As Jump Into Spring 2011 nears closer, I am excited to meet our newest generation of girls. To see their faces, give a “high five” and cheer for them as they descend the bus into the big gymnasium at Simmons College, watch them jump rope tirelessly, and witness new friends being made.
But most of all, at Jump into Spring, I like to look around the room and imagine what these girls will be doing in ten or twenty years. Will they be authors and scientists? Studying at colleges around the country, or joining the Peace Corps in Africa? Perhaps they will be giving back to the community in their own way, hoping to impart on the next generation the leadership and self-confidence they learned in their days with Strong Women, Strong Girls.
I’m confident about these foreshadowings because SWSG helps them to build these fundamental values. During last year’s Jump into Spring, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, the first woman of color elected to the Council, told the girls about her path to a successful career, along with many of the bumps along the way. But this success did not come easily. She told them, “If it is to be….then it is up to me.”
After the crowd repeated her mantra three times in unison, we felt the power of those words. Success doesn’t just happen. It doesn’t fall into our laps. We must go out and get it. The mantra is more than just words; it is a way of living. It is a way of empowering ourselves to control our own futures.
I can’t wait to watch the quick, little feet jump-roping with energy and enthusiasm; determined to learn new roping tricks and hopping skills. I know those same feet will soon be climbing mountains to conquer new challenges!