Today, we are introducing y’all to a young fearless personality, Alexa Curtis, who is trying to make a big social impact by inspiring young people about how to get out of their comfort zone and find their lives’ purpose.
Alexa Curtis is a young adult influencer and CEO of ‘Life Unfiltered with Alexa‘ – the lifestyle platform geared towards young adults & social media and mental health. Alexa Curtis has also founded the nonprofit ‘Media Impact and Navigation for Teens’ (M.I.N.T.). It is described as a D.A.R.E. program for social media, and offers a one-hour discussion for students covering a range of topics, including self harm, sexting, suicide, body image and more.
Along with this, Alexa also runs and hosts her show ‘Fearless Everyday‘ on Radio Disney along with her weekly podcast ‘This is Life Unfiltered.’ She is a sought-out guest speaker by many colleges and conferences. Recently, she created and hosted her first successful “Be Fearless” Summit at Drexel University. Being fearless in the face of rejection and being passionate about her message is exactly what helped Alexa become the influencer she is today.
At CelebMix, we had the pleasure of interviewing Alexa Curtis and chat about her journey so far, vision and goals, future projects and much more. Read below to get a lot more insights about Alexa Curtis.
“If I had let the score on a standardized test define me, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today. ” – Michelle Obama
Hey Alexa! Welcome to CelebMix. So glad to have you here. How’ve you been doing this week?
Hi! I’ve been well! A little busy but that’s always a good thing.
Can you share with us your story about what moved you in the first place that you chose this career path?
I started blogging in 2011, way before the days of social media! I grew up in a small town in Eastern, Connecticut and I never felt like I fit in. I was always the insecure kid that didn’t have many friends, but I always loved writing. I started the site as a fashion blog (A Life in the Fashion Lane) initially as a way for me to express my personality through fashion. Even though I didn’t have any money, I loved dressing up and I really felt like I could say the things I wanted to say in real life through style. That’s really how it started.
That sounds cool. Which is the most important episode on your podcast “This Is Life Unfiltered” that may have stood out to you?
Good question! Honestly, I love all of my guests- many of them are my close friends now, but Andy Puddicombe of (Headspace) episode has been my favorite to date. What he created with Headspace and how he created it has inspired me in my journey, and so the interview was a really personal one that I hope everyone loved as much as I did.
What is your creative process behind the podcast?
I try and be strategic about how I choose my guests and what topics I talk about. I get pitches every day but you have to really be unique to stand out to me. Like, what makes you worthy of sharing your story? Every episode truly stems from what is happening in my life. Like yesterday something really cool happened and I filmed the episode today because it’s a topic that has become relevant in my life and isn’t often spoken about. Every individual has such a unique story that once I have someone in the room with me, the conversation takes a direction on its own.
It’s not easy to leave your comfort zone and follow your heart. How did your family and friends first react to your career decision? Were they supportive?
I really don’t have a big family (growing up, it was just my mom and I for a lot of my childhood) so I’m kind of glad I never had to prove myself to like 30 cousins or something, haha. My dad has always been super supportive but my mom was very hesitant to support me, which I understand now. At the time, I was so rebellious. As a parent, your job is to make sure your kid makes the right decisions and can eventually support themselves or a family. Here I come being like I’m moving out at 17, totally broke and have no one standing behind me- bye Mom! I really proved myself to them once I landed my show on Radio Disney, Fearless Everyday. Up until last year, they would support me because I’ve certainly proved myself in some way to them but I think they were waiting for some type of bigger “yes” to seriously understand what I’ve tried to build for so many years.
Can you share any interesting or memorable incident that happened ever since you begin your career?
Oh my gosh, I have so many. I have so many good rejection stories, one day I’ll share them all. In terms of filming, I’m always saying names wrong. Even if I literally watch a video 25 times of how to say a guests’ name or the name of a show, my brain always tricks me and I say it the polar opposite. It’s quite embarrassing. When it comes to fans, I do have a fan named Alex who lives in the U.K., and she DM’ed me once on Instagram and we started talking. Then we started mailing each other notes and I sent her some books I liked, and now we kind of have a little pen pal thing going on! To know that I’ve impacted someone enough to help them overcome their insecurities or depression makes every minute worth it.
How do you think you are using your big platform to make a significant impact on society?
I truly hope that you can tell through my work and social media how passionate I am about inspiring people. Through my nonprofit and summit, and the schools I am lucky enough to present at, I want every person to walk away feeling like they are worthy of achieving even their wildest dreams. There is this expectation in society that because you come from X or because you dealt with any form of trauma, that you’re bound to screw up in life. When in reality, those kids are the ones that change the world. But they need a little bit of a push to do so- something I always wished I had. And that’s what I’m doing, filling the void that I never had growing up to look up to someone who has lived through so much and is proving the expectation wrong.
You also do a show called “Fearless Everyday” that airs weekly on Radio Disney. Tell us more about the show and how did you secure this opportunity?
Yes! Fearless Everyday premiered in September and was my first big industry yes in 12 + years, which was incredible. For over 1 year I had been contemplating companies I wanted to pitch myself to eventually land a show, and I grew up listening to Radio Disney, but there weren’t any shows on the air (or my local radio station in general) that was tackling issues that are important for teens to hear, like social media, mental health, self-love…so I pitched this show to them and over a period of time we created a real show ready for air. It’s been quite a journey so far and I’ve met so many new people that have inspired me to get out of my comfort zone.
Recently you’ve done your first ever ‘Be Fearless’ summit that you created and hosted at Drexel University. How’s your overall experience?
That was the hardest thing I’ve ever accomplished in my career to date. I’m so eager to host another one and am eagerly working on getting a school to approve hosting it. It was the most accomplished I’ve felt in my whole career too, and it’s always a solid feeling walking away from something feeling truly happy.
Tell us a story about someone you know was impacted by this cause?
I hope everyone who attended the first ‘Be Fearless Summit’ walked away with a genuinely good feeling. It was my first one I’ve hosted and I put on the entire thing, so there are certainly many aspects I’d change going forward, but I didn’t have one person walk away saying they didn’t enjoy the summit. And we completely sold out which was rad and unexpected. During the first big all-star panel with Hulu executives, Michelle Grant (CEO of LIVELY) and some other big names, I walked out to check on something towards the end of the panel, and when I walked back through the door there was a ton of girls in line to talk to these executives and get their advice, free of charge. That was one of those moments that you have a few times in your career where you’re like wow, what did I create here? What’s next?
Apart from the topics that you’re recently been focusing on such as mental health, social media, etc., are there any other issues which you’d like to work on, in the future?
Eventually, I’d like to have a nonprofit to help kids with incarcerated parents. That’s a topic super close to my heart. I volunteer as often as I can and I also love Michelle Obama’s Better Make Room initiative. There are so many things that need to be changed in society and due to who we currently employ as a President it’s hard to envision the world changing at its current state, but you have to stay positive.
What are the things that you feel our society and politicians can do to help and address the cause of the problems which you are trying to solve? How can an individual make a contribution?
Start small. Just because you won’t necessarily become the next Michelle Obama (unless you want to be!) you can make such a huge difference in society by using your voice. I’d love to see more young adults using their voice in their school. Middle and high school are when kids should be learning all the tools and necessary things to make a difference in the world, and since schools are often underfunded, many afternoon programs or classes that would be a great addition to the curriculum don’t get to see the light of day. So make your own group. Pave your own path. Share your ideas with every person you meet until the world changes in the way you want it to. When it comes to politicians, there is so much hierarchy and things people in higher powers are trying to change that we never know what laws will come through- like the abortion laws, which are disturbing to me. No one should ever determine the right a woman has, EVER. EVER! That’s another story. Share your voice in your community, you never know who is watching.
What advice do you want to give to those people who support your ideas of social good and want to follow your footsteps to bring a change?
Pave your own path. You can follow in my footsteps, but you can also take a detour which is totally cool. If you’re scared to use your voice in public, start a blog or a social media page and connect with like-minded individuals. Just know that you have the power to live any type of life you want to live. There is no one who determines your path beside you.
Lastly, if you’re to host a gala, who will be your top 5 picks?
Michelle and Barack Obama, Halsey, Andy Puddicombe and Ava DuVernay.
Let’s have a quick rapid fire to know more about Alexa Curtis!
Favorite quote: “If I had let the score on a standardized test define me, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today. ” Michelle Obama
Favorite food: Ugh, I have a favorite food and restaurant in every city. I love steak salad with goat cheese, but I also love really good truffle pasta. I’d eat crispy tuna on rice any day too. I’ll eat anything besides sardines or chicken feet.
Favorite music: I’m a heavy rap listener, it probably takes up 90% of my Spotify playlists. EDM/alternative after that.
Favorite movie: Sex and the City. Forever and always.
Favorite holiday destination: Switzerland!
Favorite pastime: Cooking and boxing.
3 things you wish someone has told you when you first ever started!: 1. Stop being so darn impatient. People told me this but I never listened. 2. If it’s not this, there’s something better coming. 3. Jealousy is a nasty trait.
3 big lessons that you’ve learned in your career so far!: 1. There ALWAYS is something better around the corner if this doesn’t work out. 2. You define your self-worth, not your boyfriend, not your dad, not your dog. No one and nothing besides you. 3. The number on your social media pages doesn’t really matter. What matters is your brain and how you sell yourself in-person. That’s really what the big guys care about.
Thank you so much for joining us today!
Fearless Everyday (Radio Disney): Fearlesseveryday.org
Media Impact and Navigation for Teens: Medianav.org
Tweet us your thoughts on this initiative taken by Alexa Curtis at @CelebMix