Seeing strong, successful women inspires younger girls to see the big things they can accomplish. At the first year of Inspiring Girls for the Future event on Nov. 14, many women from all different backgrounds and professions came to talk to girls 12 and older about their potential career options.
Inspiring Girls for the Future began with a yearning that Laurie Larsen had to bring everyone the feeling and inspiration she had felt. Her and her 4 daughters used to attend Provo Girls Summit while living in Utah County, but after moving farther North, Larsen realized there wasn’t anything like that in their new home. So she set her heart on creating a place for girls to know what opportunities are out there.
Larsen reached out to everyone that she knew to tell them about her idea. Many friends and acquaintances reached out and said they wanted to support her mission, gave ideas on who presenters could be, and were willing to help her make this dream a reality. Larsen and her team put together a two-hour event complete with giveaways, a keynote speaker and 27 presenters who ranged in professions, such as Engineer, Firefighter, Costume Designer, and many more.
“It’s easy to float along if you don’t have a vision, so I think having a vision is key,” Larsen said. “If you are willing to work hard for what you want, it can happen.”
She said that she doesn’t have much experience with event planning, but with a goal and a lot of hard work, she made something big happen. Larsen has taught this idea to her children, but she wanted girls of all ages to know that they can learn a lot from setting goals.
Keynote speaker Kris Forsyth, who recently retired from being the Executive Assistant to the Athletics Director of the University of Utah, spoke about her life and career experience. She said one of the most important things she has learned through her life is that it is important to do hard things.
“Do the little things that make a difference,” Forsyth said.
She also talked about her father and their family motto, which was, “and then some,” encouraging the attendees to go the extra mile. Forsyth gave little pieces of advice to the girls about pushing themselves out of their comfort zone, learning all the skills that they could, and not comparing themselves to others. She said these points have been positives in her life and have led her to where she is today.
Monica Collard is the CEO of Allied Electric Sign and Awning. She takes raw materials and turns them into beautiful works of art, including neon signs for places like Real Salt Lake and VASA Fitness. One bit of advice she gave was that it is okay to take risks. We can learn from failure, and as she liked to say, ‘She failed her way to success.
Camille Beckstrand is a Social Media Influencer who, with her six sisters, runs a YouTube channel, a website and multiple social media platforms called SixSistersStuff.com. She is also the author of 8 cookbooks, with 2 more in the works. Her bit of advice for the girls was to “decide what you love and make it your career. Aiming high will always be better than limiting yourself.”