Williamsville native Lindsay Shookus, 38, is an accomplished woman. For the past 17 years, she’s worked for Saturday Night Live as a producer and met more celebrities than she can count, but she never forgot her roots.
Today she visited HighGate Heights Elementary to talk to talk to female students about the importance of kindness and empowering themselves. The event was presented by the WNY Women’s Foundation.
“I remember being given a hard time for wanting to be kind and not necessarily cool and I want to share the message that while kindness might not be cool right now, kindness never goes out of style and I really think it’s a huge part of where I am today. I really emphasize kindness and respect in my life and its gotten me great relationships, it’s gotten me to move ahead in my career and it’s an important message at this age because I think there’s so many emotions at this age and there’s so many things going on and there’s lots of bullying and I think it’s important to remember that if you remain true to who you are and true to your gut, it can actually help you get through it you know, and you can get someplace with it.”
Shookus touched on a time in her life where she felt bullied as an adult. She was in a very public relationship with a celebrity for the first time and the social media scrutiny took a toll on her. She said it’s important to shut down your social media accounts if you have to. She also told students that many of the celebrities we idolize are just like us, they just don’t show that side of themselves in public.
“They really do have real feelings that are similar to the things that we kind of all think in our head every day. So I want you to think about that when you’re looking at Kim Kardashian, or you’re looking at Cardi B or anyone online and seeing their Instagram page. Remember those are curated ideas and don’t compare yourself to those people and don’t compare yourself to each other either.”
“Be grateful, be kind, and work hard” was the last piece of advice she gave to the young ladies in the audience. One student said it was inspiring to hear from a woman who came from the Western New York area and made such a successful career for themselves.