makes a difference.
Click through the following links:
This is part of an ongoing series, introducing you to the dynamic individuals who make up O, The Oprah Magazine’s Brand Ambassadors known as the O Mag Insiders. For more information on the program or to apply, click HERE.