It was a “Summer Friday” for me – Hearst was temporarily ‘closed’ for almost all employees – so I had the privilege of spending the entire morning/afternoon at She’s the First HQ (and running around the city with middle/high-schoolers)!
It’s always a good day when I’m working alongside Tammy, Kate, Tehrene, Azure and Christen 🙂 Some of the most creative, intelligent, hard-working and kind-hearted women I know. Seriously, they’re selfless.
I woke up early and lounged around the apartment for a while, talked to my mom on the phone and watched The Today Show. Around 10 am, I left for what I assumed would be a relatively eventful (and entertaining) afternoon … it always is. I stopped at Dunkin’ on my way there – uh oh, do I sense a routine coming on?
I spent a few hours updating a few presentations and sponsorship sell sheets. I also got a little editing done while I wasn’t busy. Around noon, a team of She’s the First volunteers left the office for my FIRST afternoon with the TWYLS (The Young Women’s Leadership School) summer campers! They’re a group 6th-9th grade girls, learning about social media, interacting with non-profit orgs to do service projects, and exploring the city together over the next few months. She’s the First is making several cameo appearances, teaching the girls how THEY too can make an impact on the world.
When we got to the studio, Kate did a quick recap of some of the ways their group is using ‘social media’ and Twitter, and then her and Tammy did a quick presentation on basic journalism reporting (they even role played!). We then asked them to take a short field trip to Bryant Park, where they had to approach strangers on their lunch break and ask them several questions as amateur reporters!
1) What were you the first (in your family, or otherwise) to do?
2) What would you like to be the first to do?
3) What inspires you?
A lot of them looked at us with blank stares – and I’m not sure any of us were quite sure if they would embrace the challenge or just shy away from it. When we got to the park, after several minutes of warming up and embracing their surroundings, the girls split off in groups and started asking people all over the park to talk with them. We were so proud to see all of the girls smiling, laughing and interacting with people in the park. I know (first-hand) how hard it is to approach a total stranger in New York City and ask them questions with a pen and notebook in your hand.
People literally run the other way.
In the end, so many of them embraced what could have been an extremely tough and awkward situation. And they had fun doing it! The girls finished with a lot of interesting comments and stories; it should be fun to read about all of their experiences on their tumblr – check it out here!
We finished by talking with the girls on the steps of the Public Library – Tammy and Kate were both great mentors! We also took over the entrance and took a huge group shot. See me in group shot #2? 🙂
We came back to STF HQ for the rest of the afternoon (stopped at Crumb’s for a .99 cent coffee- any size!) and I worked for a few hours on our volunteer flipbook that I’m putting together as a sort of She’s the First ‘yearbook.’ I’m doing it mostly so that we have a face to put a behind the names in all of our emails.
Around 6:30 pm, I made it back to the apartment. I saw a couple taking wedding photos in the middle of 23rd street on my walk, which always looks funny to me. Although, yes, I was a touch jealous.
Once home, I decided that I wanted to walk all the way up to the 86th street entrance of Central Park to hear the New York Philharmonic Orchestra play. The music was incredible … but the thousands of people with literally no elbow room or place to sit in an entire field wasn’t (especially after walking close to 4 miles). I was happy to find about a square foot of grass to sit on behind a pole that made it hard to see. You take what you can find, I guess.
I’m home now resting up for a big day tomorrow! CORRINE’S in town and we’re doing something fun early in the morning! Check back later tomorrow for an update 🙂