“Magnificent”, “wonderful”, “engaging”, “interesting” and, of course, “inspiring”, are words used by the audience to describe the “Be Inspired” event held at St. Francis’ College on the evening of Tuesday 7th March.
To celebrate International Women’s Day and to raise awareness of the charity Women for Women International, through whom the College sponsors a sister in Uganda, St. Francis’ invited three inspirational women to speak and share their stories with the pupils, parents, staff and the wider community.
Dr Preti Taneja, Dr Hannah Macleod and Professor Tanya Bryon captivated the full house at the College theatre. First to speak was Dr Taneja, an old girl of St. Francis’. She spoke about freedom of speech and her work with Shakespeare’s works and the influence his words have had with her human rights work in New Delhi and Jordan. Next was GB Hockey Player Hannah Macleod, who delighted the audience by passing round her Gold medal from the Rio Olympics while she spoke about the challenges that have faced her and the GB team in their preparation for both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics. Finally, Professor Tanya Bryon was the icing on the cake with her gripping address about teenage mental health issues. She gave some truly inspiring advice to the teenage girls in the audience about the importance of addressing this issue. At the end of the evening the whole theatre was buzzing and everyone was talking about the inspiration they had gained from the evening.
Mrs Goulding, Headmistress, commented that, “It is really important to have strong female role models who can help the younger generation be inspired to achieve their dreams and not let gender bias stand in their way. As a girls’ school we feel very strongly about ensuring our girls are equipped to find and follow their passions and to feel free to be anything they want to be.”