INTERVIEW: Author Veronica N. Chapman On Building The Self-Esteem Of Our Youth
Inspiring Author Veronica N. Chapman talks with AFROPHIRE about her vision of building the self-esteem of our youth and her Kickstarter campaign for her children’s book I Know I Can! . Let’s meet Veronica!
Photo Credit: Craig Bailey
AM: Hello Veronica! We can’t tell you what a pleasure and an honor it is to be able to talk with you. We’re really excited to find out more on the details about your book I Know I Can and your passion for the youth. Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Name, where you’re from, life’s passion, etc.)
V: Thank you so much for having me! I am truly honored! My name is Veronica Nicole Chapman and I am a Jersey girl living in the Boston area. I am really committed to using my talents to inspire, educate, and empower young people so everything I do tends to be intertwined with my social mission.
AM: Who/What was the inspiration behind your children’s book I Know I Can! ?
V: I wrote I Know I Can! during the week before my graduation from Spelman College in 2003; but it wasn’t until now that I really felt the need to publish it. I have a youth organization called Boxxout that designs and implements educational workshops for teens. One of the workshops focuses solely on building the self-esteem of teenage girls. Seeing first-hand how negative messages in society have impacted our teenager girls, I now know it’s so important that we help strengthen the foundation of little girls so they can be better prepared to cope with the negativity they will face. It’s for this reason that this children’s book really needs to be published.
AM: Who/What is the inspiration behind the main character Faith? Who/What does Faith represent?
V: Faith represents freedom, courage, faith, and love. She’s a little girl who was empowered at a very young age by her mom who told her “with God all things are possible” and she really took that message to heart and approaches the world in an unstoppable way. Faith helps demonstrate that if we sow encouraging and empowering words and messages into our little girls, they will be better prepared for all that comes with life.
AM: What are some other ways that you work to influence the youth?
V: I design practical and honest educational workshops for teenagers that really get teens thinking critically and provide them with tools and techniques that they can apply in their everyday lives. I also wrote and produced a play called Ancestors Inc. that is a motivational play for youth with a focus on empowering black boys.
AM: What are some ways that we can take action to help build the self-esteem of the young girls in our lives?
V: Here are a few things we can do:
- Verbally acknowledge, validate, and help them hone their strengths.
Does the little girl in your life like to put puzzles together and solve problems? If so, keep supporting that interest! You never know—you could be raising an engineer!
- Encourage them to challenge themselves. Provide guidance. Do whatever must be done, but don’t let them give up!
Once a person (even a little person) overcomes one challenge, when presented with another they will have the confidence to confront it. This practice will serve them in every aspect of their life.
- Tell them they are wonderful, intelligent, fabulous, brilliant, loving, caring, gorgeous, kind, sweet, generous . . .
I’m the type of person who is quick to compliment someone if there is something that stands out about them. They could give off great energy, be a great leader, have awesome shoes, hair, jewelry, makeup, or just an awesome smile. Whatever my compliment may be, it’s always genuine, well-received, and a day-maker. I’m sure there are many adjectives you could use to compliment your little one. Compliment her today! She will love you (and herself) all the more.
- Support I Know I Can! on Kickstarter! 🙂
AM: Tell us more about I Know I Can! on Kickstarter and how we can support?
V: I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the completion and publication of I Know I Can!, which is being illustrated by Daveia Odoi of The DynaSmiles. It would be wonderful if everyone would visit the Kickstarter page (http://kck.st/1lkmBTX) and pre-order their copy today, or contribute in any way they can so the little girls in their life will learn to dream big and take action! The campaign ends next Monday, July 28th at 3!
AM: What’s your favorite quote or saying?
V: “There’s a hero in you waiting to happen.” ~ Ledisi
AM: Any words of wisdom or anything extra that you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
V: Some people base success on how much money one makes or the material things one possesses. I believe we are successful when we have the courage to act on our visions and dreams despite our fears. Be courageous.
AM: How can the readers connect with you? (Ideas: Email Addy, blogs/vlogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc)
V: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AM: Veronica, we must say this was such an inspiring experience for us all. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing vision with us to impact young girls everywhere. Here at Afrophire Magazine, we like to conclude every interview by having you finish the statement: “I SHINE because ___________________.”
V: I SHINE because I’m committed to sharing my joy with the world.
Which action will you take to help build the self-esteem of the youth in your life? Drop a comment below!
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Afrophire Magazine is an online faith-based natural hair + lifestyle magazine. We like to call it the Brighter Life Guide.