I started the believe project in hopes to inspire young girls to find their passion, develop their confidence and strive to be their best selves. It all started with my pink “believe” hoodie, and has grown into an empowerment. I feel very strongly about being actively involved in encouraging the next generation of leaders.
As a recent marketing student, when the Always #LIKEAGIRL campaign was released, I was extremely excited about it. I thought it was genius for their brand, and value proposition. I was even more impressed with the positive impact it would have on girls. Puberty, can cause major plummets in a girl’s confidence, and there needs to be more movements to help keep them confident, active and unstoppable. This is one of their videos, and I love its message. I spread this same message in my talks.
This week, I had the pleasure of talking with an amazing group of Girl Guides, ages 9-12. The theme of the session was “Lead Like a Girl”. The main message was that if you want to be a good leader, you need to believe in yourself! I went over 10 of my most important lessons I have learned so far, while competing at 3 World Championships in Taekwon-do.
I loved giving one of the girls a “Podium Moment”. She has a dream of being an Olympic Gymnast, so she was very excited about it! She stepped onto the stool, wore my National Team jacket and gold medal, and listened to the National Anthem as her friends cheered for her. My “Podium Moments” always felt a little lonely, even though I was extremely grateful to be standing there, representing my country. It taught me that it didn’t only matter what I accomplished, but who I was as a person. I could have all the success in the world, but what good was it, without people to share it with? My TRUE “Podium Moments” were when I looked into my parents eyes, who knew all of the blood sweat and tears that went into my success, as we both smiled. I remember hugging my parents, crying, as they whispered “you did it”. It was when I got to hug my friends, coaches, and supporters. It was when I got home, and felt the pride of winning for my country. Saying thank you to everyone who helped me along the way, those were my “Podium Moments”.
At the end of my talk, I gave each of the girls a decorative bag to take home, with a little glass bottle in it. I then gave the girls a challenge, to reinforce some of the key messages I wanted them to take away. I put on some music, and the girls spread out to write down their answers to the questions, and then anything else they wanted to write. I was so touched how seriously they took it.
I wanted to finish the evening with a fun activity to put the girls outside their comfort zones, and to give them an opportunity to practice their leadership skills as they helped each other. I gave the girls a series of beginner Taekwon-do exercises to try, and I loved watching the girls with experience help those without it. There was a lot of laughter, and focused faces. This particularly reinforced my lesson “There’s a Time and a Place” to be competitive. Growing up as an extremely competitive kid, I learned that sometimes it’s better to pass the ball and help others, than to win or show off. This activity was great because there was no pressure to perform. It was amazing to see the girls helping and supporting each other.
Girl Guides mission is “a better world, by girls”, and wants to achieve this through “girls empowering girls”.
I have so much respect for Girl Guides and the values the programs instill in young girls. I noticed right away, that they were natural leaders. Just from 2 hours together, I felt so much hope and pride for our next generation. These girls are kind, attentive, love to participate, good communicators, and are socially aware.
Thank you Girl Guides for having me, and I hope you enjoyed the night. I know I sure did! Keep up the great work!