This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a retreat organized by Riley’s Way, a foundation dedicated to empowering young leaders to use kindness to create meaningful connections and positive change in the world. Located in beautiful Catskills, New York, the retreat brought together girls from around the country to learn about what it means to be an empathetic leader. Through a series of group discussions, skill-building exercises, and student-led workshops, I learned so much about the power of compassion and understanding, and also gained some insight into how to become a better leader. Students Gia and Marjorie led a workshop that taught me the importance of understanding my societal privileges, and of empathizing with those who do not share these privileges. The atmosphere of love, kindness, and tolerance that I experienced this weekend was incredible, and in the short time I spent there, I cultivated a number of meaningful friendships and connections. It was awe-inspiring to meet so many driven, conscientious young ladies, and to hear what they were doing to affect change in their communities. This truly was an impactful weekend for me, and one that I will not soon forget.
– Taylor Johnson