Valerie came on my old show, The Artsy Now Podcast, to help inspire and motivate the world, and I realized that my intuitive feeling about her ongoing journey was right – she is OF magic. She started as a social worker in inner-city Chicago, battling physical and mental trauma in the lives of the students she was working with. Despite the relentless personal battle she faced to keep her head on straight while witnessing the devastation that these children faced everyday, Valerie saw an opportunity to be a mentor and influence that had never been available for the children before. Why couldn’t there be a school, a safe haven, for these children to have protection from street violence, and opportunity for real education, and a support system for growth personally and academically. Don’t they deserve equal hope to grow up and change this world?