Gina Otto remembers the moment clearly. She was in Hollywood filming a diet cola commercial when she had the realization that she was working in an industry which uses anorexic models to sell soda to teenage girls. Suddenly, a bright light came on “like a lightning bolt.”
“So I quit. I quit a 12-year career. I did not want to be part of the problem. I wanted to live a life I could be proud of.”
That moment of awakening set her on a new path as the author of Cassandra’s Angel, an inspiring modern-day fairy tale that sends an empowering message to every adolescent girl to “find her voice and her bright light and shine for the world.”
The plot centers around a little girl fighting to slay, not the outer demons and dragons in the world, but her own inner demons: fear, sadness, isolation, criticism and insecurity.”
Through Cassandra’s Angel, Gina hopes to instill the ideas of self-reliance, self-worth, tolerance and self-acceptance early in life. It is about shedding the self-doubts kindled in us by others and discovering our true selves.
“This work speaks to every adult and child who doesn’t believe in themselves; to every individual who is withholding their greatness and their contribution and their value because they cannot accept that it is there.”
Cassandra’s Angel took flight, becoming a #1 bestseller and Gina’s global calling card. For 15 years, she has toured the world using Cassandra’s Angel as a vehicle to help ignite the possibility and promise of a brighter future without limitations.
“This journey invites every person to find their most authentic truth. Come as you are and together we will become young girls and women of consequence.”
And that was just the beginning of her grand vision.
Gina has taken that life-changing message to children in some of the world’s most dangerous and dark places, from human trafficking shelters in Cambodia, to war zones in Sri Lanka, to the poorest schools in Harlem, Miami, Camden, New Jersey and Washington D.C.
“My mission is to do this work until every child in the world can release the old story and embrace the Truth…that, whether we know it or not, each one of us has a gift for the world. There is a global symphony and you alone have a very special note to play.”
The impact and relevance of Cassandra’s Angel ultimately led Gina to create ChangeMyWorldNow.com, an online, social network platform that uses games and entertainment to teach children about the issues facing the planet and shows them how to take action to make a difference.
Cassandra's Angel asks children (and adults) to let go of limiting stories so that they can be the light in the world. Change My World Now shows them how to do that.
“Children today are worried about a myriad of issues,” says Gina, “whether it be bullying, war, the economy, the environment or terrorism. We created Change My World Now to give them a safe place where they can experience a community of kids who want to change the world for the better and feel that their voices are heard.“
The website engages kids on the environment, animal conservation, human rights, STEM, literacy, financial literacy and health & wellness, and then takes them through the steps on how to lend their time, energy, and resources to change the world "one bright light at a time.”
By delivering its message through a variety of interactive experiences, Change My World Now provides children with an opportunity to break free of the pressures existing in today’s society while inspiring a movement of young thought leaders making an important and lasting impact on the world.
“This is the most important moment in our human evolution. With the world connecting more and more each day through technology, I believe that we have never had a greater opportunity for transformative change.”
“Though my life has turned from girl advocacy to children's advocacy, and my days are spent building technology instead of going to war zones, my heart will always belong to "my girls" - my greatest inspiration and the truest heroes of the planet.”
Gina is the Founder & CEO of Gina's Ink, a mission-driven media and entertainment social enterprise designed to create a foundation of self-esteem, leadership, and self-acceptance that empowers children around the world.
Watch: Change My World Now Testimonial
Adopt a grade school, bring them ChangeMyWorldNow.com and we will teach you how to mentor children to be thought leaders and change-makers.
Be a change-maker yourself! Start a girl’s empowerment group, read Cassandra’s Angel to them and watch shy, insecure little girls find their voices and become lighthouses of confidence and leadership!