After just having begun her work as an inner city school social worker on the southside of Chicago, Val saw a gaping need to build a boarding school to serve the children she worked with who were faced with trauma on a regular basis. She worked with children and teens dealing with issues such as violence, poverty, homelessness, hunger, abuse, and neglect on a regular basis and these issues negatively impacted their ability to learn and achieve in school. However, when this idea first occurred to her, she tabled the thought with the assumption that “one day I’ll make this happen… when I’m retired, and have money and time sitting around”. Through a series of serendipitous events, she soon after realized that the time is NOW and she decided to quit her stable job with a great salary and benefits in order to found her own nonprofit. Today, she is two years into the process of building what will be Chicago’s first boarding school for inner city youth. At the beginning of her journey she was told what she is doing was impossible, and yet Val and her team have defied the odds and their David vs. Goliath story is an example to us all of what is possible when an individual comes an undying passion with an unwillingness to give up in the face of challenge and adversity. This keynote will leave attendees feeling motivated and inspired to take on their version of “making the impossible POSSIBLE”.