by Amanda Larson
Girls Inc. Coordinator, YWCA Madison, Wisc.
An incredible opportunity was bestowed on me just days before the YWCA’s National Conference. As a young woman in our organization, I was given the chance to fly to Washington, D.C., and participate in a very powerful event, the 2012 YWCA National Conference. YWCA staff, board and volunteers from across the country met to voice our commitment to our mission: eliminating racism and empowering women. There I realized a significant fact: I am part of the fight for women. During Capitol Hill Day, I felt honored to have the chance to have a voice on legislative issues that affect our ability to practice our mission. The YWCA mission is especially dear to me. As the Girls Inc. Coordinator, I see the importance of empowering girls every day. I won’t soon forget the experience of being a part of that conversation on a national level.
Twenty-five young women received the opportunity to attend the national meeting and I enjoyed meeting different people from YWCAs around the country. Most of the young women I met work in completely different jobs than I do, but they too hold a deep connection to our organizations and mission. Through social media, I’ve already connected with many of the great women I met. I was introduced to other passionate leaders who have been with the organization a long time. YWCA USA used an intelligent strategy to bring those “new” and “old” to the organization together and together we can’t lose!
Amanda Larson is the Girls Inc. Coordinator for YWCA Madison, Wisconsin. Amanda has worked with underserved youth for over 10 years and currently works with teen girls in a high-risk neighborhood, implementing curriculum and programming that inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Girls Inc. programming is designed to show young women their value and potential and help them lead successful, independent and fulfilling lives.