Hello! I’m Fatimah Huda, a graduating senior at Saunders Trades and Technical High School in Yonkers, NY. I am also a mentee through the Her Honor Mentoring program, which is run by Judge Judy’s daughter, Nicole Scheindlin. I was matched as a mentee with EFLI, which is great because I am an avid feminist.
On Monday, October 13th, Wisdom 2.0 Next Generation took place at the prestigious New York University. The event was an opportunity for millennials to come together and explore personal purpose and living a life with meaning. I attended the event with staff from EFLI, members of EFLI’s Youth Ambassador Board and a group of EILEEN FISHER employees.
The audience was made up of many people each carrying a different story. When members of the audience were asked to share a few words before the speakers began, one young woman explained how she had come to “the city that never sleeps” all the way from Georgia and wanted to incorporate her learnings from the event into a major project she was doing for school. Another young woman explained that her professor at Manhattanville College had promised her and her fellow classmates extra credit if they attended the event.
Two speakers really grasped my interest. One of them was Miki Agrawal, a “serial social entrepreneur,” who was funny, sociable, and inspiring. What really interested me about Miki was that she was a Cornell graduate who had given herself three goals after college: playing soccer professionally, making a movie and starting a business. I was surprised to learn that Miki had successfully completed all three of these goals. Miki’s commitment to empowering women is also what made me relate to her. After visiting South Africa and meeting a young girl who was not attending school because did not have the proper feminine supplies for her menstrual period, Miki and two of her colleagues (including her twin sister) worked to create underwear that would help all women during their time of the month. They eventually created THINX, underwear which is not only pretty, but also technically advanced having a unique combination of leak and stain proof materials. THINX partnered with AFRIpads in Uganda to provide 7 reusable cloth pads for every pair of THINX underwear sold. This allows girls across Africa to continue their education (even when it’s their time of the month) and supports women factory workers employed by AFRIpads. To me, Miki had gone above and beyond having found a way to follow her passion and have international impact.
Another speaker that impressed me, was artist/designer Elle Luna. Elle spoke of a dream that she had every night for months where she found herself in a beautiful white room. She said that her life changed when a friend asked her if she had ever tried looking for the room. This sent Elle on a Craigslist search that lastly several months until, one day, she finally had the keys to her dream room in her hands. Elle turned this room into her art studio, where she would paint and paint to her heart’s desire. Elle spoke of her idea of “should vs. must,” which she created into an illustrated essay that went viral. This concept encourages each of us to follow what we must do in order to feel fulfilled in life, instead of what society says we should do.