Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mingle • Learn • Inspire

Mingle, learn and be inspired is what my friend Janet and I did last night at the "Raise Your Voice" Girls Learn International Fall Benefit at Anthropologie's gorgeous store at Rockefeller Centre.

Sadly, I managed to forget to bring my camera yet again. I genuinely do take photos 0;) However, I must admit I quite enjoy showing off my flickr finds too :)

Although I didn't take photos (except for my lame mobile camera attempt at capturing Katie Couric's cute attempt at being an auctioneer last night)... I did mingle and meet five exceptional young ladies, whom I have invited to visit here sometime soon and share their experiences with Girls Learn International.

Hi Girls! Please comment below :)

What's Girls Learn International? Well...

"Girls Learn International (GLI) supports universal access to education for girls. Through school based extracurricular programs they give high school age girls in the US the tools to become advocates for the cause. They call each school's program a "classroom." Each US program is matched with an international program, a "partner classroom."

Approximately 1,000 girls in the U.S. and 5,000 girls internationally currently participate. In addition to raising awareness to the issue and lobbying for change, US based classrooms perform fundraising activities to raise money for their partner classroom's educational resources (books, computers, etc)."

Why was I there?
Happily, because I happened to already be in NYC for the L.I.V.E. World 2008 Summit, Mark of Ecojot kindly invited me to attend on Ecojot's behalf. Ecojot was proudly among a select group of sponsors.

And why am telling you about this great organization?
Well for one, I want to help Raise GLI's Voice. I was immensely inspired by meeting these five young ladies (all delighted participants of GLI, and one of whom happened to be Isabel Sheinman, the Chair of the Junior Board).

I am hoping that by sharing Isabel and her friend's stories, you too will be inspired!

Truth be told, organizations such as GLI have a special place in my heart, having myself volunteered one summer teaching arts and crafts at the Rosedale Achievement Program for Girls in the South Bronx. For this reason, I am hoping to directly collaborate with the Girls Learn International Junior Board perhaps providing journals or sketchbook for their own traveling art project!

So I end with a question...
What makes you mingle • learn • and most importantly inspire you?


1 comment:

Jensen said...

I'm Jensen, one of the girls you spoke with at the GLI Raise Your Voice benefit last week. I just wanted to share a little bit about my school's involvement with GLI, and why it is important and inspirational to me. I am a Chapter Leader at the NYC Lab School, and we are partnered with an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam that houses HIV+ and high risk children.These children are not treated well or cared for in their communities, and the protection provided by the orphanage is really all they have. This is our second year communicating with this group of kids, and the experience has been beyond incredible. We were first acquainted with the kids last year when we sent them a small package of stickers, toys, and arts and crafts materials, to which we received a series of photographs of the children enjoying all of our gifts. It was incredibly gratifying and just an overall wonderful experience to see that we had been able to make these kids happy. For a later communication, we sent over classic American board games that we had enjoyed as children, with a complete set of translated directions. This year, we plan to send over a scrapbook introducing all of the members in our classroom (which will be sent out shortly), and a quilt prepared by all of the members in our classroom.
Being a part of GLI has been far more amazing than I had ever imagined--I never really thought anything I could do could really affect change abroad, that I could improve the lives of people living halfway across the world. GLI has proven to be a truly admirable organization, encouraging us Americans to reach out to help and learn from those less fortunate and altogether different from ourselves. It feels great to be helping when I can, but the experience has also been a learning one--GLI has helped me not only help others, but also broaden my understanding of education issues around the world and of my obligation to make a change.


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