In the spirit of International Women’s Day, the San Antonio non-profit Women’s Global Connection (WGC) put on the half-day Girls Global Summit recently to empower and build up area girls and young women.
A diverse group of over 200 girls, women, and a handful of male students came to the Rosenberg Sky Room on UIW’s campus bright and early on Sat., March 5. The free event was planned and led by a team of six local high school girls who serve as interns for Women’s Global Connection (WGC), the summit’s sponsoring organization.
WGC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit associated with the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. It inspires girls and women to be caring, connected, smart and strong by promoting learning and leadership capacity locally and globally. WGC offers cross-cultural immersion trips to places such as Peru, Tanzania, Kenya and Mexico – all countries where it helps direct sustainable community programs in the areas of microfinance, early childhood and women’s economic development.
At Saturday’s high-energy summit, students from over 20 area middle and high schools, along with two universities, learned more about how to courageously become tomorrow’s leaders. Event facilitator Tracy Tylman, a WGC board member, had audience members practice standing confidently, or “power posing,” while repeating empowerment mantras.
The Girls Global Summit, held annually, helps to raise strong female leaders who care about their communities and are agents of change. The summit motivates young women towards advocacy and activism. Of the many topics discussed during the girl-led table talk sessions were gender equality, equal pay, clean water access in developing countries, feminism, women in politics and power in the workforce.
The Summit was also an important space for promoting and discussing education. The girls – who ranged from 7 to over 70 years old – learned about how diversity, awareness and engagement in community and global issues expand their own growth and learning. It’s foundational work that informs their entire educational experience. One attendee said she walked away believing more than ever that “knowledge is the first step in effecting change.”
Several speakers at the summit educated the girls on the issues of community safety and family well-being. Particularly, Patricia Castillo of San Antonio’s P.E.A.C.E Initiative and the recipient of this year’s WGC Globally Awesome Girl Award, passionately reminded the girls they are deserving of love and respect. The statistic of 1 in 3 women being affected by domestic violence became all too real as girls began counting themselves off. With dating/domestic/family violence corroding communities, Castillo urged those in the audience to be courageous in self-love and create a culture of health by honoring their own values.
Founder and editor of the local ChicaGirl Magazine, Toni Lee Jimenez, also spoke to the girls about becoming a leader and entrepreneur. The San Antonio native is the embodiment of girl power, just like others who attended the event.
Overall, WGC is eager to continue building up girls for a better tomorrow. We welcome sponsorships for and attendees at the 2017 Girls Global Summit! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Intelligence, confidence and leadership skills are important characteristics of global girls of all ages! Also, if you are a high school junior or senior, please consider applying to be a high school intern for the program next school year. Inquiries can be sent to the email above.