by Angela Liu
Going into the She’s the First Summit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This had been an amazing year for our Catlin Gabel chapter, but we hadn’t had any face time with other members of the movement outside of CG just yet. However, throughout the course of these two days, we participated in workshops, listened to and asked questions of panelists, and learned what all of these 125 She’s the First chapters had been up to during this past year. The speakers were inspiring, and the other students we met even more so.
Though much was learned in just 48 short hours, here are what I believe to be the three most important takeaways from this weekend of raw energy and passion.
1. Alone we are strong, but together we are stronger.
She’s the First has 125 chapters scattered across the United States. Coming together at this summit allowed us to see what we had collectively accomplished. I was so proud that our Catlin Gabel chapter was recognized as a platinum chapter as well as for Outstanding Global Citizenship. While She’s the First may have started with simply clicking “Upload” on a Youtube video, it has truly grown into a global movement at 529 scholars and counting.
2. Never pass up the opportunity to hear leaders who have come before you speak.
Learning from other leaders and listening to the stories of those who came before you is one of the best ways to improve your own skills. There were so many inspiring speakers that it’s impossible to pick a favorite – but here are some quotes that I thought perfectly embodied the spirit of the discussions that happened this weekend:
“The transformative effect [of quality schooling] is immediate, obvious, and long-lasting.” – John Wanda, Founder of Arlington Academy of Hope on the power of education
“Feminism for me means I should be who I am and in the future, whoever I want to be, and not be judged.” Reneé Joslyn, Director of Integration of Girls and Women at the Clinton Global Initiative.
“There’s a fear factor with the word feminist. The feminist word is about equality, and there’s nothing icky about that.” Michelle Tan, editor-in-chief of Seventeen
3. A weekend can change lives forever
This was such an empowering, inspiring weekend. It’s amazing to think that in just 2 short days, you can take a step that gives you a completely different perspective, inspires you to start a movement, or even provides you with friends and connections that impact you for the rest of your life.