My first YWiB encounter happened when I was studying abroad in Europe during the start of 2008. Paulina (current President of YWiB) and I had planned a SKYPE chat for a long overdue catch up conversation. Unbeknown to me, our chat was happening in the midst of YWiB’s planning for their first ever Beyond Pink conference. It was to my surprise when a black screen popped up in place of where Paulina’s face should be. Me: “Why can’t I see you? I can hear your voice. Is your camera working? Helloooo?”
Paulina: “Yes, it’s working.”
Me: “Why do you sound so tired? What the heck, what’s wrong with this screen?” Pressing random buttons on my laptop.
Paulina: “I just don’t have the lights on in my room.”
Me: “What? Why? Turn it on.”
Paulina: “No, I don’t want to because I have not been getting much sleep and I look really, reallly bad.”
Me: “That is ridiculous, just turn on your lights! Why? What have you been doing?”
Paulina then started to share her story with me, in the dark, of what she had been a part of for the past few months.
So while I was in la-la land skipping through a life of traveling and “cultural learning activities”, there was a group of amazing young women pouring their passion and energy into executing a magical idea into a magical reality. And when I returned to Vancouver, I knew I wanted to be a part of this magic.
YWiB to me means a place where young women can learn from each other’s stories, everyone has something to share and everyone has something to learn. I love the thought that one person’s story can become an inspiration and motivation for another. My personal hope is that YWiB can be a place where you can find the trust and comfort to build your own story and share it with other young women.
Thanks for reading,