Teen Committee October Meeting Digest

By Cathy Zhang, Girls Innovate! Teen Committee

Hello Innovators!

The October Teen Committee meeting was long but productive. Thanks to all TC members who participated and another thank you to our guests and Advisory Board members!

We first introduced Ann Saponara of the burgeoning Advisory Board. She will act as a mentor and help TC members edit blogs. Stay tuned for more regular blogs written by TC members.

TC members Emma and Langley hosted an informal “Life Skills Public Brainstorming Session.” They involved all the TC members in the brainstorming to plan for our spring series and elicited some great input:

  • High school or middle school or both? Due to experience with the Startup Series last year, it is recommended that we target high school girls for this series.
  • Emma and Langley wrote on the board lots of ideas for topics and grouped them according to three areas: Finance/Business, Health/Lifestyle and Communications.
  • The two most-ticked columns are Finance/Business and Communications.
  • Communications topics included how to email, how to interview and be interviewed, how to write a resume/cover page, etc.
  • Finance topics included how to do banking, how to make money, how to protect your money, etc.
  • Emma said it would be great if all TC members could be part of planning Life Skills in some way.
  • The format for Life Skills could be like the Startup Series: bring in mentors and one or two speakers (knowledge angels).

Uyen recapped the successful Gavel Club Info session led by Anika and Christie, which occurred right before the meeting. Over 50 parents and girls attended. We signed up 20 girls for the Club (the maximum # of registrations). We collected contributions from each of the 20 Club members which will help pay for the room rentals at the Palo Alto Art Center where the Club will meet twice per month from now through April.

TC members then broke into their functional area teams (Technology, Projects and Events, Media, Finance) to brainstorm ideas for their areas. Led by an Exec Team member who is the leader for their area, each team then presented to the group. All teams made goals for the year:

  • Technology wants to create the internal TC website, improve the current website, and get the blog up and running.
  • Projects and Events wants to create a rough process for planning events and get all TC members involved in at least one project.
  • Media wants to be more active on each social media platform and identify specific functions for each one.
  • Finance wants to make improvements on the donation system, make online donations easier, and keep track of Girls Innovate!’s monetary aspects.

The final topic covered in our meeting was the Student Leadership Challenge. We are in our first module, called “Model the Way.” The two core Commitments of this Module are 1) clarify values by finding your voice and affirming shared values and 2) set the example by aligning actions with shared values.

We worked on the first Commitment by defining our individual values. In our workbook was a long list of values from which to choose. Each of us chose our top ten, then our top three. It wasn’t easy, but Uyen said to just go with your gut instinct. Kimberley chimed in that values evolve – they can change as we get older and/or have new experiences.

The girls wrote down their top three values on index cards, then read them out loud to the group. Next, the girls who had a value in common sat together and defined their shared value.

It was interesting to note that people’s values varied considerably, ranging from “determination,” “loyalty,” and “risk-taking” to “health,” “success,” and “productivity.” We had trouble finding two girls with the same value!

Nonetheless, we did pair people up. Some of the definitions that came forth included:

  • curiosity: asking about what is already accepted or just questioning ideas
  • uniqueness: to be different than others; independent; not going w/everyone else; voicing own opinions
  • creativity: being able to think differently and develop new, original ideas
  • teamwork: cooperation/compromising; getting with a group of people w/same values and
  • empathy: understanding the strengths, weaknesses and comfort level of your teammates

Next time, we will explore our values together some more, including how to develop shared values and what “organizational values” means.

Thank you all for supporting our organization!