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Jillian Domingue: Empowering Teens to Recognize and Name Their Emotions

Jillian Domingue: Empowering Teens to Recognize and Name Their Emotions

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Jillian Domingue, the CEO of Lucero Speaks. Let’s learn what’s happening at Lucero Speaks and how Jillian is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Jillian, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Lucero Speaks?

Jillian: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Lucero gives tweens and teens tools for recognizing and naming your emotions, making healthy choices, and strengthening relationships with those who care about you most. 

Spiffy: Very cool! What motivated you to tackle this challenge?

Jillian: I started Lucero after a very hard experience trying to find support for my daughter who was struggling with her mental health. What keeps me motivated are the moments when a tween or teen reaches out to share how Lucero has helped them.

Spiffy: How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?

Jillian: We are working to make fun and effective self-care tools easily accessible to all youth. 

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your audience/community?

Jillian: Lucero Explorers have completed 30,000+ positive self-care actions to help themselves feel better and work towards their personal self-care goals.

Spiffy: Congrats on that success! Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn’t give up. What did you learn from it?

Jillian: Building a company for a cause you care about is full of good moments and hard moments! What prepared me for this started in middle school. My dream was to be in musical theater or play college softball. I worked so hard on both, tried out many times, and neither ever happened. What I learned was that life doesn't always quite make sense. When my initial dreams didn't work out it made room for new dreams and opportunities that would not have been possible if I went down the path I thought I wanted. 

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Jillian—it’s been an honor!

Jillian Domingue loves creating solutions for real life problems that she has personally witnessed and experienced. After losing three friends to cancer by her senior year of college, she launched her first nonprofit out of her apartment. This has turned into a 10+ year journey founding a social impact business. (Nominated by Kayla DiPilato of StartOut. First published on the Ladderworks website on June 9, 2023.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.