Interview about ‘Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old-Self’ at Wandering Educators

If you’re a family who travels or are interested in world education, chances are you’ve heard of Wandering Educators, a global community of educators hosted by a dear friend, Dr. Jessie Voigts, and her husband, Ed Forteau.

Not only have I had the privilege this past autumn of joining the faculty of Wandering Educators (more on this in a subsequent post), but my daughter is completing her first semester as a student in the Wandering Educators Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.

Yesterday, Jessie and I sat down for a bit to discuss my inspiration behind the Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self anthology, as well as how you can become involved. While it’s not explicitly mentioned, Jessie contributed a beautiful letter to the anthology, and is a great supporter of the project!

Jessie introduced the interview by writing:

One of the most difficult things of the internet age is that, I feel, we’re losing the ‘it takes a village’ mentality – that of wisdom coming to kids from a variety of trusted and loved people. We’re all online, but disconnected, somehow, from the very things we need to grow and learn. This is especially true for young women, who see advertising and physical stereotypes that cannot exist in real life – thanks to airbrushing and photoshop, to plastic surgery and extreme dieting, to a lack of interaction with and love from a variety of women. Where do young women learn about coming of age, of being comfortable in their bodies, of becoming strong, interesting, globally aware women? Until now, there wasn’t one source – young teens search the internet, finding a puzzle piece here, another there, but the entirety of the picture puzzle of growing up and becoming a woman was incomplete.

Enter Melissa Banigan, a faculty member in our Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program, a writer, a mom. Her new book, Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self, gathers wisdom from women all around the world to help girls in this strange and exhilarating time of their lives. We caught up with Melissa to find the backstory and inspiration for this book.

To read more, please visit Wandering Educators.

And of course, please visit the Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self Indiegogo campaign page to learn more about the anthology and, if inspired, to contribute! (’tis the season)

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6 Responses to Interview about ‘Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old-Self’ at Wandering Educators

  1. Penny Sadler says:

    I so wish I’d had some female mentors at this age. Wonderful work Melissa.

  2. Kathryn says:

    Good on you Melissa and colleagues for giving back to young women of the world. It is a wonderful concept. I find myself wondering why no has done it before!

  3. I love Jessie’s introduction of your project. I have a 12 yr-old stepdaughter and I can see how she struggles between being a little girl and womanhood. She wants to do everything perfectly and not make any mistakes. Some of my best life lessons have come from my mistakes. I hope with guidance from “our village” that she will follow her own heart down whatever crooked path she decides is right for her.

  4. I love your multi-national line-up of contributors. The internet opens up a big world that can be impersonal and cold — but your advice from real people should help cozy it up. Good luck with the project!

  5. Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship program? How cool is that project!

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