Why This Teen Is Her OWN Hero

Meet Sam Silverman. She's a recent graduate of Towson University and our newest seed grant winner. As the East Coast street team leader of JustTell, she works to educate and empower young people on the issue of sexual abuse. We chatted with Sam about how Vans Warped Tour music festival first connected her to the org and how she's helping teens to "be their own hero." Check out our interview below!

DoSomething.org: Who/what inspired you to take action around this issue?

Sam Silverman: Actually going to Warped Tour in previous years and seeing the JustTell booth is what inspired me to take action. For me, the issue of sexual abuse is very personal, and to know that it was possible to open up dialogue about this issue to our generation in a safe way is what made me want to be a part of it.

DS: What makes your project unique?

SS: The motto of JustTell is to "be your own hero" which I think is unique in that it's all about how each individual uses their story to make a difference. The organization helps to lead a movement that is ultimately driven by the storytellers.

DS: What is one moment that stands out where you knew you were making a difference?

SS: Victims of sexual abuse often feel a sense of guilt or shame, so for me, being able to share my story with close friends and to show them that life's struggles aren't what defines us but how we choose to overcome them is when I knew I was making a difference. It's pretty hard to quantify how you've made a difference when it comes to an issue like this, but you never know who's listening so I just try and make it count when I can.

DS: How is this grant money going to help you expand your project?

SS: This grant money will help so much to expand JustTell's message! We're going out with the Warped Tour, which is where it all began for me, so I'm really excited for young people to be exposed to our organization. Maybe it will give them the confidence to be a friend's or their own hero.

DS: If you could have one superpower what would it be?

SS: If I could have one superpower, it would definitely have to be to fly. Just think of how much more we could see and in such less time!

Get the facts about Sexual Assault and Dating Abuse. GO