This weekend I had the honor to fly from Tampa to New York for the first-ever Riley’s way girls retreat. Young women from all over the country flocked to Timber Lake Camp to participate in a jam-packed 36 hours of leadership workshops, bonding exercises, and group activities.

One of the workshops I attended was hosted by Ft. Lauderdale native, Hannah, who was not much older than me. She talked about the importance of self-love and acceptance. In order to promote this idea, she developed the app Womaze, which sends daily encouraging messages to the people who have downloaded the app. Womaze is also a source where you can find inspirational videos and wallpapers for your phone. Seeing this young woman’s passion to better the lives of others really drives me to make the world a better place.

The Ryan Nece Foundation was also given a moment in the spotlight. Myself along with my fellow SSP mates Anna, Catherine, Madeleine, and Sofia created a 30-minute long workshop that encouraged people to serve within their community. We discussed the projects that we have participated in the SSP, how a similar organization can be started in any community, and how a person can overcome any obstacles that they might be faced with when trying to start a community-based group.

This weekend has been life-changing. Being in an environment surrounded by girls who care so much about the future of our world was such an empowering experience. This weekend I saw a glimpse of what our future looks like and IT IS BRIGHT.

– Delaney Brooks