For the NSA Virginia (National Speaker’s Association) holiday party, Mary Foley (our bada$$ Prez) asked me to interview Brandon Farbstein, a diversity and inclusion speaker who has exploded recently. Local guy is killing it. But don’t think that climb has been without a lot of heartache and hard work.
After a severe battle with cyberbullying in high school, Brandon decided to share his story- to both offer hope and to enact change. He has since helped bring forth 2 bullying prevention laws in Virginia and will be working with lawmakers in DC to implement new policy federally.
His type of dwarfism is rare–what is often referred to as an orphan disease because it there are fewer than 100 known cases in the world. He stands at 3’11”. Imagine for a moment the challenges that poses to a 20-year old young adult?
He told us about his suicide attempt, which was thankfully interrupted by his mother, and his decision to put college on hold to pursue his passion as a public speaker. He told us how he fought back to find self love and how he still struggles with those questions today. Only now, he has strategies to manage those difficult feelings. Despite his recent success, he still struggles with the same doubts that any young adult does. It was a frank and emotionally naked conversation.
His mom, Sylvia, and I are friends and we have our own little mastermind duo. She often travels with Brandon and is his manager.
If your family has suffered bullying, Brandon can be an inspiration, especially for your children and teens who are differently abled.
Since the interview was not recorded, I do need to have a recorded one for the site. Stay tuned…..