Today we’re celebrating a leader who is making others better as a result of her presence and making that impact last in her absence.
A rising senior in Oakland, CA, Alex is the treasurer of Girls Leadership’s Girl Advisory Board, (GAB). She first joined Girls Leadership in elementary school at a Girl and Grown-up workshop before attending our summer program for four years. Alex shares more about her GAB and leadership experience with us.
What made you want to join GAB?
It felt like a natural progression — I had so much love for the camp and loved all of the people I met there; to be able to help at a deeper level felt right.
Please share an example of how Girls Leadership has impacted your life.
I learned so much about myself at that first camp. I’m a very shy person — it’s hard to warm up to new people. Girls Leadership gave me a way to figure out what I need and how to be assertive about what I need and would like from my relationships. Defining that and getting clarity around it has really helped me figure out my friendships. The scheduling was really awesome. I’m an academic minded person — I love taking notes and being in a learning environment. I loved the workshop at camps, and that has helped guide me in my current college search.
What have you learned in your co-leadership role? Did you learn anything about the racial implications of co-leadership across racial differences? If so, what?
I’ve learned a lot of things! One thing that really stands out is the information — you’re going to get the information. People in Girls Leadership are so willing to help you and give you information. It’s important to know it may not always come in the form you expect, but you’re going to get information and it will be valuable, and you just have to be open to all the information.
I don’t know if I explicitly learned racial differences, but I find that a lot of what co-leaders talk about is intersectional. In my leadership I try to be aware of multiple perspectives, ways of thinking, and lived experiences.
How did Girls Leadership impact your life during COVID in particular?
Girls Leadership was very much about community for me this year. In regards to GAB, it was beneficial to me to always have that Wednesday 3:30 p.m. call and being so excited to meet with these girls and work through some things. It was always a really exciting part of my week. It wasn’t like my other school meetings; it felt like both a break and also very constructive work.
What do you do when you are using Girls Leadership skills and don’t get the response you were hoping for?
Usually I go into another Girls Leadership skill, a more internally focused one. I learned self-validation at Girls Leadership so I’m very aware of how I’m feeling, and if I would like to change it or sit with it. Self-regulation is a big part of how I manage things when I don’t get the response I want.
How do you see Girls Leadership impacting your college experience?
It’s given me such high standards! During my time living in a dorm and listening to lectures and everything at camp, everyone has taught me what I want and what I don’t want in my college experience. The first thought that came to mind was that I want college to be like my Girls Leadership summer camp experience.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.