Valerie began her voyage in the mid-sized, mid-west city of Springfield, Missouri. Fast-forward 19 years and Valerie has moved far away from the mid-west and has spent her time living in New York City, Spain, and Miami. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration as a Marketing Major and Visual Journalism Minor, with a focus in Social Entrepreneurship.
Valerie thoroughly enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures and has been to over 25 countries. Some of her favorite experiences include teaching English at an elementary school in Alajuela, Costa Rica for one summer. She also traveled around China for one summer doing various activities including working on family farms in rural China, teaching English in migrant schools in Beijing, and getting hit by a scooter whilst crossing the street.
After a life-changing trip to Cambodia, Valerie was inspired to do something. Valerie has always had a strong interest in supporting women and girls around the world, so, after much reflection, she created “Girls 4 Good” (www.girls4good.org). Girls 4 Good facilitates local and global service projects with weekly discussions on issues affecting women and girls around the world. Girls 4 Good has directly served thousands of girls around the world since its founding in 2009.
In addition to creating Girls 4 Good, Valerie wanted to give back to the place that had changed her life so dramatically so she started “Operation Cambodia Education.” She began raising funds when she was 14-years-old and on December 30, 2012, “Valerie Quirk’s School of Hope” was officially opened in the Kampong Cham Province of Cambodia and serves around 300 students yearly.
Valerie was honored as a Bezos Scholar in 2011 and attended the "Bezos Scholars Program.” She continues to participate in programs through their Alumni Network. (http://www.bezosfamilyfoundation.org/scholars)
Valerie is a storyteller and has worked in broadcast journalism production for over six years. Through her storytelling, Valerie has won three Mid-America Student Emmys from the Emmy Association as a reporter and video editor.
Valerie enjoys making to-do lists, public speaking, people watching, and long and unplanned walks through the still unfamiliar streets of New York.
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