You're important, you matter and your story could save someone’s life

Giovan's Yale Symposium 2015 VideoI am Giovan Bazan. My life started with abandonment by my birth mother, the passing away of a loving foster mom, and years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. On top of that, the foster care system deemed it beneficial to diagnose me as mentally ill and forced me to take countless psychiatric medications for twelve long years. As a teenager, my life consisted of juvenile detention centers, homelessness, boot camps and more medications to cover up all of my unresolved trauma.

By twenty years old, I had taken back my life. I overcame the adversity of my childhood and adolescent years, addressed the trauma of my past and was completely off all medications. I had come a tremendously long way and yet I felt as though I was missing something.  I was missing what all people spend their lives pursuing, either inadvertently or intentionally. I yearned intently for Purpose, a reason and a mission that justified all that I had endured. I found my purpose, as it often happens, by accident, chance, divine intervention.

VOX Teen Communications, a non-profit organization in Atlanta, Georgia, invited me to attend a workshop they were hosting to elevate the voices of youth in the ‘system’. They asked me if I would share my story with them. Needless to say, I had spent my whole life recounting the most intimate aspects of my life to psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, full courtrooms, etc. (most of whom were complete strangers). Their sympathies to my sorrows were a head nod and the scribbling of pen on note pad. Their consolation for my conundrums were prescription drugs to “take the pain away.”  To say that I was reluctant to reveal my inner life in this way again, now that I was completely out of the system, would be a colossal understatement.  So I asked them, “Why?” Their answer was the beginning of what would become the very purpose of my life, “Because Giovan, you are important, you matter and your story could save someone’s life.”  Thus commenced the start of my speaking and advocacy career.

GB International is a speaking and consulting firm of which I am the founder and CEO. My clients are middle schools and high schools, colleges/universities, and all types of organizations. However, I am most proud of the many advocacy projects that I promote all over the country with youth from all different backgrounds. Recently, I decided that I would start a YouTube Channel, as I have been looking for a way to reach a broader platform of people in a way that is funny, creative and meaningful. You see, I want to share with everyone the awesome people I meet and the amazing organizations that I get to work with. Most importantly, I want to share the beautiful truth that anyone can make a difference regardless of what they have been through or where they are from. So for now, I will be posting videos to this channel at least once a month to showcase the cool projects I’m working on and to raise awareness about the issues we are tackling.

The opening video shows my first time at the rudder in a flight over Los Angeles, CA while working with Tomorrows Aeronautical Museum, a non-profit that teaches at risk youth in Compton about aviation, and even allows them to obtain a pilot’s license. How cool is that?! My latest video is attending the Yale Symposium on Mental Health in April as a board member of the Foundation of Excellence in Mental Health Care. I encourage everyone to Subscribe to the channel and if you like any of the videos, click the thumbs up! (Giving the thumbs up to videos gives them higher ranking on YouTube and in search engines, which means the more thumbs up, the more priority my videos are given). This channel is a look at my life and how an average 24 year old with a troubled childhood can turn lemons into lessons and a mess into a message. If you have an idea for a video you would like to see me do or would like me to make a video with you and your organization, then comment below one of the videos or send me an email at! Thanks for the support and I look forward to showing you awesome videos!




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