Molly Burke is a Canadian motivational speaker, disability rights activist, and internet celebrity. Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of four, Molly Burke lost her vision during her childhood. Despite going through many hardships and challenges, Molly grew up sharing her heart-warming stories. As a speaker, Molly Burke has travelled around the world, addressing audiences as big as 20,000. She has collaborated with the likes of Malala Yousafzai, Demi Lovato, and Martin Luther King III to name a few. In 2017, she became the primary model for Dove’s international ad campaign. Molly Burke is also hugely popular across social media. Her self-titled YouTube channel has gathered more than 1.4 million subscribers.
Childhood & Early Life
Molly Burke was born on February 8, 1994 in Toronto, Canada. She grew up along with her brother Brady in Oakville, Ontario. Molly was an active kid and an enthusiastic soccer player. She loved climbing the structures that a nearby playground had to offer her. At the age of four, she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic disorder that causes loss of vision. At the age of five, she became the ambassador for an organization called ‘The Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada’ and began public speaking as part of the organization’s campaigns. Molly’s vision deteriorated over the next 10 years. At the beginning, she only had to deal with night blindness and color blindness. But by the time she was 14, she had lost her vision completely. This led to her being bullied at school as she became an easy target. But Molly’s worst nightmare at school was that many thought that she was faking her blindness.
Vulnerable and scared, Molly decided not to go back to her school after an incident that left her trembling. Thereafter, she joined a school for the blind, where she began singing and writing lyrics for a band. After completing her tenth grade, Molly decided to switch back to a normal school and began life afresh with the help of a teacher named Rachel Stinson. After graduating high school, Molly Burke wanted to travel to places like Africa to help those in need. She was inspired by her brother Brady, who at the time was working in an orphanage in Africa. Molly came across an organization, ‘Me to We,’ which invited her to be a part of its mission to help build a school in Kenya. Molly then traveled to Kenya and started speaking at a local girls’ school. When she was told that her speeches were motivational, Molly realized that she was meant to become a motivational speaker.
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As a motivational speaker and activist, Molly Burke has shared stages with the likes of Martin Sheen, Macklemore, and Demi Lovato among other major celebrities. She has worked closely with world-renowned activists like Malala Yousafzai, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King III, and the Kielburger brothers. In 2009, she became a torchbearer at the ‘Winter Paralympic Games.’ In 2010, she won the ‘Miss Teen Canada International’ title. In 2013, she was one of the correspondents at the ‘TeenNick Halo Awards,’ held in Los Angeles. In 2015, Molly was part of a roundtable discussion on youth leadership and entrepreneurship with Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. In 2016, Molly was invited to be a part of Canada’s first ‘Youth Accessibility Forum,’ where she shared her views with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In September 2016, she joined Me to We’s speakers’ bureau and shared her story with 20,000 eager listeners at the ‘Air Canada Centre’ in Toronto. Molly’s speech earned her a standing ovation. In 2017, she was chosen as the primary model for Dove’s international ad campaign, becoming the new face of the beauty product.
Molly’s love for makeup, fashion, and music encouraged her to start a YouTube channel. She created her channel on July 10, 2014, and started posting vlogs, life stories, challenges, etc. Many of her YouTube videos have her explaining how she manages her day-to-day activities including applying makeup, which she loves the most. She has often collaborated with fellow YouTube stars like Shane Dawson. In fact, Dawson helps her create video thumbnails. She also maintains an Instagram page, which has gathered over 478,000 followers. According to her official Twitter handle, Molly was chosen as the presenter at the 2018 ‘Streamy Awards.’
Molly enjoys singing and practices suspension yoga quite regularly. She also likes spending time with her guide dog, Gallop. Over the years, she has stressed on the importance of guide dogs. Molly is close to her mother Niamh. In fact, Niamh is the one who manages her Tinder and other dating profiles. Molly currently lives in Los Angeles.