What happens when you put 175 passionate girl leaders (and one brave boy!) from 28 states and 6 countries in one room? Magic – Girl Up Leadership Summit kind of magic. Last week the Summit brought youth leaders to Washington, D.C. to learn about the challenges AND potential girls in developing countries have, and how you and I can play a role.
In case you missed it, here are three amazing things we experienced during the three-day event:
1. Real Stories from Inspirational Ladies. Some of the many speakers included: Ambassador Cathy Russell, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues; Amy Robach, anchor for “Good Morning America”; Anne Fulenwider, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire magazine; Monique Coleman, actress and girls’ rights activist; and Angelica Fuentes, CEO of Omnilife and founder of Angelíssima. Whether it was Ambassador Samantha Power telling us to “know something about something” or Shaun Robinson saying that “a setback is a set-up for a comeback,” the speakers were living proof of the potential of all women. Oh, did I mention we got a special video message from First Lady Michelle Obama? That was totally inspiring.
2. Worldly Workshops. This year’s workshops touched on a number of topics, such as “Feminism is not a Dirty Word” to “Creating your Digital Personality.” We learned how to host successful fundraisers, bring Girl Up to college campuses and become leaders in our communities. These workshops gave us the essential tools to be successful advocates for change.
3. Storming Capitol Hill. On the last day we took over Capitol Hill and met with members of Congress about the Girls Count Act of 2013. In just one day, we had more than 80 meetings with members of Congress and their staff! Want in on the fun? Download the Girl Up Advocacy app and learn how you can advocate for girls without leaving your chair.
Above all, the most important thing I learned was this: No matter where you are in the world, if you are a girl, you are special and we all have the power to change the world!