Magazine Beads, Hearts That Ache to Make an Impact, & an Inspiring Night with Sara Haines (Today Show!)

If I could stop smiling … I would.

The problem is … I can’t.

Today had to be one of my favorite days in the city thus far – and not for a “glamorous” reason by most people’s standards. I spent half the day rolling up magazine paper, chatting with teenage girls and dealing with mod podge all over my hands.

It was awesome.

I woke up around 8 am, excited to get dressed and ready for a morning with the TYWLS Explorers—summer campers in East Harlem who are getting a little dose of She’s the First throughout their time at camp.

I felt bad for leaving Cam again, but he insisted that he was fine wandering around the park and sleeping in. I guess the thought of spending the morning hours in a room with over a hundred women wasn’t too appealing…

I took the subway up to East Harlem and passed a cute little cafe on the way to the school! A little bit after we got there around 10 am, the She’s the First crew assembled to secure our game plan (sounds intense, right?). I honestly love these girls. Such big hearts that ache to change to world.

We had two sessions with the girls this morning – we started both with a PowerPoint presentation (well done, Kate!) and then the girls got to craft for a while. Their project was to create beads out of recycled magazine paper and mod podge. In a few weeks, She’s the First volunteers will assemble all of the beads that the explorers made into necklaces and bracelets, and then (with their help) we’ll sell them to raise money to sponsor a girl in Uganda for another year of education. The girls physically got to see the impact they’ll have on another girl’s life.

Photo Credit: Tammy Tibbetts

Photo Credit: Tammy Tibbetts

That itself was so empowering.

We had so much fun creating the beads – so much so that the girls didn’t even want to stop! Around 2 pm, it was time to pack it up and head back downtown … but not before we peeked in on the girls doing a choreographed dance in the gym.

Priceless, I tell you.
Such joy and positive energy.

After I came home and grabbed a quick lunch, Cam filled me in on his day (more singing in the park … apparently he made $15 and bought himself lunch!) and then I took him to Grand Central Station to catch a bus to the airport. From there, I hustled back to She’s the First HQ to finish a few light projects before an event later that Brooke (an STF intern) invited me to. We left the office around 5 pm and took the subway up to Caroline’s on Broadway for a New York Women in Communications event called “Ladies Who Laugh” – my first comedy show in NYC!

I enjoyed a few glasses of diet coke and then we both munched on a bite-size Baked by Melissa cupcake—I, of course, chose the tie-dye one! There were a bunch of free appetizers floating around and a lot of women to meet and network with (which Brooke and I did so well 😉 ). Around 6:30 pm, the comedy show started and Sara Haines (Today Show Contributing Correspondant – aka my IDOL on the fourth hour with Kathy Lee and Hoda) took the stage as the evening’s emcee.

She introduced four other great female comedians who took the stage and definitely made me laugh. As Sara said … sometimes we forget how good laughing feels. It was nice to be reminded. I was also lucky enough to meet her after the event and grab a picture—and speaking of Sara, she just replied to my tweet just now!

While we were at summer camp this morning, Tammy reminded me of why this blog is so important to me. Writing about my daily adventures has not only inspired me to go out and have those adventures … but it’s also made me realize that every day, something special happens. It’s definitely helped me pause and appreciate the little things this summer.

I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am!

—Meg Taylor

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