By Elaine Truong on
Triple threat Jessica Simpson – singer, actress, and a rocking philanthropist, that is – will bring her passion and resilience formed from years in the unforgiving entertainment industry to empower 500 college and high school students from 12 countries on behalf of Operation Smile as the International Youth Ambassador.
The 4-day event, which starts on August 1, is Operation Smile’s 18th annual International Student Leadership Conference and will take place at the University of Denver in Colorado. As the keynote speaker, Jessica Simpson will try to get youth amped up about their theme – “Be the Change!” – promoting activism and change in their communities. The conference-meets-boot camp is designed to have youth participate and interact in teams to help each other develop a strong mentality and spread optimism.
Electric violinist Caitlin Moe will perform at the conference with her reprises of well-known songs in pop culture.
Operation Smile, a non-profit organization founded in 1982, works with doctors and surgeons to provide cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgery for children and aims to raise international awareness on the facial deformity. Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft condition but $240 and 45 minutes later, that child’s life could be drastically changed. Operation Smile is a big advocate of the ripple effect: a surgery can lead to a smile, which opens up opportunities for a child to leave a print on their society, family, and country.
An ambassador of eight years, Jessica Simpson is one of Operation Smile’s biggest celebrity supporters. Inspired by a collaboration of VH1 and Operation Smile where Simpson traveled the world filming a documentary tracking the lives of victims of cleft conditions, Simpson has helped launch a Smiles for Smiles campaign, where people are welcomed to upload photos of their smiles to VH1Smile.com, generating over 10,000 responses.
A Beautiful Me is Simpson’s latest project for the organization, where the Newlyweds star leads a campaign for the youth of the world to appreciate their inner beauty and follow in Simpson’s footsteps by spreading the work of Operation Smile and its mission, hence the International Student Leadership Conference.
Having witnessed a cleft surgery and assisted Operation Smile on medical missions around the world and not to forget the honor of receiving Operation Smile’s Universal Smile Award in 2004, Jessica Simpson is a role model fitted for the change that the organization hopes to bring.
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