Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Inspiration at Its Finest" by Guest Blogger Morgan Serventi

As one of Girl Scouts of the USA’s 2014 National Young Women of Distinction, I earned my national award by creating a service project and expanding it across my community, but also taking it to Kenya, Africa. While many young Girl Scouts did a simple Gold Award project close to home, I knew at a young age I wanted to make a difference not just at home but also in the larger world.

Because of my passion for global issues, I was honored to have the opportunity to travel to New York City and attend the Sixth Annual Women in the World Summit in April. Women from across the globe were there representing their culture and speaking on important issues, whether it was the struggles they face everyday living in a third-world country and simply trying to survive, or the challenges confronting business women trying to balance family and work. Kicking things off at the summit was the beautiful writer and editor Tina Brown, who delivered a powerful and uplifting opening message. I was truly overwhelmed by all of the amazing, influential women surrounding me—not just luminaries like Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, and Hillary Clinton, but also everyday heroes who crossed oceans to tell their stories.

Every individual in that room was an extreme go-getter. The women I learned the most from were those who had traveled thousands of miles from places where women must fight for the most fundamental rights that we take for granted here in America. Young Eunice Akoth, a 12-year-old from Nairobi, fights for her right to an education and understands that she is made for greatness! She came from nothing and is doing incredible things with her life. I was in awe as I listened to Bushra Awad, a heartbroken Palestinian mother who has lost her son, share her story with Robi Damelin, an Israeli mother who has also lost her son and is just as hurt. Although uncomfortable, they talked to each other and had a real conversation about what really matters and how to deal with death—but most importantly, how they share the same pain. This was a truly powerful moment, and one of the most engaging of the summit.

The Women in the World Summit really opened me up to the many possibilities of what I can become and all things I am capable of. I am so appreciative that Toyota supported me, and I’m so grateful to Girl Scouts for seeing my true potential and encouraging me to aspire to greatness.

All women face challenging conflicts, and each woman handles them in her own unique way. This summit taught me that I can do absolutely anything I put my mind to. The more women join together and stand strong, the more likely we are to eliminate conflict before it spreads.