Lexi Kelley’s Empowering Experience

Out of a pool of 1,000 applicants from all over the U.S., St. Luke’s own Lexi Kelley ‘15 was one of 50 exceptional young women chosen to participate in a convention called the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative in Washington, D.C.. After hearing the great news and introducing herself to the other attendees via Facebook, Lexi hopped on a train and found her way to D.C. on April 1st. At the forum for the partnership of ANN Inc. (partner company of Ann Taylor LOFT) and Vital Voices, she worked with many other young women like herself and important women from around the world to inspire each other and discuss how the next generation can become global leaders and make an impact on their own communities. In fact, Lexi and her mother Jennifer Kelley began the organization Kids Helping Kids, a Connecticut-based non-profit program, in 2009–run by kids, who show they can make a difference. The Sentinel spoke to Lexi in a Q&A session regarding her remarkable experience at the weeklong event.

Lexi Kelley '15 amongst ;egemds

Lexi Kelley ’15 amongst ;egemds

Sentinel: How were you introduced to the program?

Lexi Kelley: Lindsay Bralower introduced it to St. Luke’s when she was picked to attend it last year, and told everyone she had an incredible experience. So this year, Ms. Parker Burgard told me more about it and gave me the application.

Sentinel: What did the application entail?

L.K.: We had to talk about a service project idea or passion of our own and how we would want to see it play out. We had to say a little bit about ourselves, and how we would benefit from the experience. I was actually kind of hesitant to apply, and I ended up sending in my application at the last minute. I wasn’t sure if I would get in!

Sentinel: What did you talk about in your individual application?

L.K.: Well, I started Kids Helping Kids four years ago, but I have felt like it might not be gaining enough momentum. So I wanted to find a way to take it to the next level.

Sentinel: So what happened when you got there? What was the agenda for the week?

L.K.: We met at a hotel in a conference room and they flew in honorees of the program from all over the world to talk to us. People were divided into groups of seven or eight and each group was assigned one mentor.

Sentinel: What did the mentors do? Who was yours?

L.K.: My mentor was Laura Alfonso and she was from Argentina. They basically led us through the entire week. We would all sit at round tables and have a bunch of different meetings where our mentor and other group members would talk together and help brainstorm and inspire each other for our service project ideas.

Sentinel: What projects were some of the other girls working on?

A: One girl had some idea about recycling tennis balls. A lot of people were focused on cancer and how to keep hope. Others talked about affordable fashion for people who don’t have a lot of money. Many of them talked about confidence for young girls regarding their body or style or just finding themselves.

Sentinel: Who did you meet?

A: We heard Kate Hudson, Kay Krill, Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton, America Fererra, and Ann Curry, who were all really inspiring and amazing speakers with all different stories to tell.

Sentinel: What did you expect going into it, and what it was really like?

A: I thought the whole thing was really surprising. Like I said, I was kind of hesitant to apply in the first place. But it was way more relaxed, but at the same time powerful, than I had expected. Everyone was laidback, but also passionate and understanding and helpful. Everyone was really relatable, and that made it twice the experience.

Check out Lexi’s organization Kids Helping Kids at this website: http://kidshelpingkidsct.org/

Maddie Jodka, Staff Writer

Posted by on April 15, 2013. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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