Valerie is a believer that we need to put more compassion and empathy into the world. A professional actress, she practices what she believes by acting in medical/psych training scenarios with the armed forces at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, teaching them to empathetically listen to patients. Valerie often praises her diverse, engaged, welcoming city of Hyattsville.
In 2016, she became the Director of Community Engagement with Ally Theatre Company at Joe’s Movement Emporium, serving underrepresented voices in her community. Valerie has met with business owners and residents along the Route 1 corridor to introduce them to Ally Theatre in hopes that someday the community will feel truly represented by the stories told. Valerie’s activism and advocacy for those without voices started at a young age, when she assisted in training shelter dogs to be service animals. Her eyes were opened to the never-ending cycle of backyard breeding, neglect, abuse, dumping, and euthanasia that the overrun shelter systems in our country face. She has been a longtime volunteer and supporter of Partnership for Animal Welfare Rescue in Greenbelt, pulling dogs to safety from the Prince George’s County shelter. After learning about the direct connection between animal abuse and human abuse, she has taken her activism to lawmakers’ doors, advocating for strengthening animal welfare laws, holding abusers accountable, opposing the cruelty and negative economic impact of breed specific bans, and bringing humane education into schools.
Valerie graduated cum laude from Emerson College in Boston with a BFA in Acting. www.valeriefenton.com.