Olivia (Liv) Van Ledtje
For the last year, I have used social media to help me share my thinking with the world. The short videos I create are called LivBits, and I hope they inspire kids to think, hope, and love the world more deeply. I post my videos on my website, and I recently began blogging about my work. I think sharing my stories with the global audience is a chance to understand and change people.
I’ve done collaborative projects with kids all over the world, including a really awesome video project with students in Taiwan. Some people call me a “book activist,” and I think that’s a super cool title because it means they understand my passion for books, thinking, and connecting with other kids.
I am most inspired by Eugenie Clark. She worked as a scientist who made a difference in the shark world, but she also made a difference as a woman in science. Her work influenced so much of what people understand about sharks today – she even tamed sharks! Back when Eugenie was young, people didn’t think girls could do much in science, but she showed the world that girls can dream big and make their mark on the world. Eugenie was LIVING her passion, so even when she was 91 years old, she was still going on dives and growing our understanding. I want to be that kind of person — someone who loves what I do, works hard, makes a difference, and keeps learning until the very end of my life. I hope I can make a difference like Eugenie did by traveling and learning and loving what I do. I hope little girls will say, “Liv makes learning fun, I want to be like her!”
- Tutu Project Master – I am a serious ballet student and I’ve studied at American Ballet Theatre in New York City and the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. But, I am also the creator of the Tutu Project. I’ve had my picture taken in some very famous places wearing a very special tutu my mum bought me. My goal is to have a tutu picture on every continent before I graduate high school.
- Pop Tart Eater – I’m a HUGE fan of Pop Tarts. If I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I would! I know that doesn’t really match my serious ballet work, but I can’t help it! They are delicious!
- Team Genie Founder – Heather Lang (author of Swimming with Sharks) and I have started an organization in honor of Eugenie Clark’s work with sharks. Our goal is to educate and inspire people to be less fearful of sharks and more understanding of their importance in our world.
- Non-Stop Talker – If talking was a job, I would most DEFINITELY be a professional! I like to talk a lot, and I think that’s one reason why LivBits has been so successful! I can talk to anyone about anything! But, I especially like to talk about all the things I have listed here, so if you start me talking about any of these topics, be prepared!
- Disney Nut – I have a really awesome Disney side, and I love to visit the parks whenever I can. I am sort of known for my Disney outfits, and if you see me in the parks you can usually recognize me right off because of my special outfits that match my favorite characters. I am especially a fan of the villains!
Awards, Accolades, Honors
My work on LivBits has been featured all over the world, including conferences in Taiwan, Singapore, and England. I’ve been excited to be included as a keynote speaker and voice for kids at many conferences including, Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco, CA and and the Building Learning Communities in Boston, MA. I’ve been honored to present with accomplished authors at national conferences across the country, including NCTE, ASCD, ISTE, and ILA, and l am excited about upcoming opportunities that include working with authors and organizations who share my drive to promote digital citizenship for kids. Recently, I became the first student ambassador for Wonderopolis, an organization working to spark curiosity in classroom and promote joyful learning for kids everywhere.
Location: New Hampshire
“I am honored to offer a kid’s perspective to the Eduro community. I will share my story of being a connected learner; lessons I’ve learned; and wisdom I’ve gained from my online presence. I hope teachers, families, and kids will be see how the power of asking questions and sharing my wonder with the world has helped me as a thinker. The work that my mom and I do from Durham, NH has changed how I think about the world, and it’s so exciting to share this with people who value global learning opportunities for students.”