“Before my first summer with Girls Inc., I felt like I was defined by other people’s opinion of me,” said Kaylyn Hicks, 16, at the 2013 Touchstone Awards. “I learned that I do not need to meet anyone’s expectations but my own. Although I value others’ opinions, I know in the end it’s all about how I feel about myself.”
Kaylyn spoke as a Girls Inc. alumna and Junior Program Specialist to an audience of more than 400 people at the “Dare to Dream” Touchstone Awards on July 11. This year’s theme was reflected in Kaylyn’s words and in the accomplishments of the four daring dreamers who were honored this year.
Watch as Kaylyn reads an original poem she wrote to encourage younger girls to dream big:
The 2013 Touchstone honorees were Joyce Rogers, Vice President of Development at Ivy Tech Community College; Joanna Taft, Founding Executive Director of Harrison Center for the Arts; Susan Williams, retired President of Indiana Sports Corp., and Jean Wojtowicz, President of Cambridge Capital Management Corp.
Each of the honorees addressed the audience with lessons learned from a life of achieving their dreams. Jean Wojtowicz urged the 70 Girls Inc. Summer Camp girls in attendance to “dream while you’re awake” and not to focus on the obstacles in their paths. Susan Williams encouraged the girls to ask for the business cards of the adults they sat with at the luncheon and to build circles of support.
Joanna Taft spoke about the importance of finding your personal calling. “Having a strong call makes you strong,” Taft said. Joyce Rogers reminded the girls that we all go through tough times, but that “there’s always a light on the other side.”
Hear more inspiring thoughts from these remarkable women in this short Touchstone video:
The Girls Inc. girls were also able to teach the adults in attendance what they’ve been learning at summer camp, hosting exhibits that showcased their camp experiences. The girls demonstrated self-defense moves, created a “Menu for a Friend” out of positive friendship characteristics, and showed off model bridges designed and built with the help of Eli Lilly Women’s Network volunteers.
Watch a slideshow of memorable Touchstone moments:
A special thank you to the sponsors who made this event possible, especially our challenge match sponsors, Kroger and the National Bank of Indianapolis, and our leading sponsors, Ice Miller LLP, the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and Citizens Energy Group. Thanks to our generous guests and sponsors, Girls Inc. raised $89,000 to support strong, smart, and bold programming for greater Indianapolis girls. Thank you to everyone who participated and we hope to see you all at Touchstone 2014!