Camp LiveGirl 2018 Keynote Speakers


Jessica Long, 2nd Most Decorated U.S. Paralympic Athlete of All Time & Author "Unsinkable"

Jessica Long exploded on to the sports scene in 2004 when, at the age of 12, she won three gold medals at the Athens Paralympics. She continued to win awards, including the2006 U.S Olympic Committee’s Paralympian of the Year, and, at the age of 15, the 2007 AAU Sullivan Award, given to the nation’s top amateur athlete. She was the first Paralympian to receive this honor, beating out such high-profile athletes as speed skater Apolo Ohno and fellow swimmer Michael Phelps, and is still the only athlete with a disability to win the award in its 82-year history.

ABOUT "Unsinkable: From Russian Orphan to Paralympic Swimming World Champion" (to be released June 5th, 2018)

Born in Siberia with fibular hemimelia, Jessica Long was adopted from a Russian orphanage at thirteen months old and has since become the second most decorated U.S. Paralympic athlete of all time. Now, Jessica shares all the moments in her life—big and small, heartbreaking and uplifting—that led to her domination in the Paralympic swimming world. This photographic memoir, filled with photographs, sidebars, quotes, and more, will thrill her fans and inspire those who are hearing her story for the first time.


Lena Pacheco, CT Women's Hall of Fame

Lena Harwood Pacheco has dedicated her academic and professional work to the causes of women’s rights and educational equity.  She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies, where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, and received the Helen Warren Smith Award for outstanding leadership and service.  Immediately following graduation, she joined Teach For America, launching her 8 years as an elementary school teacher in the greater Hartford area.  During her tenure as teacher, Lena took on many instructional leadership roles, facilitating professional development for new educators and writing curriculum materials – experience she gladly combines with her passion for women’s rights as Education Manager at the Hall. 

Outside of the field of education, Lena keeps herself busy through her training in the martial arts. She currently holds the rank of 2nd degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, Level 1 Jeet Kune Do Instructor Certification, blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and rank in Modern Arnis.  She also enjoys the arts, particularly drawing, painting, and Latin and Ballroom dancing.  She currently resides in Cromwell, Connecticut with her husband and her daughter.  


Pilin Anice, Performing Artist & Athleta Ambassador

Pilin Anice is a dance and yoga instructor, performing artist, and model. Pilin is passionate about helping others tune into their highest self by improving their health and wellbeing. From universities to community organizations, she has guided students of all ages in the sacred movements of yoga and dance through a range of workshops and classes. She has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, BET/CentricTV, and YogaXpress. Pilin earned her 200 Hour RYT at Reflections Yoga in Guatemala and is certified in holistic nutrition as well as Thai Massage Therapy. For over 14 years, she has studied with masters of West African dance, Duhnam Technique, and African Diasporic dances of Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil. Her passion for yoga and dance lead her to become a certified Afro Flow Yoga instructor, which she has taught in the US and abroad.

A proud member of Actor Equity Association, Pilin has performed Off-Broadway, on National Tours and in regional productions. She has modeled in commercials, print ads, and industrials for many Fortune 500 companies including Disney, Visa, Google, Chase, and Canon. She has also worked extensively as a vocalist performing in concerts and cabarets throughout New York City.

Pilin is an alumna of Howard University, where she was awarded the Debbie & Phylicia Ayers-Allen Performing Arts Scholarship. She also studied at the Ailey School and is a certified nutrition coach from Institute for Integrative Nutrition.


Sarah Edwards, Queen of Diamonds, Race Car Driver

Sarah is a 23-year-old drag racer from Stamford, CT.  After her Dad heard a radio ad, her parents took Sarah to Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ, her first time to any motorsports event, for what they saw as a chance for a little 'family fun'.  The sensation that filled Sarah’s twelve-year-old body watching the 'Queen of Diamonds' Jet Dragster exceed the speeds of 300 MPH in a ¼ mile filled her head with a dream.

In addition to earning her upgraded NHRA License, Sarah went on to earn her Associates Degree in Interior Design from Norwalk Community College.  During the weekdays, Sarah works with an Interior Designer in her hometown of Stamford, CT as well as for a construction company, doing administrative work. When Friday rolls around she now turns the fabrics and paint swatches in for a helmet and jet engine. "I'm ecstatic about joining the race team I once only dreamed of being a part of, Hanna Motorsports Jets", stated Sarah.  "Rich, Al, and Ellen have welcomed me, and this definitely is an opportunity I plan to make a reality".  


Lauren Oliver, NY Times Bestselling Author

NY Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver will join us at Camp LiveGirl this summer! Lauren Oliver has published numerous young adult novels including Panic, the Delirium trilogy, and Before I Fall (which was made into a major motion picture in 2017).

Her next book, Broken Things, will be released on October 2nd and we can’t wait to read it!!

(Look for Panic on Amazon streaming soon! This brilliant book is being made into a TV series!!)