Past and Present
My hopes for young women is that they believe they are important and matter in this world and are proud of who they are becoming. As a result of our caring and dedication to children's successful future I dream that young women will celebrate their power and greatness thereby strengthening our communities. For over fifteen years I have worked and volunteered for various organizations and schools (profit and non-profit) that support women, children, families, and communities gaining more skills and insight into the world of young women and the great need to be a leader in guiding our youth.
As a teenager, I felt very fortunate to have at least one adult I could turn to and trust - especially as I struggled with issues of self-esteem and believing in myself and my dreams. I wouldn't be the woman I am today if it weren't for my aunt and I believe volunteering to produce the Young Women's Empowerment Weekend is a great way to give back the gift I received.
I was a quiet timid teen growing up and have emerged a woman who loves herself and those around her. I am a mother, aunt and god mother to teen and young adult women. I see many of the challenges young people face today, peer pressure, self identity, and transitioning into adulthood. It is my hope that by being a role model and adult they can and do come to that I act as a pebble in the pond causing a ripple affect in their lives and those of other young women.
As a young woman, developing relationships grounded in shared values, standards, respect, and trust, empowered me to overcome crystallized thinking, and therefore base my decisions on self-reliance as opposed to insecurity. My veracity and commitment to young women today is a reflection of my core values, and is attributed to the legacy of the women who came before me. My hope is that young women experience their unique greatness in the Young Women’s Empowerment Weekend and take with them the tools to demonstrate this in their personal life and community. Over the past 15 years I have volunteered with women, children, and families, lead and mentored university honors and service events, volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters; and most recently have been active with Emergency Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, and Covering Kids & Families Organization.
As a teenager, I was very friendly and energetic and participated in sports, school plays, and art. Although I found these activities to be enjoyable and kept my energy moving in a postitive direction, I desperately wanted to belong, to fit in, and to be unconditionally loved.
I was always the girl, now a woman, who my friends went to for advice even if I didn’t have the answer. I would always give them the best of who I was. I credit my success now to having an amazing mentor in my life while I was in college. I love to laugh and bring my enthusiasm for life in everything I do. I also love to see when young adults understand and get that they have value and are important to our society.
"This weekend I learned to believe. Love, respect, care for and appreciate myself because if I wont’ no one else will and most importantly because I am worth it. I learned having relationships with others is important because we can learn, support, and encourage each other. I learned that if I open up and really try I can forget and let go of the bad past relationship with my mother and start a new." - Karla age 17