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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why did Susie write the book 52 Ways to Protect Your Teen?

Susie Vanderlip wrote 52 Ways to support adults in their struggle to guide teens through the perils of adolescence in a world that is both morally degraded and predatory. Since starting her outreach in 1991, Vanderlip has spoken to over one million teens and adults and has coached 25,000 struggling teens. It became abundantly clear to her that parents, grandparents, teachers, therapists, caring adults and teens themselves need concrete guidance to communicate the support, encouragement and boundaries teens need to make it through this challenging time of life. More importantly, she says they need HOPE.

She wrote this book so adults can understand what feelings and thoughts lay beneath teenage behavior - the real fears, hurts, and hopes - that parents, grandparents and caring adults DO have influence over. And, she wrote the book so teens might feel understood.

2. Who did she write this book for?

The book was written for every woman and every man who cares about a child and for teens who wish to communicate better with parents and peers.

3. What is LEGACY OF HOPE®?

LEGACY OF HOPE® is a program Susie Vanderlip created that incorporates dance, drama and powerful personal stories. She portrays 8 different youth and adult characters from alcoholic, addicted, abusive and/or neglectful families – all based on real teens and adults she has met. She addresses the significant social issues of drinking and drug abuse, depression, suicide, self-harm, rage and violence, gangs, excess stress, and inappropriate teen sexuality. She is able to guide youth and adults to clearly see the underlying emotional turmoil and motives that lead our young into poor choices and serious consequences.

4. What motivated Susie to create LEGACY OF HOPE®?

In 1991, Susie went into the dance studio to choreograph an undefined piece on relationships. Out of that came the first of a series of characters in dance and monologue format that she felt compelled to create. These characters reflected her tormented feelings about her first husband, a well-educated and respected dentist, who developed serious alcohol and drug addictions leading to his death at the age of 35 in 1984.

Susie premiered LEGACY OF HOPE® in front of 800 high school students in October, 1991. After the assembly, 50 students rushed the stage to talk to her about the emotional pain, grief, loss, rage and fear that they felt she understood. For many, Susie Vanderlip was the first adult these teens felt knew what they were really going through. It was at that moment that Susie knew the mission she was called to do – to break through denial to awareness, understanding, HOPE and healing.

5. Where has Susie presented LEGACY OF HOPE®?

Susie has presented LEGACY OF HOPE® to one million teens and adults in 47 states, Canada and Guam . Hundreds of middle schools and high schools, colleges and universities, churches of every denomination, juvenile justice, alternative schools, and conferences. Notable conference clients have included the Betty Ford Center, Caron Foundation, Hazelden, American Counseling Association, state counseling associations, youth leadership conferences (Key Club, FCCLA, state student councils, VICA, FBLA, MADD, SADD, etc.), Youth Crime Watch of America, National Association of Social Workers, National Interagency Civil-Military Institute's Demand Reduction Training, School Psychologists, Crime Prevention Officers, and more.

6. What are the biggest fears teens have today?

From the 25,000 conversations Susie has had with teens, she has seen that a great many teens are afraid of not truly being loved by their parents and that the problems in their families and homes are somehow their fault.

Teens often don’t know that these fears drive their choices or that their use of alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, self-harm, eating disorders and more may be efforts to self-medicate and escape from emotional pain.. Many teens are relieved to find someone who understands their anger, rage, self-loathing, grief, guilt and unworthiness because they do not know how to be free of debilitating grief and painful feelings on their own.

7. How do parents protect their teens?

Understanding the underlying fears and feelings their teens have as well as becoming aware of their OWN motives and fears goes a long way to opening up communication with a teen. Ultimately, it is a more understanding, compassionate, courteous and safe relationship between parents and teens that protects them. More information on creating such protective relationships is found in the book.

8. What can schools do to help protect our teens?

Susie highly recommends that schools include a variety of awareness programs throughout the school year because messages about use, sexuality and violence are in great abundance in a teen’s life every day. One program on no-use, self-awareness and emotional intelligence a year is not sufficient to counteract the messages from media and peers. As a result, Susie advocates for support groups and peer helping programs on every middle school and high school campus. It is in these settings that teens with emotional trauma find relief, the ability to concentrate on academics, and become contributors in schools rather than potentially dangerous influences on other students.

9. How do I buy your book 52 Ways to Protect Your Teen?

Susie Vanderlip’s book may be purchased online at, by phone at 800-707-1977, or on

10. How do I contact Susie Vanderlip to bring LEGACY OF HOPE® to my school, community, event or conference?

Visit for additional information and to view a demo video.
Call her office at 800-707-1977 or email

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