How many people can say they have been in the same room as a NASA astronaut (Dr. Yvonne Cagle), author and journalist Maria Shriver and the “real Olivia Pope”, Judy Smith, all at the same time? I can, and so can the hundreds of young people who attended the Georgetown University Women in Leadership inaugural leadership summit “Own It”. As a student volunteer and a speaker shadow, I was given the opportunity to meet and assist MSNBC journalist Alex Wagner behind the scenes. It was truly an inspiration to meet so many confident and successful women from various backgrounds and industries. The summit featured breakout sessions, encouraging participants to “own [their] health and wellness”, “own [their] image” “own [their] goals” and “own [their] identity” just to name a few.
The summit was quite remarkable, demonstrating the power of vision and perseverance and like many people that afternoon, I walked away feeling bold and inspired. One piece of advice that really resonated with me was having persistence in connecting with women in the industry. Recently, I sent a personal email to a woman in the media and entertainment industries that I admire and respect seeking advice and wisdom—something I am not sure I would have done before GUWIL. Again, the boldness and the tenacity of the women really help to motivate me. I feel like I could take on the world, owning my aspirations and dreams to empower others to own their story, or as Georgetown alumna and journalist Nora O’Donnell so eloquently, I now feel like I can “do what I cannot do”.
Aya Waller-Bey (C’14), Alumni Career Services Intern
To hear more about this groundbreaking summit, visit http://www.ownitsummit.com/ or ttp://guwil.org/. Twitter handle: @GUWILeadership.