As a part of the school’s Engage Community Education series, Brentwood Academy will host TEDx speaker Lizzie Velasquez, who will share her story and video documentary, A Brave Heart.
Velasquez was the target of massive cyber bullying and her journey details effects of the bullying and the impact on her life. Velasquez will speak at Brentwood Academy at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, in the upper school gymnasium, along with the showing of her documentary. She will field questions at the end of the presentation.
The Lizzie Velasquez story chronicles the inspiring life of 27-year- old, 58-pound Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist. She was born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight. Only two other people are living with this syndrome. She was first bullied as a child in school for looking different and, later on-line, as a teenager. It was then that she discovered a YouTube video labeling her “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” The film chronicles unheard of stories and details of Lizzie’s physical and emotional journey up to her multi-million-viewed TEDx talk, and follows her pursuit from a motivational speaker to author to Capitol Hill as she lobbies for the first federal anti-bullying bill.
Lizzie’s experiences also prompted her to become an author. Her first work, co-authored with her mother, Rita, is a self-published autobiography published in 2010 in English and Spanish. It is called Lizzie Beautiful: The Lizzie Velásquez Story and includes letters Velásquez’s mother wrote to her as a child.
Velásquez has also written two books directed at teenagers, which share personal stories and offer advice. Be Beautiful, Be You (2012) shares her journey “to discover what truly makes us beautiful, and teaches readers to recognize their unique gifts and blessings.” Another book, Choosing Happiness (2014), talks about some of the obstacles Velásquez has faced and how she “learned the importance of choosing to be happy when it’s all too easy to give up.” Her most recent book, Dare to Be Kind will be published and released on June 6, 2017.
The public is invited to attend this event and there is no admission charge. Brentwood Academy is located at 219 Granny White Pike. Guests are encouraged to use the campus’ north entrance for parking. For more information, visit the Brentwood Academy website at www.brentwoodacademy.com/campus-life/engage.