Elaina H. - Stand UP Foundation

Elaina H.

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Leaving Behind Our Senior Legacy

Sophomore year when I walked into the Women Making Waves office for the first time I don’t think I knew what I was fully getting myself into. I didn’t think that I would immediately bond with the 30 smiling faces I saw the second I walked into the door. Yet, I did. I didn’t think that I would remember my summers as being highlighted by training week, leading workshops and paddle boarding at camp, Yet, I did. I didn’t think that I would be so dedicated to the organization for the remainder of my time in high school, and yet I did. I didn’t think at that moment, walking into the office, that Women Making Waves would have made the biggest impact on my high school experience, but yet it did.
Women Making Waves is so incredibly important to me. I’m honored to assist in radiating the goodness that is so specific to this organization. Waking up to see the 20 messages of thumbs up emojis prompting me to check the app, I love seeing the work we do- as a leader in this organization, working hard is actually fun. I think we can all agree that in the middle of organizing camp activities, gathering pictures for Instagram posts, or making lists of the next Harborside topics, spending time in the office and hanging out with everyone in the organization made the time pass by faster and the work a little less grueling, and the bonds we share stronger. Leading you guys as a co-captain of the conference-turned-series-turned-Generation Stand Up committee has been such an honor, because having the honor to represent such an amazing organization comprised of girls like you all is a truly special thing. Being a part of the second generation of members and seeing the dedication that the founding members put into creating the organization, I can only hope that me and my senior class have instilled the Women Making Waves values that were once instilled in us. You see, the key part of Women Making Waves is that we instill a cycle of mentorship and love in the community. Just as Ashley is a mentor, we are. Just as we are, you are, and just as you are, the community slowly becomes a medium for the change and positivity we bring through our work. Dually we both have and are mentors to others in the organization and that’s what makes Women Making Waves so special to me. Having the chance to immediately bond with older girls really sparked confidence and instilled positive change in me. In the office doing the work we do, I grew into the person standing here giving this speech, and I can only hope that I and the rest of the girls leaving have sparked that same confidence and sisterhood in all of you. Just as we were last year, you are all now faced with continuing the legacy and cycle of mentorship and love that is pivotal to Women Making Waves. It sounds intimidating, but I have full confidence that you will all step up to the plate and work hard to keep this amazing movement going. I wish you the best because although it isn’t an easy job, it’s an incredibly rewarding one. I didn’t think walking into the office for the first time that Women Making Waves would leave such a lasting impression on my life, yet it did. and I hope it continues to for you all.

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