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CAG Blog: Powered by Optimism

"Powered by Optimism" captures my reflections of life in and around an all-girls' school and highlights the values of C.A.G.: leadership, global citizenship, wellness, and teaching and learning. Underscoring it all is a deeply ingrained sense of optimism that we are preparing a generation of boldly creative women who will help change the world.

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what does leadership mean to you- 4.1.14

Posted by:  alison
04/01/14 01:15 PM   | reply

This time, I wish to let one of our girls speak. Anna is a 10th grader at Agnes Irwin and a passionate advocate for girls and women. What follows is an essay she wrote in response to the following prompt: What does leadership mean to you and what would you like to do with your leadership abilities?

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The word leadership sparks hundreds of thoughts. Some first think of presidents and rulers. Others imagine their teachers and family, or pictures, actions, and words. Leadership can be defined in a dictionary, and yet the dictionary definition never quite captures the essence of the word. It is beyond starting a business, beyond managing, controlling, or even inspiring. Leadership is the passionate implementation of an idea. A leader invests her heart and soul, and her passion inspires others.

Traditionally, our patriarchal society instills the idea that men are the truly influential, and yet women are just as passionate and capable. There is no limit to the number of leaders in this world, and so all girls should be encouraged to lead. The larger goal, of course, is to eliminate the ancient stereotypes against girls as leaders created by our patriarchal society. We must push towards a world that encourages educational systems around the globe to emphasize the strength and capability of girls as individuals and in the community.

As a leader, I will make use of my drive for women’s rights to empower girls through educational initiatives. An alarming lack of women work in the burgeoning fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, and the ancient fields of government and politics. To begin, I will encourage my own school to develop classes focused on these fields- classes that allow girls to realize their intelligence and ability. This small step can accelerate into other initiatives.

Beyond encouraging girls alone, I wish to promote awareness of our country’s version of poverty and brutality. Everywhere we turn tales of starvation and brutal treatment in third world countries consume our education. This is beyond important, but at the same time, so many are ignorant about the poverty men and women face on our own country's soil. When we are blind to our nation's issues, how can we expect to change the rest of the world? I wish to dispel that ignorance in any way I can.

True leaders cannot be defined or even created. Every person has the heart of a leader, and it is my goal to encourage each person’s passion to grow into an idea that is larger than themselves.

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