Image Credits: Network of enlightened Women
During the summer of 2015, I had the honor of attending the Network of enlightened Women (NeW)’s first ever Young Women’s Leadership Retreat. Whether you are just delving into politics or are well-established in the political arena, this retreat has something to offer you.
It was my first year as a political activist, and I was itching to become more involved. I stumbled across the retreat and had a feeling that it would be a fantastic experience. I poured all my energy into the application and nervously hit “submit.” Shortly after, I was notified of my acceptance and after a bit of girlish celebration, I immediately looked into flights to Virginia. I could not wait to meet fellow young women involved in politics.
The day finally came and when I hopped on that tiny plane, I had no idea that my life was about to change in the coming days. When I arrived at the retreat and met my roommate, someone I am still in contact with to this day, I felt right at home. She was kind and welcoming along with the NeW staff. Besides my roommate, I was constantly around other young women who were motivated and passionate about politics. It was an inspiring atmosphere in which I made lasting connections and lifelong friends. More than just a leadership conference, I can honestly say that NeW’s YWLR helped me gained confidence and grow as a person.
The seminar was packed with exciting speakers from political reporter Ashe Schow to Townhall editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich. Every day, I learned something new not only from the speakers who had an abundance of knowledge to offer, but from all the girls I met from across the country. I was a recent high school graduate at the time and had little experience meeting people with backgrounds different than my own. I have lived in the same suburban town my whole life, and went to school surrounded by the same familiar faces. Most of the people that I have had any sort of relationship with in my life have grown up just a stone’s throw away from my childhood home and were raised in extremely similar environments. Having the opportunity to be around young women from across the nation with different life stories really opened my eyes.
This conference was also beneficial from a networking standpoint. So many of the girls I met at YWLR I am great friends with to this day. They have helped me immensely in my political endeavors and I am so thankful for them. They are amazingly successful and motivated individuals who will undoubtedly go far in the political world.