Women Champions Connecting and Active!

Zillah Wesley was a participant at World YWCA’s recently concluded International Leadership Institute held in Bangkok, Thailand. She shares her reflection on the event and the impact it will have on her work with her home region.

My name is Zillah. I live in Washington, D.C. I love life and take every moment as it comes. I sit on the Board of the YWCA National Capital Area. I try to be the “change I want to see”.

zilah and disney

Abigail Disney and Zillah Wesley

I have been planning the inaugural YWCA North American & Caribbean Regional Young Women’s Leadership Conference in Barbados that took place in June, 2013. While planning this conference I had the opportunity to work with Katie Ungard from Canada as a co-chair for the commutation/programmes subcommittee. We have been emailing, conference calling and Skypeing  over the past two years. During the last month of the planning for the conference in Barbados I had the chance to met Katie. We were both invited to the World YWCA International leadership Institute for young women in Bangkok, Thailand. Wow! I will get to meet Katie – but not in Barbados! I had so many questions for her. Would she like me as a person? What does she look like? And so many other questions. I met Katie in the simplest way – in the elevator at the ILI. I crazily knew it was Katie from Canada. Katie and I instantly became friends.  We have the same ideas about life. We could talk and listen to each other for hours throughout  the ITI .

Attending the World YWCA International Leadership Institute for Young Women in Bangkok was a life changing experience for me.  The ILI showed me that I was on the right path in life. I had my Aha! Moment.  At least that is what Oprah calls it.  The day that I left the ILI my life was forever changed. I am not usually a crier and I’ll stand by that.  But as I was leaving Bangkok the emotions hit me. My circle of friends and people who believed in me had just widened a lot and I cried happy tears. The future that I see has my ILI sisters and myself helping to change the world together. Like in Emeli Sande says in her song:  “Read all about it …” – you are going to read all about us, the young women of the ILI 2013, and not just now!