It’s the new season of Talk By Victoria! WOW! The winter-spring season has begun! I have spent the last two months curating the best content ever. Now I get to share with you all my work! It’s so life-giving, and I’m so stoked to introduce the people on the podcast, the individual blog posts, and so much more. Plus, I have some affiliate brands this semester, so you might be saving money! Score!
Soooo, I’m kicking off this season by doing something I should have done last season! Oops! I’m introducing myself, giving you all a description of me, what I do outside of TBV, what my passions are, my own service projects, and more. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this.
Transcript of the Podcast
Hey everyone! Welcome to Talk by Victoria!
I’m delighted that you’re joining us today!
This Podcast is your hub for all things inspiration, service and encouragement.
I’m your host, Victoria, the girl behind talkbyvictoria.com.
If you’re looking for tried and true advice about life,
how to give back in a hustling day and age,
and hopeful stories about positive change,
You’ve landed in the right place.
Hey friends! Welcome to the second season of TBV, my new acronym for the blog. Talk by Victoria is catchy and all, but we love a new acronym.
So, I realized that I never did an actual introduction of myself during the first season of this Podcast. In fact, besides my ABOUT page on my website, I haven’t talked about the soul behind this place either.
Therefore, today, I’m answering some of those questions you might have wondered about me, such as “Who IS Victoria? What does she do outside of the blog? Why did she even start it?” I’ll also be answering your questions that you all dropped on my Instagram @talkbyvictoria. I put up a Q&A submission form and i’ll be responding to those today. And sooooo, here we go!
First, who indeed is Victoria?
Alrighty, I’m twenty years old, turning 21 in April. I’m a junior at the Amherst College up in the great state Massachusetts. It’s an awesome college, and actually, if you search “Victoria Foley” on the Amherst website, you’ll find my student blog page where I speak about the college! So check that out if you’re interested. I’ve loved my time there. I’m a law and Spanish major.
Outside of Amherst, I actually live in Northern Virginia, specifically Springfield. It’s right next to Alexandria. It’s about 25 minutes from DC. Ethnically, I’m part Colombian and Irish-American, although I also grew up in a Dominican household, too.
If you were to run into me at Amherst, you’d probably catch me either in our one and only dining hall, probably saying hi because I tend to say hi to people I don’t even know… or, you might find me on a horse, too, ‘cause I ride with the Amherst equestrian team! I just joined this past semester. Horses are my therapy.
In terms of club,
I co-run a club called 3D, where we hang out with adults who are differently abled. It’s the highlight of all of my Sundays. I love every aspect about it, even when the adults poke fun at my mistakes. Which, by the way, if you’re an Amherst student listening, join the club! we’re the chillest. seriously. And I co-lead a Latinx Christian space called La Fe, which you can learn more about @lafe.ac. I write the emails for the Catholic group on campus and pull up to mass on Sundays in our school’s chapel.
Aside from that, This is probably no surprise to you all, but I love doing service. I’m so proud of the spaces at Amherst like La Fe and 3D and others that have done so much for the greater community, both on campus and worldwide. I love writing for TBV and writing in general! That all might be self-evident.
Ok… Next question is: Why did Victoria start Talk by Victoria?
I’ve always loved writing. I started TBV back in 2017. A school science fair project required me to code an app focused on research about what a healthy lifestyle for high schools girls. I found out that the app that I created to upload her research ran out of space, leaving out several articles that I wrote out of the picture. Therefore, I created Talk By Victoria, at that time only a webpage, to upload additional articles. I started to use the blog for lifestyle purposes even after the fair. In fact, I even wrote about it for my college essay! But at one point during this summer of 2021, I was actually planning on stopping my domain because I hadn’t posted in so long and I felt like each blog post was so random, and I couldn’t find any consistency in my work. I wasn’t really reaching all that much engagement with the blog, either. It wasn’t until I did the Latin American Leadership Academy virtual bootcamp in July that I wanted to revisit it and revive it. That’s when I did an assessment of all my blog, narrowed down my mission statement, started my Instagram, got the idea for a Podcast, and now I’m here! As I wrote and worked, I realized that each of my blog posts had elements of inspiration and benevolence. I knew that I wanted to focus on that. And every now and then, you’ll get some lifestyle and takes from me.
Why is it called Talk by Victoria?
Every day on my way to high school, I drove by the Alice and Olivia storefront located in Georgetown, DC. I noticed that Alice and Olivia had a tagline right underneath it that said by Stacey Bendet. When it came time to put a name to my blog, I wanted to avoid using my full name and instead come up with something short and sweet. I thought By Victoria would be cute, but I had to find something in front of it. So, I asked myself “What do I do on this blog?” I wrote, but i didn’t want to say writebyvictoria. Instead, I landed upon talk because i technically talk as I blog. Therefore, the blog was named Talk By Victoria and has since happily stayed the same.
What is your inspiration for your projects?
All of my inspiration for my projects comes from God. I give all the glory to Him for my blog and all of my work. I spend a lot of time reading the Bible and in prayer with the hopes of hearing of God and the plans and directions that He wants me to pursue.
God’s Son, Jesus, spent his time on earth caring for the most oppressed, the most neglected, and healing others. My goal in life is to be more like Jesus. So, I really started taking God’s words to heart about service to others. God asks us to serve others and think of others more than we do ourselves. It’s a challenging yet rewarding task that God asks, but so far, looking at the lives of saints and stuff, I say it’s pretty worth it. Shoutout to my homie upstairs.
Another source of inspiration for me comes from seeing the fruit of my and others’ work. For example, recently, a previous student of mine told me that she had gotten straight A’s on her report card! It made my day. I had tutored her as part of this volunteer tutoring program that I ran in DC for students in the DC-MD-VA area. I tutored her about 3 years ago, and now, I get to see how her work has since manifested into straight A’s! Couldn’t be more proud of her. I want you all to see the fruits of your works, too, and to stay motivated even when it feels like nothing is growing.
Next question! What are you up to next year and next semester?
I’m off to Spain! I leave at the end of January. I’ll be taking classes in Spanish at the local university there. I’ll definitely keep you all updated with photos and adventures. Very excited, and very grateful for the opportunity.
Are we gonna get more stories on the ‘cast?
Yes! I can’t spoil the next season of the podcast, but I would call the theme “It’s Possible”, because I think that each person on the show will talk about how they do the service and still lead a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, not all guests have a lot on their to-do lists. A lot of them lead lives of simplicity and will speak upon that, too.
I’m super excited! I want you all to leave each episode with hope. Hope for a new start, hope for good, hope for yourself, hope for others… There’s a lot of potential out there, and there’s a lot of ways that we can be beacons of hope as well. I think that a lot of people want to do good. They want to help. And perhaps some just don’t know how to give back, when, and where. That’s what I want Talk by Victoria to be here for. You can give back in the easiest of ways. And yes, your actions will have a great impact! Even if you don’t see the fruit right away. Just listen to the guests on this podcast.
Speaking of service opportunities, visit talkbyvictoria.com/service to see a list of virtual projects you can do right now! Some are just sending online letters while others are doing things face-to-face with others. Opportunities are also available in Spanish and English, so go check it out now!
I have a really dear story that I want to share with you all about a club called 3D, also known as Difference for the Developmentally Disabled, that’s near and dear to my heart
A lot of you guys know that I’m part of this club that’s very near and dear to me, which is 3D, Difference for the Developmentally Disabled. And, I’d like to share with you all a little bit more about that and how I ran into it, because you’ll hear me talk about the club a few times in conversations with others this season. So, let me tell you!
It all starts with a Christian prayer night at school my freshman year of college. I was going to my very first one, if I remember correctly it was on a Wednesday, and everyone there was placed in small groups. In my small group, I was the only freshman, and I don’t believe that there were any sophomores or anything, so I was in this awesome squad of upperclassmen folks–i didn’t know it at the time, but looking back, i was like “whoa” i’m placed with the coolest people ever– but, anyways, the five or so of us went around and asked for prayers on specific intentions. There was one girl in the group who was asking prayers for this club–known as 3D–that wasn’t getting enough volunteers and was on the brink of dying out. I remember really appreciating her vulnerability and feeling like “hey, maybe this might be a cool thing to do.” The club fair hadn’t happened yet at Amherst, so I was like “Okay, I’ll check out the club then and see if I can join!” So, I saw her, wrote my name down on the email list, and the first meeting that took place was about a week or so later on a Sunday night. I think I had just finished up with another club or something, and I was really debating going to 3D because I would arrive late and I think I would only have like 30 minutes or so. But, I decided to go for it anyway. The email said that it was an intro meeting, so I thought that perhaps there weren’t going to be any of the adults there, But, lo and behold, there they were, and I think only like 5 other amherst students were there, and we had more adults than students, which is typically how it went my freshman year. I loved my time that night. I played Candyland or some board game with a few of the adults. Then, I came back every weekend. I think I only missed one, because it was a real priority and something to look forward to on my Sunday nights. So, yeah, that’s the story. I never entered Amherst thinking I would do something like that, but then that happened. I think it was definitely God steering me in that direction. Not just because I found out about the club at a prayer night but really because I was contemplating coming to that first meeting, and then I think if I hadn’t gone, I probably wouldn’t have ever joined. So, yeah. Cool story.
My freshmen spring, three out of the five students that consistently came to our meetings were studying abroad. Which basically meant only two of us were managing all the adults, which isn’t ideal, for many reasons. First, having that one on one or more intimate friendship is a lot better, and with so few students– literally 2– we had to pick one big activity to do, instead of doing some arts and crafts on one spot and maybe playing basketball with a few of the other adults. So, then, because of COVID, we went online and we had to do that before we even got a chance to say goodbye to our adults. All of a sudden, the students at Amherst had received an email that we were going to sent home and that we couldn’t venture outside of the town of Amherst, or something like that, so when we asked if we could hang out with the 3D adults after the school sent out that email, the admin said no. Which is totally understandable considering COVID, but it was definitely quite sad. It was an adult’s birthday that weekend, and I had recruited two new student volunteers for 3D, and we were all planning a cute little surprise birthday meeting edition. So, it was very disappointing. And, to make it even worse, we tried to do a virtual, Zoom meeting. But a lot of our adults at that time had actually limited or no access to a smartphone or smart device, and some simply, we sadly lost touch with during the start of the pandemic. And, of course, we had once again, very few students. So, during that freshman year, I knew that i had to do something different to get more volunteers. I first did a ton of posters. I don’t think that actually got us anyone, except for the two new student volunteers. I decided to ramp up the emails by using MailChimp which is basically a way to make emails prettier and engaging. And, that did only a little. I think only one student came once because of those emails. And then, for fall of 2020, I decided to start an Instagram for 3D, which totally changed the game. I had a few people subscribe to the emails and some people even DMed the account, so we got word out there.
When it came time for the virtual club fair, I think we honestly got only a few people to come, but luckily we got people to subscribe to our emails, even if they honestly were unsure if they could attend a single meeting.
So, getting volunteers while simultaneously making the virtual meetings engaging for the adults, was a super hard thing. 3D even started a pen pal campaign between students and adults, which I think was originally a good idea. It started off quite well, I think. But, throughout those beginning months, I felt a bit scared for the club, and a little sad that people weren’t interested. Even bringing pizza and brownies and stuff weren’t appealing to the masses, but I think it took a whole bunch of word-of-mouth, reviving emails, getting ourselves on Instagram and literally following every student at Amherst (if possible), and for me, I really asked God’s help, because I couldn’t single-handedly do this without His intervention. So, fall of 2020 was when the magic started to come in and we got a whole bunch of new members. I’m so so humbled to say that today we have over 100 Amherst students on our email list. Truly, it’s really remarkable and I want to thank everyone who helped with that, which by the way, I’m not the only leader of 3D, so shout out to the past and current and even future leaders. But, I really thank God for this whole process. Second shout out to the homie and thanks for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, because she works wonders with Jesus her Son lol.
But anyways, during that whole process, I literally learned that there was a lack of things and resources and advice for good causes and how to get people excited about something that they’re probably likely to be excited about. I did many Google Searches on “how to make Zoom meetings fun” and I sent millions upon millions of emails. And, I originally struggled a bit with getting funding, and I realized, too, how hard it can be to even just have a Zoom meeting, realize that you don’t have the accessible tools that you wish you had, then realize that it costs money to have those tools (which aren’t sometimes cheap), and then you feel defeated. But, I wasn’t, in the end, defeated. I don’t want you all to feel defeated or discouraged or like you don’t have anyone interested or behind you in your cause. I want you all to have ideas, resources, things to try on your own spaces and organizations or club or other stuff like that, so that you can skip at least some of the trial and error and discouragement that I had. And, recently, I still had some 3D meetings where we had only our 3D leaders– which is four of us– come and we had more adults, again, than students. So, stuff like that goes up and down, I think. But, with persistence, advice, and a little faith in your cause, I think that it’ll stay afloat, and even more, it might sail, too.
So, that’s another reason for Talk By Victoria. Plus, I mean, you might want to join these other causes and things that people are doing. Which is awesome! I often times told people at Amherst that I was involved with 3D, and the first response was normally “What is 3D?” Sometimes, after I would explain what it was, people would ask me to put them on the group chat or email list or something like that. I saw that people really are interested in doing things like that. It just requires getting the word out there. So, also, if you all have a cool organization or event or service project or something that I can advertise for you, maybe give you a shoutout on the Insta or something, feel free to let me know. I’m here to help.
I would like to leave you all with a question to ponder at the end of each episode this season. For today, I’d like to ask you to consider:
Where do you find hope?
Big question with so many takes on it! But I’m interested in what comes to your mind first. Is it an activity that you do? A daily routine? A career path? A story? A person? Faith? Friendship? What comes to mind first when I ask, “Where do you find hope?” Share with me your answers on my Instagram @talkbyvictoria or email me! Email provided in the show notes.
Before I wrap up, I want to say a short prayer for you all. I want to give you guys the very best that I have, and I can only do that with God. So, let’s start. In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, may you please bless each person and help them find their purpose. Give each individual the opportunity to serve others. Let this blog and this podcast all be for Your Glory. All for your love. Thank you, God. Amen.
And with that, I’ll talk with you on the ‘gram (@talkbyvictoria) or on the blog (talkbyvictoria.com) and on the next ‘cast episode (available on all streaming platforms like Apple and Spotify). One last thing! The music for this podcast is produced by Keegan Foley. He’s a student at the University of Miami in Florida, studying Business and making music on the side. Find his music on Apple and Spotify. He also sells voice tuning and music production services. Visit his website, linked in the show notes. And yes… he is my brother!
Anyways guys, we’ll talk soon! Expect a new episode soon!
Question of the episode:
- Where do you find hope?
Share the first thing that comes to mind! Your answer may be few, so feel free to expand, but of all of them, what’s the biggest source of hope?: Submit your answers either on Instagram or email victoria@talkbyvictoria. She’ll feature them, either by name or anonymously, on her social media.