Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a complete cultural immersion and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was as if the entire event had been created with my deepest passions (community service and diversity) in mind. Being able to interact with one-hundred gifted, talented, and culturally diverse women gave me insight into the potential that I have to change the world someday. I quickly found that I had something in common with each and every woman in attendance. We have all identified a problem in our communities and immediately took action to develop a solution. I saw myself in them. I saw my deep passion mirrored by them. I saw my own potential in what they have been able to accomplish. I saw them as examples of what I can become and what I can do, and I saw my sincere desire to help others and make a difference woven into their personal stories about why they started their projects.
I started the CARE Closet after discovering that a classmate didn’t have enough food at home. I was sure that I had to do something and I had to figure out what to do and how to do it. I heard it mentioned at the conference that it is totally normal, and a great motivator, to experience failure. I found this to be true in my case. When I contacted the local food bank and asked them to bring food to help our students, I was told, very simply, “No”. The CARE Closet was created as a result of that “No”. VV100 taught me that I should be grateful for the “No” because it pushed me to create my own solution to a problem that I was passionate about solving.
At the very beginning of the conference I was told that “my greatest tools and most valuable assets were sitting in that room.” That really stuck with me throughout the week. In that moment I felt bonded to these ladies and saw them as resources to help me expand my project because they all mirrored my passion. I could learn from them while listening to their amazing stories and discussing their projects.
Speaking on the panel at the WorldWideWomen Girls’ Festival was another truly amazing experience because I was able to inspire other young girls and positively motivate them to make a difference in the world. It was a dream come true for me and one that I will never forget. This experience gave me a chance to share my story and empower young girls to discover what it is that they love to do while giving back to their communities. It was the perfect way to end the week because I was able to give to others the way that the women of VV100 gave to me.
For more information on the ANNpower initiative please visit the website.