New Village Girls Academy

I wanted to share about a recent experience that I had. It was such a meaningful afternoon that I couldn’t keep it to myself.

As you might know, one of my favorite things to do is public speaking. Being surrounded by a room full of people is nerve-wracking, yes, but exciting more than anything. Whether it’s 100 people in the room, or 800, I love that energy that you only get from sharing that space together.

This talk that I did recently was different though. There were only 5 girls in the room, all 16 or 17 years old. I visited New Village Girls Academy and we spent the afternoon talking about goal setting, mentorships, and facing your fears.

Before I go on, I have to say, these girls BLEW ME AWAY.

Each of those girls had been through hardships. At their young age, many of them had already had experiences with family distress, abuse, and violence. You’d think they might feel defeated. In fact, perhaps annoyed that they had to meet with someone to talk about planning for the future.

And yet, it was exactly the opposite. I have never seen such motivation, such passion in such a group. When it came to writing our goals down, they each filled the page to the max. These girls shared goals like becoming an attorney, gynecologist, or firefighter. They dreamed of traveling the world, meeting influential individuals, and building stronger relationships with their loved ones. They needed more space to keep writing.

What really blew me away was their hunger to succeed. I have to be honest with you. There are many times when I’m in an audience, often with those who have great families, safe neighborhoods, and excellent schools. And yet when I ask them their goals, they often look back blankly and don’t bother writing a single goal down. While I don’t pretend to know why it is that they don’t want to write anything down, it reminded me of the stark contrast of the girls from New Village Girls Academy.

These girls believe that they can be different. They believe that they don’t have to fit a statistic—they can break the mold and they can beat the expectations. With all the hardships they have faced, it is beyond inspiring to see their energy for life and their will to overcome.

Here is the website of the Academy if you’d like to learn more: https://newvillagegirlsacademy.org/

Let’s remember to never stop setting our sights high, no matter what battles we are braving. We each have our own story but I believe that story can include success. Those girls reminded me of that.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

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