At just 11-year-old’s Vanessa Sam has already achieved what  many of us don’t even get to do in a lifetime.

The award winning motivational speaker who has travelled the world and was the youngest volunteer to travel to Kenya and help build an orphanage, is writing her third book.

Before Christmas she gave a motivational talk at the Young Girls Thrive Christmas celebration at St Paul’s Church where inspiring young girls were presented with certificates by Croydon Mayor Toni Letts for their achievements (pictured).

Vanessa, who went to primary school in Thornton Heath  was just nine when she attended an event called Parent Talk and her mum Veronika’s friend, who is also a motivational speaker, asked her to come on stage to say few worlds.

She fell in love with inspiring others and asked if she could have a YouTube channel. Now she shares her passion and thoughts via her posts on all social media ‘Inspiring Vanessa’.

More recently she has been working with Croydon Council and was awarded the Croydon Council Award for Good Citizen in March 2017

She has two books under her belts: The 12 keys to success available to download on her website and The five secrets of Public Speaking Success available on Amazon and

Her passion and dreams are to inspire children around the world for them to be “who they want to be”. But she still as many plenty more ambitions not least to meet American TV host Ellen DeGeneres because she inspires her daily to help others.

Her biggest fan mum Veronika said: “Yes she is still 11-year-old girl who likes to play with her friends and toys but she truly loves what she does and that’s why is doesn’t feel like it’s hard.”

*Young Girls Thrive is a social enterprise helping young girls aged 12 to 21 to boost their esteem so they can thrive, grow and inspire others in today’s society.

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