top of page

Guest Feature: Meet Empowered Millennial, Vanessa Schwippert

Welcome to the Feature Series on the blog where you get to connect and hear from some really empowered folks, who are changing the game and inspiring all of us to do the same. They are real people doing badass shit.


Today, we are featuring:

Vanessa Schwippert: Former Educator turned Podcaster

Tell us about yourself:

I'm Vanessa, from North Jersey, 32 year old

I get a lot of my values from my close-knit Colombian family, community and inclusivity were instilled in me from a very young age. Growing up witnessing the needs of classmates with disabilities sparked my passion for education, leading me to become a dedicated teacher for over five years in the underserved communities of Paterson, Jersey City, and Newark, New Jersey. I thrived in the classroom; empowering students to feel seen and respected was very fulfilling. In 2021, I discovered a yearning for a different path.

Leveraging my communication skills and passion for inclusivity, I transitioned into the world of media entrepreneurship. Today, I host "Chick Lit", a podcast where I share my book reviews that will resonate with first-gens and millennials. By spotlighting diverse voices and engaging stories, I extend my classroom philosophy of openness and acceptance to a wider audience. Outside of the podcast, I stay active through plyometrics, weight lifting, dancing, and exploring scenic hiking trails. I also cherish quality time with my nieces, mom, and loved ones.

What does empowered mean to you?

Consciously being able to make meaningful decisions about your quality of life. 

How would you define yourself as an Empowered Millennial? What makes you one?  

I use my karen-ness from my grandma who grew up in Brooklyn in the 30's and the immigrant mindset from my mom to advocate for myself, those who need to be advocated for, and I make shit happen.

What have you gone through that now makes you empowered? Sometimes you have to go THROUGH IT in order to be this strong version of yourself. What was the event, situation or ah-ha moment where you decided to BE this empowered?

I think being silenced from a young age was really impactful. I hated it at home, in the classroom, with boys, etc and always put up a fight. That "fight" has stayed with me my whole life, sometimes getting me into trouble- good trouble.

How have you changed course away from something that wasn't working for you and are now doing something aligned and empowering for yourself, personally, professionally, spiritually?

It was ... extremely painful. I mourned the vision I had for my life as an educator. I felt very close to all of my students, their parents, and their families. I truly felt like I was doing a disservice by leaving the education field but ultimately knew that I had to live my life for myself and do what was best for me. I took a look at what I loved from teaching (community, inclusiveness, anti-racist mindset, growth mindset, decentering whiteness), applied to my love for reading, and created my podcast.

What challenges do you face (have you faced) staying empowered and what strategies do you use to overcome them?

POVERTY! I try to manage my finances in a way that isn't doing as much damage as it could. That means manipulating credit cards to work in my favor, not touching my savings, and spending it consciously to stay within my budget, etc etc etc

If you could give someone who has experienced a similar situation to you and maybe isn't on the other, brighter side of it, a piece of advice, what would you say?

Choose your hard. If you stay, xyz will happen and if you leave, abc will happen. Which are you happiest dealing with? For me, being poor is the con I can live with while making the pro happen- my podcast. If I were going back to teaching, yeah I'd have income (extremely low, disrespectful amount of money) but I would also be miserable in such a toxic workplace environment so it's not worth it. You have to decide which reality is worth it for you and make it happen.

If you could tell your younger self ONE thing, what would you say?

Don't spend $100k on a degree that isn't transferable to other careers. Go to school in something with mathematics/finances- it's the degree that can work in any career and will set you up for success.

What are you most excited about and how are you taking action to go and get it?

I'm most excited to make money off of my podcast. I am producing a wide range of content, prioritizing it every single day (researching, investing my time, changing course, etc). One day this is gonna give me a check, and I'm looking forward to that day.

What is your favorite part of being a millennial?

I think we have a stronger sense of openness than past generations.

What is your fav millennial pop culture moment?

 ONE moment? I'm thinking of the fashion, the pop music/early 2000s.. but ONE moment would have to be.... social justice and activism. We've been at the forefront of movements such as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ rights, and climate change and I'm happy to see gen z take what we've done even further as they make their way into the adult world. 

Where can people find you?

Thank you so much for being part of this feature! You are amazing and definitely trailblazing something special. Thank you for sharing your story.


Looking for more stories of EMPOWERED MILLENNIALS?


Check out the latest episode of the podcast

Empowering stories and interviews from trailblazers carving out a different path beyond expectations, living above the noise and claiming their truth like badasses. Tune in to hear real stories that motivate, inspire, and encourage listeners to bust out of the status quo and take control of their lives.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page