Like a seasoned orator, Brandon Farbstein lets audiences into his true self. He is relatable and sincere, with a depth that goes beyond his years. Those abilities were on full display in April at the annual TEDxRVA forum, which allowed an audience to see the struggles of someone with a rare form of dwarfism.
The young man sitting across the table from me inside Alchemy Coffee is an old soul whose bearing belies his mere 17 years on the planet. When he speaks, his baritone voice is laced with an insight it usually takes years to earn, and he looks me straight in the eye – not nervous, not shy.
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Brandon Farbstein thrives under tight deadlines. The sophomore delivers his high school’s morning reports at 9 a.m. sharp. The anchor desk a place where he feels most comfortable. This 16-year old intends to make television history. “Since I was about 11 years old I wanted to go into journalism,” Brandon said.
TEDxRVA takes center stage at the Carpenter Theatre on Friday. The popular event features a variety of speakers from all over the country, inspiring members of the audience and helping them change the way they see the world. However, for one Richmond-area teenager, his experience at TEDxRVA changed his own life.
Brandon is diagnosed with rare form of dwarfism known as metatropic dysplasia. At 18 years old he is 45 inches tall. After experiencing bullying Brandon made the decision to fully embrace his identity and celebrate his differences. Now he is encouraging others to do the same as a motivational speaker.
Kelli’s at Pop’s to have coffee with Brandon Farbstein. Brandon’s the kid who gave a Ted talk at 15 years old, then within the same year he was named to Style Weekly’s 40 Under 40 .
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – When you see Brandon Farbstein in a crowd, his energy and message are magnetic. “I want people not to close themselves to their differences. Embrace them and be who you are and stop hiding yourself. The world will love you,” the 15-year-old motivational speaker and performer explains.