30 College Women. 20 Schools. 2 Days. Bettering the world for girls everywhere.

Advocacy , Events

From October 1-2, Girl Up held its first ever Campus Leader Symposium at their headquarters in Washington D.C. It was an empowering weekend full of idea sharing, empowerment, and inspiration that prepared us all to return to our campuses and continue work toward improving the world for girls who need it most.

Throughout the weekend we heard from Kayla Webley, the Senior Editor of Marie Claire on the importance of following your heart and not being afraid to shatter glass ceilings, from Kate Loomis of UNHCR who discussed with us the state of the refugee crisis and what the United Nations is doing to help, and lastly, we heard from Lisa Napper from the It’s On Us campaign on the importance of standing up against sexual violence on campus. Each, in their own way, taught me what could be accomplished through hard work and perseverance – a lesson that can be applied to any aspect of anyone’s life.

One of the most impactful parts of the weekend for me was meeting the other impassioned Campus Leaders from across the country. I loved swapping ideas and successes while also brainstorming solutions to difficulties that we all face as Campus Leaders. The Campus Symposium provided an intimate space in which we all felt comfortable enough to share our opinions, learn from one another, and grow.

I and the two other officers from Wake Forest University’s Girl Up club who attended the Leadership Symposium left feeling excited and reinvigorated. This month, Girl Up WFU made immediate use of the ideas that we learned at the Leadership Symposium to launch our Week of the Girl. Our week spanned October 24th through the 28th during which we advocated for HR 5737 (Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act), screened the documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” held various fundraising events, and SO much more!

I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the Leadership Symposium. To be surrounded by such passionate, strong, likeminded women who all wanted to do their part to make the world a better and safer place for girls everywhere is an experience that I will always treasure. I feel additionally lucky that the conversations with these incredible women did not stop when we left Washington D.C. I keep in contact with the Girl Up Campus Leaders that I met at the Symposium on a weekly basis and love seeing the new heights that they are reaching and the changes they are inspiring through their advocacy and action in their own clubs.

With lots of Girl Up love,

Julia Nahman, VP Girl Up WFU