Girl Talk: Teen Vogue Summit

On December 1st and 2nd of 2017 I attended the first ever “Teen Vogue Summit” in Los Angeles, California. After submitting three responses to three different short answer prompts, I was one of 50 chosen to be sponsored to attend this summit out of 450 submissions nationwide.

I first learned about the summit from the editor in chief of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth and her Instagram account. On the due date of submissions, I decided to turn in my submission.  I was extremely surprised and humbled to receive an email a month after I submitted stating the Teen Vogue would like to sponsor my trip to the event.

Throughout 2017, the magazine has been transformed from your typical “teen girl” magazine to an inclusive publication that covers mature stories from all different aspects on the pop culture spectrum. They have recently produced stories highlighting LGBTQ+ sex education, sexual harassment, and female empowerment. Not only does the magazine highlight these topics, but they also encourage their readers to become active within their communities.

According to the Teen Vogue website, the summit was “organized to inspire, encourage and connect a new generation of activists, creators and innovators, providing them with the insights and tools to change the world”, and as an attendee, I completely validate this statement.

Before the event occurred, all attendees were instructed to choose certain “tracks” and guest speakers they wanted to engage in and listen to. On the first day of the summit, there were multiple different tracks labeled based off of you interests. Attendees could choose between “creator”, “activist”, or “innovator”, and based off of your preference, you were given specific tracks referred to as “@Werk Immersions”.

The first day, I had the opportunity to visit three completely different companies; Omaze, Sundance Institute and 72andsunny. Although different, all three companies have programs in place to help contribute and empower a greater community.

The second day of the summit was spent at the headquarters of the advertising company 72andsunny. This day was dedicated to keynote speakers such as Hillary Clinton, Ava DuVernay, Maxine Waters, Yara Shahidi, and Rowan Blanchard. After the keynote speakers’ attendees had the option to engage in intimate “breakaway” session to listen to active members of their community talk about their lives.

As said best by the editor in chief of the magazine, Elaine Welteroth, a major point emphasized throughout the summit was to teach young women how “to turn your passion into a paycheck”. Throughout the event I met amazing young women doing amazing things.

In addition to the amazing business opportunities offered throughout the event, there were so many other life lessons taught. It is so important for young women to hear about success stories from other young women in order to “materialize” success. Throughout my entire experience I was exposed to hundreds of people openly having conversations about mental health, menstruation, empowerment, and representation.

Despite the current events occuring throughout the world at the moment it was increasingly impactful to be exposed to a climate that is so extremely supportive and educated. After engaging with females from all different backgrounds, ages, and identities I have renewed hope for women in the coming years.

It is extremely important for major companies and journalists to support young women and publicize articles that give voices to those that have been left unheard for too long. I greatly appreciate Teen Vogue engaging in hard conversations and shining a light on real issues in the real world.

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