Excerpts from the 2019 Circles of Support Celebration

There were so many wonderful speeches at the Celebration! Here are a few excerpts.

Myauta Ponzo, SCSD student and Girls’ Circles participant, speaking about Girls’ Circles: “It opened up so many doors. . . I’m just happy that I got to be a part of something so monumental. . . .These ladies gave me a chance, they gave us a chance to be ourselves and empowered us and gave me a sense of what self-love was.”

Hemavattie Ramtahal, Roots & Wings Award recipient, muse, and workshop leader: “Our Girls’ Circles. . . they do incredible things. All of these muses are women who inspire others. . . When you help young people grow, you grow yourself. Thank you for giving me all your goodness and helping me to pay it forward with others.”

Kim Siciliano, Executive Director of the YWCA NENY, Roots & Wings Award recipient: “One word that is so important for young girls and women today to remember is: resilience. . . It is the key quality that YWCA NENY team members see in so many of our clients, as well as in ourselves and in our organization. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; it is a toughness and the ability of a person to spring back into shape after facing adversity. To quote Maya Angelou, I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it. …

“YWCA NENY wishes every young girl and every young woman knew that resilience lives in all of us and that we can overcome and find strength in struggle. We can put down roots and feel grounded while still growing and challenging ourselves to bigger and better things. And that without failure, we cannot see the successes in our journey. And that wings allow us to see the expanse of opportunities that lie ahead.

 “. . . YWCA NENY would like to express heartfelt gratitude to WGGS for the Roots and Wings Award and for their tireless work in our community to support girls and young women. You truly make a difference. To end, I will share with you one of my favorite quotes: a bird sitting on a branch is not afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the strength of the branch, but on the strength of her own wings!”