As the 2013 winner of the YWRising essay contest, I have never been in a room that was filled with so many like-minded, passionate, assuring people who genuinely wanted to hear the words of a young woman trying to figure out how to navigate a world designed for male advancement. I have never been so encouraged to write, to speak, and to act upon my passions for gender equality and the safeties it entails. YWRising was the affirming oxygen to the spark I had within me; the missing piece that allowed me to burst into a flame of confidence and purpose.

Kristen H.