This week, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Ashley Olafsen, an incredible entrepreneur. Read more about Ashley below!
1. Why do conversations matter to you?
Conversations matter to me because they have the potential to change the world. Conversations can allow people to feel supported or understood....and this is how we change the world - through changing others, or by positively impacting others to feel supported and/or understood.
2. What is MOVE, how did you start this organization, and how did you arrive at your journey of finding your voice and creating your platform?
MOVE (Motivate. Overcome. Value. Empower.) is a summer program for middle school and high school aged girls, focusing on topics including: Body Image, Mental Health, Relationships, Leadership, Self-Esteem & more. I started this organization with my friend Lexie Phipps, after giving a few workshops to 8th grade girls. After struggling personally with mental health and self-esteem , I decided to do something, and so I created a space where young women could share their experiences and ultimately feel less alone. I found my voice when I realized that if no one else was going to talk about self-esteem in my community - and I believed someone really, really needed to - then I would be the one to speak up!
3. What is your vision of what you hope to accomplish with your platform and with the future of MOVE?
I hope to continue to empower young women to reach their fullest potentials. Ultimately, I want to reach as many young women as possible through the MOVEment, and I dream of a world where young women feel confident and encouraged. I want everything I do to reflect that mission; My social media, my MOVE program, and my personal interactions with young women. I want to be the person I needed when I was younger, and I want girls to feel supported and encouraged by me. Moving forward, I envision Lexie and I sharing our responsibilities with the women on our team even more - so there are even more leadership opportunities within the MOVEment.
4. How can we start more conversations about body image, the effects social media can have on body image, and self love - especially among young adults?
I think being open and honest about our personal experiences with body image and self-esteem is the best way to start more conversations; When one person is vulnerable and truthful about an experience, it gives other the opportunity to do so as well. This is how I train my small group leaders at my summer program... we encourage the small group leaders to be vulnerable and share with the girls in their group, because we know that it builds trust and comfort, and the girls in group will model the open behavior. It also gives others an opportunity to share.
5. How can our audience get involved with all that you're doing?
Anyone interested can follow @officialmove on Instagram, or my Instagram @ashleyolafsen as I frequently post opportunities online :)
6. How can young people today find their voices? What advice do you have?
I think we find our voices by trying them out...and then learning what feels authentic and what doesn't.