Everyone was dressed up and excited. We huddled together on the curb waiting to cross the street and enter one of the most famous performance spaces in the United States: Carnegie Hall.
It was November 10, and I had traveled to New York City to support Dr. Jane at the Glamour 2008 Women of the Year Awards. With me were Roots & Shoots Graduate Fellow Katia Rossi, as well as Roots & Shoots members from Port Jefferson, New York; New York City Home Educators Alliance (NYCHEA); and Western Connecticut State University.
Our calves burned as we were led, in heels, up several flights of stairs to the highest balcony. The view from our seats was outstanding. I tried to think of all the people who had sat in my seat before me. What did they wear? What performance did they see? I felt so lucky and overwhelmed with the history of the place.
We spotted Dr. Jane right away and then peered down to try and see the other award winners. We watched the stars’ entrances and introductions. Some of the celebrities—including Natalie Portman—were waiting in line to meet Dr. Jane. You could see the excitement and admiration they felt when they were meeting Dr. Jane. I remember those same feelings when I first met her too.
We were seated with a few groups of young women supporting other organizations and award winners. Even though we were far from the stage, the award winners knew that a whole bunch of young people were up there watching.
They would call up to us and say things like, “To all the young women in the balcony, this is what I wish someone would have told me when I was your age.” It made the whole experience so unique and especially uplifting. The editor of Glamour Magazine, Cynthia Leive, said, “I know you are in the nosebleeds today, but we hope that someday you’ll be up on this stage receiving your own award.”
Besides all the wonderful women we got to listen to and be inspired by, I think my favorite part was when Dr. Jane accepted her Lifetime Achievement Award. She pant-hooted at us from the stage, and we cheered in return. The Huffington Post wrote, “Jane did a special chimpanzee call to a group of girls from her not-for-profit Roots & Shoots, who were sitting in the upper balcony.” What they didn’t mention is how loud we cheered back!
It was a truly inspirational evening. The performances, speeches and heartfelt stories left me in a euphoric daze. Looking back on the event, it continues to fuel me to make a difference.
Want to get more of the Glamour awards happenings? Get the gossip.
Filed under: Other, Personal, Travel, Youth Leadership | Tagged: Carnegie Hall, Cynthia Leive, Dr. Jane Goodall, Glamour, Huffington Post, Lifetime Achievement Award, Natalie Portman, Pant hoot, Shanay Healy, Women of the Year Awards | Leave a comment »