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Name: Julia Warren

Business: Celebrate! RVA, a non-profit helping underprivileged children celebrate their birthdays 

Industry: Social Enterprise 

Location: Richmond, Virginia, U.S.

Reason for starting: I saw a need for joy and celebration in my community. Children were going without birthday parties – the simplest form of joy. It was important for me to let them know that they mattered and that their special day was important to us. We have a simple mission: to give disadvantaged children a memorable birthday celebration in a safe and fun environment. 

Related: Read about another female entrepreneur creating change with her social enterprise here. 

How do you define success? Doing what you love. Creating a career that empowers you to follow your heart and allow your passion to be your work. 

Biggest Success: Celebrating over 150 children in less than a year. Every single one of our birthday kiddos have a story and each one of them deserved a celebration. 

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Being a young social entrepreneur. I wish I could say that I’ve embraced it, but I’ve actually found that it’s something I’ve creatively found ways around. People don’t find out my age until our second or third meeting. Age shouldn’t be an issue in our field, but it is. There is a stigma that young social entrepreneurs are just trying to bulk up their college resume or job resume. It’s not true. We are passionate about our causes and should be given the same chance to create true change. 

Related: Why Fear Can Be a Creative Force

Who is your most important role model? All of our volunteers. They bring enthusiasm, love, and this incredible sense of celebration to every single birthday party. They make amazing connections with our children and they make sure that every child gets the birthday party they deserve. It fills my heart with such gratitude and awe. 

Twitter   @celebraterva

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Edited by The Story Exchange