I first became involved with Girl Up in 2018 after attending the Leadership Summit in Washington, DC. The Leadership Summit was a life-changing experience and I was incredibly inspired by the impact that so many girls were having in their respective communities. I made so many friends from around the world that I still keep in contact with today. I especially loved the Day of Action and lobbying for the Keeping Girls in School Act on Capitol Hill. After the Summit, I was motivated to bring the incredible movement of Girl Up back to my school. I currently serve as the founding President of the Girl Up Club at my school. I also attended the Summit last year and it was another amazing experience. This year, I applied to serve as a 2020-2021 Girl Up Teen Advisor and I was so excited and honored to be accepted.
This year was a little bit different, but I was just as excited, if not more, about Girl Up’s first virtual Leadership Summit. I was most looking forward to the incredible speakers, especially Michelle Obama and Meghan Markle. The virtual format of the Summit gave us the opportunity to hear from some inspiring role models and I could not be more grateful. I was most struck by Monique Coleman’s speech, as her passion for supporting young girl is truly aspirational. I especially resonated with her when she said, “Grace will take you places that grit never will.” When I heard this, I was able to reflect on the many opportunities that Girl Up has given me, such as being able to speak to others with backgrounds different from my own and helping those with the potential to be leaders of the future. Each workshop that I attended was very informative and I left with a better understanding of how to be a more impactful leader in my community. My favorite workshop discussed advocacy and community building, and I am looking forward to utilizing what I learned with my Club, so that we can advocate for new bills to positively impact girls in our community.
Overall, the 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit was the highlight of my summer and I cannot wait for another incredible year of advocating for girls around the world with Girl Up!