Use Your Voice, Find Your Power


By: Andrea Jacob, Team Strong 2018, Canada

“We are powerful creatures; we just have to harness it.” – Stephanie McMahon

(Chief Brand Officer of WWE)

When Stephanie spoke to us on the first day of the Summit, her words really resonated with me. The girls in our movement are the faces of change and we are molding the future. This year, at the 2018 Girl Up Leadership Summit we had 400 girls (and boys) from over 24 different countries. What better time and way to implement a change and nurture leadership than bringing together this generation’s change makers. Our speakers reiterated that to make a change, we need to be bold and fearless, and like Stephanie said we have already the power to do this, we just have to find our way to use it. We are all powerful in our own unique way. To make a change in this world, we need to recognize the power of our voices.

This year as a member of Team Strong, I had the opportunity to interview speakers one on one. A moment of strength for me was interviewing Munira Khalif. Munira Khalif is a former Girl Up Teen Advisor and has just recently completed her tenure as the United States Youth Observer to the United Nations. She was very inspiring and it is amazing to see how she harnessed her power to make a difference. It is truly incredible to see the impact she has made globally. One of the things we learned at the Summit is that our opportunities are endless. We all have our own strength stories and this is just the beginning of our global impact. As a member of Team Strong, I learnt about the importance of mental and physical strength. To be powerful and make a difference in the world, we need to focus and make a difference in ourselves.

When we spoke with Ksenia, she really explained the importance of nutrition, strength, and self-love. She told us to incorporate passion and self love in to what we do, because that can truly transform it. Years back, Ksenia had hit a low point in her life, but recognized her power in using social media and nutrition. She is now the founder of the social media platform breakfastcriminals with over 100K+ followers and has a weekly podcasts called Woke & Wired focusing on your power, consciousness, and entrepreneurship in the digital age.

Lobby Day was a great way to end the summit on a high note. 400 Girl Up Leadership Summit attendees on Capitol Hill speaking to senators and house representatives to promote the Education and Safe Spaces bills, respectively, is truly powerful. We were all united, supporting the same singular goal, and using our powerful voices to make a difference. One of my favourite things about Girl Up is networking. We make so many strong connections at the Summit and having friends in our community is great when you need advice, suggestions, and feedback for fundraising and advocating with your club.

The Leadership Summit is incredible because you make life long connections and friendships whether it be with attendees, speakers, or staff. It was amazing to meet my friends from last year and forge new friendships. I am already looking forward to next year!