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Lindsay Johnston

By Lindsay Johnston

Women Leading Impact: Connecting with Purpose

Fri, February 17, 2017

Women leading impact

Julissa is beating the odds and overcoming a humble background that is fraught with challenges.

Emily, on the hunt for a path to a more purposeful life, has spent years tracking down and talking to people across the globe about ways to live intentionally.

Their backgrounds are vastly different, but their message – which they shared at the latest session of our Women Leading Impact Speakers Series – is shockingly similar. Meaning, it turns out, is rooted in connection. For Julissa, a soon-to-be graduate of our Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow (GTLT) program, connection came when she stumbled on the program at her local elementary school. GTLT was recruiting participants for an intensive year-long workshop that empowers underserved girls to find a path to college and career through the support of their peers— and Julissa concedes; her mom was adamant that she join. Five years later, Julissa has plans to join the Marines and pursue a degree from Temple University following her service. That moment in elementary school was the catalyst that caused her to realize that her destiny wasn’t defined by the resources that she lacked, but rather what she envisioned for her future. And it was the GTLT program and the relationships that she built with girls of similar backgrounds that helped her make this pivotal shift in perspective. That shift is one that many program graduates experience, and the program’s life-changing results often come from supportive peer-to-peer connections forged during intensive self-discovery and team-building activities.

As for Emily, after years of researching what makes people’s lives meaningful, she agrees that connection is essential – and what’s more, critical in defining one’s purpose. In her latest book, The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters, she dissolves years of globe-trotting exploration and discussion into four defining pillars— belonging, purpose, storytelling and transcendence—that can be used to help anyone outline a simplified path to pursue meaning in their lives.

Regardless of background or circumstance, the message for those seeking a richer, more satisfying life, is meaningful and simple: connect with service and your purpose will follow. Learn more about the GTLT program today, connect with us at wli@uwgpsnj.org or call 215-665-2417.