Spark Note: A Fellow’s Reflection on the Impact of the Strong Women Fellowship

Hi! My name is Noa Young. I am a ninth grader at North Springs High School, where I am part of the drama department. Outside of school, I am an active member of my BBYO chapter, B’yachad, love to hang out with friends, listen to music, and of course go to the Strong Women’s Fellowship!

This past summer, I remember my mom asking me whether I wanted to be a part of the Strong Women’s Fellowship in the upcoming year. Usually, when my mom asks me to do this type of thing, I assume it will be boring and not something I truly want to do. This fellowship was different. I consider myself to be a feminist, and I knew this fellowship would give me the opportunity to speak with others with similar views as me in an appropriate setting. I told my mom I would love to.

Going to the first meeting in September, I was not sure what to expect. But, reconnecting with girls I hadn’t seen in a long time, eating the best snacks, playing great icebreaker games, and talking about womenhood, exceeded my expectations. I absolutely loved the meeting and could not wait to go back the following months.

This year, I had the opportunity to hear so many incredible women speak about their life, each special and important in their own ways. Specifically, I was extremely moved by Whitney Fisch. Whitney Fisch is a high school counselor, teen advocate, and food blogger. She talked about body positivity, love of food, and how healthy comes in all body types. Different from other speakers, I felt Whitney connected with each of the girls on a personal level, having us close our eyes and feeding us statements like, “raise your hand if you have ever wished your body looked different.”

After, she told us the number of girls who raised their hands, usually being almost everyone. Her words inspired me and opened my eyes that all bodies are beautiful, healthy, and special. At the end of the meeting, we got to decorate journals for ourselves. Whitney came to my table and I remember just talking to her about how much we loved her presentation and how inspired we all were. To this day, I follow her on Instagram, have a little slip of paper she gave to us all hanging on my family’s refrigerator, and whenever I hear others talking about wanting to change or not loving their bodies, I “Whitney Fisch It” and tell them the words she inspired us all with.

Without this fellowship this year, my outlooks on life would be different. I now feel more confident not only through the words I speak, but with my body, mind, and self.

Interested in being the 2020-2021 Cohort of Strong Women Fellowship… Apply Here!

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