October 22nd was Make a Difference Day. “Since 1992, volunteers and communities have come together on Make A Difference Day with a single purpose: to improve the lives of others.” Now before you point out that I am a week late with this post, rest assured I know. However, last Saturday, on the actual day, I was volunteering for the Alliance of Technology and Women at their GreatMinds event.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi
GreatMinds stands for “Girls Reaching for Education About Technology and Moving in Directions for Success” and it is an outreach program to encourage young girls to learn about and pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). This year the event was held at Southwest Airlines’ training center and gave young girls an opportunity to tour the facility and hear from some of their female employees. Now I did little more than help set up, hand out T-shirts and goody bags, talk to the girls during the exercises, and help clean up. But I myself was inspired by some of the speakers they had, as well as the girls.
Liji Thomas the Senior Manager of Diversity & Inclusion at Southwest started the morning by telling them that “If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be fearless.”
An attendee commented, “You don’t have to be a man or a woman to be brave, you just have to be YOU.”
There was also a female pilot, a female mechanic, several of their dispatchers, and many other women of Southwest Airlines who spoke about their experiences and careers. We got to tour the facility, see their network operations center and some of their training areas. Quite impressive!
“One person can make a difference, and every person should try.” JFK
So I challenge you, even though the date has passed you can still make a difference. Volunteering isn’t confined to a single day on the calendar. Everyone has the power within them to improve the lives of another and make a difference every single day. You just have to get out and try.