2016 Conference Speaker: Jillian Hauf
When Jillian Hauf was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the knowledge of her mysterious birthmark was limited to only a small paragraph in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the well-meaning doctors did what they do when they don't have the answers – they gave Jillian six months to live. Her devastated parents were soon moving on with life as usual when Jillian did not exhibit any signs of discomfort or illness and instead was a curious and energetic child.
Despite fears of bullying or ostracization from classmates, Jillian's parents moved forward with sending her to public school. Jillian thrived in school, and at the age of seven she became a published poet with her poem titled “Me” that described growing up looking differently from her peers. Aside from the occasional tantrum over having to sit through periods of “shade time” during beach vacations, Jillian had a happy childhood that some may call “normal”. This state of normalcy continued as she stumbled through adolescence on feet that were too big and legs that were too long. These big feet and long legs later developed into assets on the court where Jillian played varsity basketball and was later crowned homecoming queen of her high school.
Jillian attended the University of Tulsa where she was active in her sorority, student government, and social justice organizations. She graduated with her class with a degree in political science, a semester spent studying indigenous cultures in Peru, and a deep desire to help people with differences realize their unique beauty.
Jillian now resides with her fiancé in San Francisco, California where she facilitates experiences that help guide people to move beyond their feelings of fear and self-doubt as a Certified Firewalking Instructor and Empowerment Leader.