How do you inspire a generation? It starts with empowering youth—and that was the exact goal of the recent Inspire Girls event in Lincoln, Nebraska. As part of the day-long celebration, prominent female leaders from a variety of industries, including Nelnet, shared their expertise with middle and high school-aged girls.
Fueling the Future
As the first event of its kind, the Inspire Girls celebration grew from the annual Inspire Awards. The annual awards honor area women at the top of their fields. Nelnet associate Lauren Mosser won the award in 2017, and has been involved with the program ever since. “I was so excited to have the chance to be a part of this experience for Inspire Girls,” says Lauren. Lauren joined several other associate volunteers at the Nelnet booth. Together, they led an activity designed to get attendees thinking about their futures. “At our booth, we had the young ladies attending the event create shared mood boards by cutting out images from magazines of goals they have,” says Carlyn Bretey. “I thought it was a special way to see what the women of tomorrow want to manifest in their lives.”
In addition to serving as an Education Sponsor and displaying a booth at the event, associate Julia Messineo and intern Lauren Kubat represented Nelnet at a session on how to budget and plan for college. “I was thrilled for the opportunity to go talk with young women from across the city about their dreams and future careers,” says Lauren. The duo presented information on prepping for college, focusing specifically on financing. They also highlighted the internship opportunities and benefits available at Nelnet before fielding questions from the audience. “It was definitely a rewarding event to attend. Hearing girls tell us their dreams of becoming future female leaders inspired me.”
Even though they attended the event as volunteers, Nelnet representatives at the Inspire Girls event gained just as much as they gave. “It was fun to interact with girls from all ages, from middle school to adulthood,” says intern Rachel Novicki. “The whole event was uplifting, with fun music playing in the background. Some girls would come back to our booth two or three times to pick another word and picture to add to the vision board!”
As an Inspire Awards alum and advocate, Laruen Mosser hopes to see the event continue to thrive and empower young women well into the future. “These young women are our future, and I believe the future is extremely bright for the Lincoln community.”