The Woman’s Club of Medford is pleased to announce our 2020 Alice Mietz Scholarship winner – Alayna Burns. The Woman’s Club of Medford Alice Mietz Scholarship was set up as a means to recognize a young woman from the Medford/Medford Lakes community who has consistently demonstrated not only the discipline needed to maintain a high grade point average but also the integrity and willingness to give back to the community through volunteer service.
Read Alayna’s award winning essay below:
“When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.” Meghan Markle
With this in mind, how do you see the role of women evolving in this new decade?
Empowered women empower women. But where does the “empowering” begin? It begins with belief, with hope, and with dreams. Girls given the freedom and taught the truth that they are worthy and capable become prospects for the future, for they have the key to success: confidence. However, without these notions of belief is where things fall short. If never given the tools to believe, females may succumb to the pressure of society, failing to unleash their full potential.
In society today, I see more and more girls exposed to these critical influencers, provided the tools for learning, and granted the freedom to dream. As these girls grow into women, I see the world grow into a prosperous kingdom. We have already established ourselves in so many communities of the world in the past century that previously would have been unthinkable. Due to the perseverance of these women, we have the chance today to make major impacts as doctors, lawyers, authors, engineers, experts, and leaders in infinite other ways.
Yet, the best step for women is the next step. As Meghan Markle asserted, the empowered women of today are capable of changing the world if given the chance. With the beautiful opportunities provided through access to schooling, travel, and resources, women are ever-ready to tackle current challenges. I see the women of today, myself included, evolving the mechanics of environmental sustainability, devising solutions for population health crises, creating medicines for life-threatening diseases, advocating for improved income equality, all the while staying true to themselves and each other.
The passion of these women in their daring dreams will propel them through the difficulties of these tasks. When trusted with the necessary power, tools, and assets, we will unite all around us to bring about the changes which we see necessary.
Even more exciting is the unknown. There is the new, the unfathomed, the waiting-to-be created secrets of society. Women will be the ones to unlock these secrets with their key of diligence, vision, and determination. I feel confident that there is no challenge women will not address this decade: The cure to cancer and the method to purify all water sources; the solution to obesity and starvation imbalance and the method to reduce human ecological footprint; the cure to lacking voter turnouts and government corruption and the solution to properly addressing and preventing increasing terrorist attacks. In each of these areas, women hold a place, and we are more prepared than the world is ready for to make it happen.
This new decade will be legendary because of the individual strides and sacrifices women make to bring about a greater communal benefit. Each individual’s decision to believe in herself and conquer her challenge of choice will amount to the worldwide changes I believe we can achieve. By evolving the world, we evolve our role.