Generation WOW: Still Feeling the Positive and the Possible

“The day is finally here! We are so thrilled to be at Generation WOW with some of our amazing young ladies!”

We received this Twitter message from our friends at City Year JAX right after the Lazzara Performance Hall doors opened to welcome the largest class of mentors and mentees for Generation WOW 2017. It pretty much summed up how all of us were feeling at that very moment as well. Excitement. Anticipation. We could hardly contain our emotions as the positive and the possible enveloped all of us in a wash of confidence, strength and goodwill. This reminds us that what brings us together is a desire to be the best version of ourselves, something we can accomplish when we believe in our ability to connect to others who are instrumental in helping us find our inner strength.

Gratitude. Amazing speakers came to share with us, including NASA rocket scientist Dr. Aprille Ericsson and tech entrepreneur Jimmy Lynn, whose insights added to the combustible energy of learning and connecting. In our next email message we will share all the amazing knowledge from our outstanding speakers including Mary Kelli Palka, Editor of The Florida Times Union/Jacksonville.com, Judge Dawn Hudson, and Atlantic Beach Police Chief Michelle Cook. And the wisdom shared by our letter writers… Meg Rose, Dr. Maira Martelo, Cali Furyk, and Myka Foster. More to come.

Connections were made and are being made. WOWsdom was and continues to happen as the WOW of the girls unites with the Wisdom of the Generation W mentors. We are all still in the post-event rush.

For now, here are the thoughts from our WOW mentors and mentees. It is their voices and hearts that do speak the loudest:

“I feel that I can now accomplish the world! I learned many amazing things and can not wait to apply them to my everyday living.”—Hailey, Mentee

What an amazing event…love my mentee and looking forward to other events throughout the year”—Susan, Mentor

“Very inspiring to see that room full of ladies encouraged and empowered to go after their dreams.”—Caitlin, Mentor

“It was amazing and inspired me so much to do amazing things.”—Dominique, Mentee

Still on a positive high from that incredible energy created by Generation WOW.”—Gwen, Mentor

“How did you spend yesterday? Me I was just at the most magical, inspiring, girl empowering event ever.”—Taylor, Mentee

“Finally taking those ‘I wish someone had told me that when I was younger’ thoughts and putting them to good use.”—Catalina, Mentor

“Such an inspiring day! The future looks bright.”—Shennette, Mentor

Yes, the future does indeed look bright. As I sat and listened and danced throughout the afternoon, I was taken as to just how important it is for not only our young women to be reminded of their self worth, their value, their abilities to shine and achieve; it is so important for all of us to be reminded of our inner strength! That is the power of WOW—we are better if we learn together, live together and lead together.

We cannot thank our mentors, speakers and partners enough, including Florida Blue, United Way of Northeast Florida, Natural Life, PEPSICO, Chartrand Family, and Remmer Family Foundation. And, of course, we cannot thank YOU enough—whether you helped behind-the-scenes, participated as a mentor, attended as a student or just wished us well from afar, your positive energy moved throughout the University of North Florida campus and spread out into the world.

We’ve compiled some of the WOW images and quotes found on social media here and will soon be sharing even more of the positive and the possible through pictures, videos and inspiration from the day. Be sure you are following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Donna
@DonnaOrender