Young Women's Leadership Program Review 2019

 08 July 2019

YWLP web pic 2019.jpg

We live in a world where young women are told to be silent, but we will be silent no more. What you see in front of you, is the dedication and passion put into an amazing program by Siobhan and Amanda. What you see is women empowering women. What you see is a sisterhood that will no longer shame but uplift the fellow queens in our society.

Let me describe a typical afternoon in this leadership program for you, we would typically come in, pile our plates with lollies and fruits (we still have to be kind of healthy) and talk about things that women want to talk about but don't get the opportunity to do so. We laugh, we talk and most importantly, we empower. We learn to be critical of a misogynistic, unjust world deserving to be criticised. We are the young women of the future. 

Personally, what I got out of the program, was a critical eye to the inequality that infiltrates our media, our world and our society. I learnt about what it means to be strong and what it means to uplift women within our society. I learnt about breaking stereotypes and was given a taste of what life may throw at me through Siobhan and Amanda’s inspirational life stories. The endless support and encouragement from these girls lay a strong foundation for a close family. We have discussed what it means to grow and to speak up and today, this is me speaking up. 

The strength that this group has given me is beyond imagination. Every session leaves me at the edge of my chair, eager to change the world. That all sounds dramatic but it's true. The English language does not have a vocabulary sufficient enough to express how much passion Siobhan, Amanda and these young women have instilled in me. After this program, I am going to speak up. I plan to start with little things. Perhaps, I will start with standing up to my friends. 

And then maybe, I will start standing up to strangers. And who knows, if all goes well, I might end up standing up to the world. Generally, I like talking but when it comes to fighting for what I believe in, it becomes harder. It's hard to say something that's different. It's the fear that stops us. It's the fear of being judged that stops me. It’s the fear of being alienated that silences me. But I’m ready to break bonds. 

As a last note to my fellow Queens, I want to leave you with some words. Society will try to pin us down, mould us and box us in, but true, powerful women come in all shapes and sizes. We grow in all different ways and you are all beautiful from the inside out. You all have the biggest hearts and the kindest souls I hope you remember that. Life will be good and life will be annoying but know that these ups and downs are what make life so intricately beautiful. Isn’t it beautiful that somewhere in our lives we made some decisions that ultimately led us to each other? 

Our life paths are complexly weaved in, like how a spider weaves its web. A spider’s web can resist the recklessness of rain, the turmoil of thunder and merciless wind. Like a spiderweb, the way our life paths are woven together creates a strong connection and anchor that will follow each and every one to the future. In the words of Christopher Robin, I want you to remember, ‘you are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem and you are smarter than you think.’

 -Evonne, 2019 Young Women’s Leadership Program Graduate