Leaving Behind Our Senior Legacy
When I first joined Women Making Waves, it was still just a camp for middle school girls, called “Magic T House”. I remember my mom mentioning it to me, saying that I should join. I refused to go, still unsure of what the camp was all about. I imagined that it would be some sort of weird therapist thing where we would sit around in circles and talk about our feelings all day, which did not appeal to me. I didn't know how wrong I was. My mom forced me to go to the camp, even though I didn't want to go. I didn't know at the time, but that was one of the best things she could have done for me.
When I arrived at camp on that first day, I was nervous and slightly unhappy to be there. However, within minutes of Ashley talking and introducing herself, I began to loosen up. By the end of the day, I was having a blast. Magic T House wasn't at all what I thought it would be, and when I got home from camp, I told my mom that I couldn't wait to go back the next day. By Friday, the last day of camp, I was begging my mom to let me go to camp for another week. I still remember the day that Ashley and I met up during the school year later that year, and she told me about how she wanted to start a program that included high school “leaders” as a part of the camp for the next summer. I thought it was a great idea, and couldn't wait to return to camp as a leader. I had just as much fun that summer as a leader as I did when I was a camper, and at the end of that summer, Ashley announced her idea to start a nonprofit organization. It seemed like a big project to take on, and it was, but with the support of campers, parents, and leaders, Ashley was able to make it happen.
In our years as a nonprofit organization, we have grown an unbelievable amount. Camp went from about 5 or 6 girls signed up per week, to about 20 girls per week. We went from about 10 leaders to almost 30 leaders. We even started a boys program, which further grew our area of impact. We have affected so many lives through this organization, and we will continue to have a positive impact on anyone who is affiliated with us.
Women making waves has had such a positive impact on me. I came into it as a shy girl who could barely go up to somebody and start a conversation. Now, I am much more confident, and I have even been able to go up on a stage to talk to a crowd, which I never would have been able to do before Women Making Waves. Without this organization, I would have never had the opportunities I had to practice being more outgoing, and I would probably still be that extremely introverted girl that I used to be. I still consider myself to be shy, but I am nowhere near as shy as I used to be, and I owe that all to my experiences in Women Making Waves. I hope that we can continue to have this effect on girls as the organization grows. Throughout my years in the organization, I have seen many young girls come into camp who are just like me, shy and introverted. It is so special for me to see them become more outgoing as the week progresses, because I know exactly how they are feeling and what they are going through. I see myself in them, and I know that the activities we do in camp can have a lasting effect on their level of shyness, just like they did for me. As I leave the organization, I would like to leave behind my story of how I started out so shy, to help anyone else who may be feeling that way. I know that through Stand Up Foundation, they can work through whatever issues they may be having, and can become so much more confident in themselves and the things that they do, just like I did.
From eighth grade to now, I am so thankful that Women Making Waves has been such a big part of my journey, and I know that I will frequently return to this organization in the future to visit and volunteer.
~Lindsay K., Class of 2017