Daniella Cohen


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Daniella Cohen is a senior at Highland Park High School in Illinois and is passionate about empathy and education. She currently serves on youth advisory boards to Born This Way Foundation and Ashoka’s Youth Venture. She is also the co-founder of her own project, G.I.V.E. (go.innovate.volunteer.educate). G.I.V.E. funds and installs internet, films educational peer to peer videos, and sends computers, pen-pal letters, and flip flops signed with messages of hope to schools in India, Uganda and Rwanda. Daniella has spoken at TEDxRedmond, numerous universities, conference and has led multiple Ashoka’s Youth Venture workshops. She was featured in a Belgian documentary: “30 under 30 International Social Entrepreneurs” by GoYoung. Daniella has received several awards including the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, the Build-A-Bear’s Huggable Hero Award, and the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. (www.DaniellaCohen.co www.GoGiveProject.com)

GIVE and share hope with Daniella Cohen #isharehope Episode 77

Summary: Daniella’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?

Daniella Cohen:

“Don’t just see things the way they are, see things the way they could be.”

Being able to imagine better possibilities – I think it’s really crucial for any sort of change-making because taking action starts with imagination.

Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?

Daniella Cohen:

My entire family definitely shares a lot of hope with me. Outside of my family, Lady Gaga. Her story of facing her emotions and finding resilience within herself inspired the creation of the Born This Way Foundation.

Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?

Daniella Cohen:

I think some of the most difficult times that I share with so many students across the country are just battling negative emotions. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one event that is making you really stressed. It could be the accumulation of test anxiety, loneliness at school, uncertainty fear about the future, just any sort of general stress that comes along with being a teenager. I think facing those emotions have been some of the most difficult things I’ve had to face in my life. I know that I share that with so many students across the country. So, at the Emotion Revolution, I learned that I have the tools to face those emotions and then find hope for myself so that I can feel better.

Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?

Daniella Cohen:

I think that spreading hope is primarily through spreading positive emotions. I’ve learned that that can be really easy if you make it a part of your routine and if you commit to it. There are so many different exercises and things that are really easy. For example, a really easy exercise in gratitude is to just thank someone over text.

There are so many other ways to make spreading positivity a part of your routine whether it means just giving more compliments, telling someone you really appreciate their character, their personality.

Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?

Daniella Cohen:

(1) Find hope within yourself. Check in with how you are doing and find positivity within yourself.
(2) Once you check in with yourself, make it a part of your routine.

Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.