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September 18th, 2015

Role Models

This week has been a good week. I achieved two goals, one personal and one professional, that were the result of months of work and persistence. On both occasions I was buzzing with excitement and bursting to tell someone. My mind quickly went to people that knew how important this would be to me and would care. As I searched my phone for their numbers, I celebrated by replaying in my head the steps that had led to these accomplishments, and I realised that the people I was about to call, hadn’t just been bystanders in the journey but had played an integral part in my success. In both situations there were a number of significant people, with greater experience than me who had shared their knowledge, skills and wisdom with me and coached me a long the way. They helped me identify what I was doing well and what I could improve and they inspired me by their own achievements. On numerous occasions it was these peoples’ belief in my ability that led me to persevere when I was ready to give up.

This led me to think about how important role models are for our young women and their success, and the part that we can play in that. I took two young women to meet a journalist friend, Selena, a couple of weeks ago who is passionate about amplifying young women’s voices and seeing them aspire and achieve. Both girls have written short opinion pieces for Selena in the past and we were meeting to develop this relationship further. Selena was so encouraging and enthusiastic about their ability and their ideas and they came away freshly inspired and motivated to write. One of those young women rushed in to club this week excitedly waving a piece of paper which had a big red A* on it. This was her first piece of coursework in a new subject which she’d taken draft after draft of back to her teacher, determined to improve her grade. It was a privilege to celebrate with her and exciting to think that we are playing a small part in her present and her future success. I really look forward to continuing to connect our young women with people that can inspire them, encourage them in their gifts, hone their skills and cheer them on.