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“I started the Gimme MO’ movement because when we invest in young people, we are investing in the future!” With Monique Coleman

“Self care is extremely important. Whether that be taking a break to meditate, doing yoga, or simply detaching from social media; it’s…


“Self care is extremely important. Whether that be taking a break to meditate, doing yoga, or simply detaching from social media; it’s important to take time to reflect on your experiences. Also, prioritize your values, and don’t try to do everything all at once!”


I had the pleasure of interviewing Monique Coleman. Monique Coleman is an actress best known for starring in Disney’s High School Musical movies. She’s also a global youth advocate and creator of the show Gimme MO’ (airing Wednesdays at 8am on Discovery Life)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve always been passionate about telling stories & using entertainment to impact the world. This initially led me to becoming an actress, but I’ve since expanded to include speaking, hosting, and producing

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

In 2010, I became the first ever United Nations Youth Champion for the International Year of Youth. I traveled to 24 countries in 6 months to understand the most pressing issues facing today’s youth and meet the people making a difference. This gave me the much needed perspective to pursue what I’m doing now.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Gimme MO’ is the project I’m most excited about at the moment! It’s a docu-series that amplifies youth voices and shines a light on the incredible individuals and organizations making a difference for young people! I also with the Allstate Foundation as their #GoodStartsYoung ambassador. Through our partnership, I’ve been able to reach thousands of students and help empower youth to unlock their potential.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Through my work with the UN, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with some of the most profound thought leaders of our time! Professor Muhammad Yunus is on the top of that list. He’s a Nobel Laureate amongst his many other world changing accomplishments. I also am blessed to call Jess Weiner, Tammy Tibbetts, Nancy Lublin, Anna Blue, and Randi Zuckerberg friends. These are powerful women leaders who have charted their own path and constantly inspire me to do the same.


Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Self care is extremely important. Whether that be taking a break to meditate, doing yoga, or simply detaching from social media; it’s important to take time to reflect on your experiences. Also, prioritize your values, and don’t try to do everything all at once!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Gimme MO’ is that movement! I started it 9 years ago and I’m just as passionate today as I was when it began. I believe that when we invest in young people, we are investing in the future!


What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  • You will fail often and that’s ok. It’s how you learn.
  • Build a solid foundation.
  • Anything of value takes time, don’t rush the process.
  • You don’t have to be great at everything. Partner up. Find people who know more than you and collaborate with them.
  • Prioritize JOY!! If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be; because of all I may become, I will close my eyes and leap” ~ Maryanne Radmacher

This quote inspires me to push past my circumstances, shortcomings, or fears for the possibility of how much better I’ll be on the other side.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I have to first thank my mom for being the ultimate cheerleader & always believing in me (even when I didn’t believe in myself)

And, I’m extremely grateful to my producer Lea Zesati. She is a force of nature! Her ability to build a team, execute a vision, and take a project to the next level is truly what has brought GimmeMo’ to this incredible moment in time.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

I would love to sit down with Ava Duvernay and talk about how she transitioned into becoming one of the most influential people in Hollywood & I’d sincerely thank her for her incredible contributions to the world thus far!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @_moniquecoleman + @gimmemotalk

Twitter @gimmemotalk

Facebook: moniquecolemanofficial

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

Originally published at medium.com

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