By Guest Contributor Amy Neguse
Amy Neguse is the recipient of the Women’s Center 2012-2013 Honoring Women Worldwide Scholarship, which sponsors participation in the Honoring Women Worldwide – Art of Honoring Leadership Development College Mentoring Program. Amy is also the winner of the 2012-2013 Sharon L. Doherty Student Leadership Award. She will be guest blogging about her leadership and mentorship experiences throughout the year. Below is her post about her experience at the 1st Annual STRONG Conference.
STRONG [Simple Transitions Render Opportunities Necessary for Growth]. This organization encompasses what they call V.P.P. – Vision, Purpose, and Passion. These key elements capture the true essence of what STRONG is all about. The mission strives to emphasize healthy life transitions, growth and development, and the evolution of strong-willed, business-savvy women that can contribute to the progression of our communities. Founded, led, and organized by motivated women, STRONG is the epitome of women empowerment and leadership.
All the women in attendance came from all walks of life, different upbringings and life-changing events, came from various cultures and backgrounds, but most importantly, we shared the common passion for empowering and uplifting our sisters. This conference came at the perfect time and was one of the most refreshing and uplifting experiences of the year thus far. Senior year, preparing for graduation and my future has been a very stressful and overwhelming experience, but the drive, energy, and genuine love the women shared with one another uplifted me in so many inexplicable ways.
Throughout the inspiring keynote addresses, all of the women addressed the importance of not only elevating your personal success but always taking back your expertise and skills and helping those within the community, especially young girls and women. Our success comes from within and empowering one another will provide us with the wisdom, opportunities to capitalize on our strengths, and drive to inspire the next generation of women. The women embodied one of my favorite quotes by the inspirational Maya Angelou; she once stated, “A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” Their embodiment of this quote is reflected through their past, present, and future dedicated to being themselves and sharing their story to help change the lives of women; one step at a time.
Some of the powerful messages I learned throughout the experience included messages about finding your purpose and exploring ways to be successful, reflecting on consistent themes and patterns in our lives in order to help discover your passions, and always holding your morals and values near when finding success. One of the most unforgettable quotes was from the exceptionally moving Shade Ashani; “choosing courage over shame” was her message to us. To her, sharing some of her most personal and traumatic life experiences was her version of being courageous, especially if it would help even one other woman in the world. She exemplified the overall message of the weekend; she spread her wisdom, life lessons, and knowledge to a group of women in order to encourage us to be the best we can be.
With vision, purpose, and passion,