Getting Glamour-ous with Dr. Jane

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.

Shanay Healy Katia Rossi Glamour Awards NYC

Shanay Healy Katia Rossi Glamour Awards NYC

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!

Katia Rossi Shanay Healy Glamour Awards NYC

Katia Rossi Shanay Healy Glamour Awards NYC

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.


U.N. International Day of Peace event pictures

These are pictures taken on September 19th, 2008 at the U.N. International Day of Peace event. First there was an opening ceremony and the ringing of the peace bell. Afterwards we all made our way to the Student Observance portion of the event where we got to hear from four Messengers of Peace (Michael Douglas, Dr. Elie Wiesel, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Ms. Midori Goto) and four youth presenters. The most inspiring moment for me was being able to see live videoconference presentations by students in Afghanistan, Liberia, and Sudan. Another highlight was our own Emily Woodall, who was one of the four youth presenters chosen to address the entire crowd on behalf of Roots & Shoots. The event closed with the ringing of the peace bell and the flag ceremony. In my opinion, this entire event should have been headline news across the nation; it was truly amazing to witness the passion that young people shared toward working together to create peace.

Peace Day 2008!

Hey everyone, Roots & Shoots Day of Peace was a great success all around the world! Congratulations! Here are some highights from the weekend.

Katia and I at the United Nations in 15 naughts of wind!

Katia and I with the Peace Bell made out of old weapons, “May peace prevail on earth!”

The United Nations New York City

Myself with Peace Dove and Dr. Jane in the background at St. Catherine’s Park

National Office Ladies: Claire, Katherine and I

Mi amigo, Christian and I

Don’t forget to share your Roots & Shoots Day of Peace experience with us! Submit a Project Report and send your photos, with completed release forms, to!

Finding comfort in a new place

Moving to a new place can be a little frightening. Everything is so new and deep down you crave something that feels familiar. Even the simplest thing, such as shopping for food at the grocery store, can pose a challenge. I was recently searching for dairy products and was so confused when I didn’t find Lucerne and Tillamook, two widely distributed products in Washington State that I assumed was sold everywhere. I was forced to grab the store brand cheese, which somehow made me worry about the quality compared to that which I was used to.

It is not just food, but other things I had grown to love. In Pullman I had a routine that was perfect; I knew all my favorite places to shop and looked forward to riding my bike to the farmer’s market each Saturday. I was happy with the local non-profits and level of concern over important issues such as the environment and the welfare of animals. I thought that once I moved everything would change and I wouldn’t find the same things I had grown to love; amazingly I found the opposite. Over the course of the week I was able to talk to others about their favorite places to shop and then started searching the internet. I was overjoyed to find a website that listed locally grown food that was available at many farmer’s markets in the area. There is also an organic food store nearby called Trader Joe’s.

With regards to the environment and local non-profits, I have become very impressed at how green the area is and now frequently visit a local park to go hiking with my coworker. I also found a local humane society that is very active in the community and hosting a Walk for the Animals event at the end of the month. I have finally begun to feel a sense of community and connection to this new place I now call home. It is comforting to know that even on the other side of the country there are people who share similar passions and places that allow you to enjoy the things you love about life; all you have to do is get out there and find them.

Clinton Global Initiative University – Tulane University, 14-16 March 2008

Last Thursday I hopped on a plane and headed to New Orleans for the first ever Clinton Global Initiative University conference ( 700 college students, 30 college and university professors, and many NGO representatives spent a day talking with experts in Energy and Climate Change, Global Health, Poverty Alleviation, and Human Rights and Peace. Then we had a chance to do a service project in the lower ninth ward. It was such an incredible time and I am so lucky and honored to have been able to go. I hope you can watch the full video. It’s really neat.

ABC News Story

In this second video you can watch President Clinton’s closing speech, and if you fast forward to minute 39:00 exactly you can see half of my face in the upper right hand corner. In all the other media and photographs I was in the background, so thats the most of the media attention I got. 🙂

President Clinton’s Closing Speech

If you are REALLY REALLY interested in watching videos, they have the webcasts for all of our sessions up on their website at:

CGI University Webcasts

Pictures from Rome

The Colosseum

President Gorbachov, former President of the USSR

Kelly Kennedy doing a rain dance

President Gorbachov, M. Yunnus and M.C. Maguire

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Mohamed Yunus

Bob Geldof annoucing launch date for Peace Channel TV

Youth Leadership Fellow to go to Rome for Gathering of Nobel Peace Laureates

On Tuesday, I will board a plane at Washington Dulles International Airport headed to Rome, Italy for the 8th Annual Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. The summit is hosted by the City of Rome and the Gorbachev Foundation. The summit is aimed at bringing together a number of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to discuss the theme of “The Next Generation.”

A major part of the event is the awarding of the annual Peace Summit Award which is given to an artist or artists who have worked towards peace. This year, George Clooney and Don Cheadle are being given the award for the work they have done to spread awareness of the current crisis in Darfur.

Walter Veltroni, the Mayor of Rome, and Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of Russia, will be giving the award to the Ocean’s 11 Celebs on Thursday the 13th.

Nobel Laureates expected to attend include, Muhammad Yunnus, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Betty Williams. His holiness, the Dalai Lama will not just be attending but opening the first session of the summit as well as giving a lecture on new ethics of the new Millenium.

The summit will also hold a number of workshops and roundtable discussions with the Nobel Laureates throughout the City of Rome aimed at engaging the public.

I am truly honored by the opportunity to attend such a prestigious summit with some of the greatest men and women of our time. Check back later this week for more posts during the summit which runs from the 13th to the 15th.