With their finger on the pulse of back to school and a heart cracked wide open to embrace the current mood, Teen Vogue did in one hour what seemed impossible all summer: they infused a new school year with optimism, confidence and the promise of real-life skill building.

In what felt like a joyful meet-up by the lockers, Teen Vogue Editor In Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner welcomed more than 400 virtual attendees and walked them through Orientation 2020. On the heels of Teen Vogue’s Prom and Commencement events, she explained, Orientation was meant to kick off their “Road to Summit” – a virtual series of fall workshops with industry experts culminating in the Teen Vogue Summit in December.

Need details? Grab your notebooks.

In September, Wagner promised, students will hear from fashion and media powerhouses. October will focus on cultural and political activists, and November will spotlight brand builders in beauty and wellness.

Each seventy-five minute session will combine live-panel discussions, breakout groups, networking moments and actionable takeaways.

We seriously cannot wait.

Even Friday’s Orientation was packed with big ideas and inspiring quotes – we couldn’t help but jot some down.

So, until the first workshop in September arrives, here are five takeaways from the Teen Vogue Orientation. This and a back to school outfit are all we really need for fall.

1. Take Action:

“[T]hroughout your Orientation and over the next few months, I encourage you to reflect on the issues you are passionate about, and what you can do to make a difference. Because we all have a role to play.” – Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)

“…[I]t’s about taking local action, but thinking globally. You know, systemic issues around gender, around class, around ableism, queerphobia, transphobia – all of these issues are happening on a global stage. But we have the opportunity to take action at a local level.” – Opal Tometi, Human rights activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter

2. Flip the Negative:

“I have self-doubt every single day…I really learned to remind myself that not everything will be the most successful, perfect thing. But the things that are really amazing, you have to remember to celebrate.” – Christian Siriano, Fashion designer

“I loved when Christian Siriano said that effort should be rewarded and celebrated, and that we shouldn’t focus only on the failures we’ve come through.” – Darby Lee Stack, New York City, age 14

“Self love is so important; I think we are all very conscious of negative thoughts and feelings coming up… As soon as these negative thoughts creep in you have to really attack it with a positive. Tell yourself that same story with a positive outcome.” Hannah Bronfman, DJ, author and founder, HB Fitness

3. Seek Balance:

“[Do] something that’s good for your soul and helps your body get into that rest and relax place – as opposed to that fight or flight mode; it’s a balance between feeling like we’re not doing enough and feeling like we’re just doing enough that we feel okay every day…You’ve got to be really gentle and lenient with yourself right now.” – Hannah Bronfman

“…I think we all needed a little bit of calm down. To stop and reflect on what is really important to us in our life and what we love; family time and friend time…I think the whole world actually kind of needed it.” –Christian Siriano

4. Find Role Models:

“I want to make something that is powerful enough to actually help people.” – Christian Siriano on converting his couture space into a PPE factory and supplying 500,000 masks to NYC frontline workers

“What I love about being a female DJ is that so many other girls come up to you, like I want to be a female DJ like you! You’re showing me that that can happen! [Because] if I’m going to rise, I want everyone to rise.” – Hannah Bronfman

5. Vote Your Future:

“[I]t’s important to know you can actually engage in sustaining, developing and strengthening your democracy at any age. That might look like door knocking, that might look like helping other people to register to vote…that might look like calling and supporting and ensuring that people aren’t disenfranchised from their vote…It does not matter your age, you can still support others who might have the ability to vote.”– Opal Tometi

“Your vote is your voice and your voices are so desperately needed in our country and in our communities.” – Representative Ayanna Pressley

I can’t wait for the 2020 Teen Vogue Workshop on politics because, like Ayanna Pressley, I want to find ways to better lead my community.” – Gabriella White, Jacksonville, FL, age 14

It was just a sneak peek to see what Teen Vogue has in store – and we’re already obsessed.

So, grab your spot and tell friends you’re saving seats. Know that today’s experts and tomorrow’s change-makers are standing by. Click “add to calendar” and smile.

Because what we all thought was going to be the weirdest fall semester in…you know, ever…just became actionable. Impactful. Connected.

Teen Vogue has you covered.

See you in class.


  • Illana Raia

    Founder & CEO


    Recently named one of the first 250 entrepreneurs on the Forbes Next 1000 List, Illana Raia is the founder and CEO of Être - a mentorship platform for girls. Believing that mentors matter as early as middle school, Illana brings girls directly into companies they select to meet female leaders face to face. The goal, as Être's French name suggests, is to help today's girls figure out who they want to be.    Named a Mogul Influencer in 2017, Illana appeared in the HuffPost "Talk To Me" video series, participated in the 2018 Balance Project Interviews and the 2019 #WomenWhoRock campaign, and has been featured on Cheddar TV and podcasts like The Other 50%, Her Money, Finding Brave and Women To Watch. Illana has authored 50+ articles for Thrive Global, HuffPost and Ms. Magazine, and her award-winning book Être: Girls, Who Do You Want To Be was released on Day of the Girl 2019. Her next book, The Epic Mentor Guide, is scheduled to arrive on International Women's Day 2022.   Prior to launching Être in 2016, Illana was a corporate attorney at Skadden, Arps in NYC and an occasional guest lecturer at Columbia University. She graduated from Smith College and the University of Chicago Law School, and remains unapologetically nerdy.