As I stepped through the doors of The Village on Saturday March the 5th, I was instantly flooded with emotion and gratitude. A room full of powerhouse women who come together to support and empower one another is something that should never go unnoticed.
The IGNITE Young Women's Leadership Conference 2016 was by-far, the most uplifting experience I have ever had. Hearing the Chief Justice tell her very real path to the top was extremely relatable and gave me the reassurance to continue my endeavors.
As a panelist, I spoke about my experiences in leadership positions on the UC Davis campus. I saw myself in the eyes of every young woman looking at me as spoke. All of these students want to make a difference in their community, while helping others see what they are truly capable of accomplishing. This presentation offered a moment of clarity for me as I recognized that I had the opportunity to give the best advice I could ever give to the 15 year old me from the past--"be passionate and trust yourself". The passion allows you to push your limits and the trust gives you the momentum to make strides in fields you pursue. When you look back at your actions, I hope you are as proud as I am of the impact you’ve had on others and your community. This pride is something women often lack, but IGNITE reawakens it and gives us to power to stand tall in our convictions.
Shaitaj is Junior at UC Davis where she serves as Senator of Associated Students of the University.