Project: Young Women’s Stories—Fostering Leadership

Leadership belongs to everyone and is a self-motivated process to bring forth our full human potential. We have brought together a collection of stories of leadership by young women from around the world. We thank the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and the World YWCA for their contribution of stories.

Adrianna Sosa


Breaking Barriers

I work for an automotive company where men make up 90 percent of the employees. Working in a male-dominated field has really challenged me, but instead of giving up, I think of the strong women in my family who persevered against their patriarchal societies.

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Hanae Chiba


Surviving Disaster with Empathy

On March 11, 2011...the Great East Japan Earthquake hit my town in the region of Tohoku. It was the largest earthquake ever recorded in the country. ... All of these experiences, good and bad, prepared me for my current career caring for people with physical, intellectual, and mental disabilities.

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Naomi Woyengu

Papua New Guinea

From There to Here

As the eldest in my family, I was always reminded to lead by example for the sake of my four younger sisters. My current work mentoring other young women has come naturally to me, but my journey to this point has not been smooth sailing.

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Trinna Leong


Paving My Own Way

My childhood had shaped me to become determined to forge my own path rather than succumb to stereotypes. I wasn’t content with just getting a degree, followed by a job and then getting married by age 30-a life path that everyone else I knew was adopting.

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Emilie Katondolo

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Finding Empowerment in Entrepreneurship

For women and girls living in the North Kivu province, life is far from easy…. My work…has helped me empower hundreds of girls by teaching them the advantages of entrepreneurship.

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Nyuon Susan Sebit William

South Sudan

My Journey in the Fight for Women’s Justice & Equality

I don’t know why, but I never doubted myself growing up...However, like so many others in South Sudan, I still experienced hardship during my childhood — experiences that shaped who I am today.

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Minglee Hoe

United Kingdom

Confidence, not Limelight, is the Source of True Leadership

I was lost about what I wanted for my career. … I know now that as long as I am doing my best in my current role, it will lead to the next step, but that is a lesson I had to learn through experience.

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Corina Ajder

Republic of Moldova

Making the Impossible Possible

A mentor once encouraged me to have big dreams, ones so big that I’d be afraid to say them out loud for fear of other people laughing at them. For a long time, I believed that I wasn’t a person who could afford to have those dreams.

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Bobbie-Jane Gardner

United Kingdom

Finding my Purpose through Music

I was born and raised in Birmingham, to an Afro-Caribbean, modest, working-class family. My parents worked exceptionally hard to support me and my four sisters…. My dream was to become a pianist and composer.

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Jovana Mijatović


I Finally Learned to Listen to Myself

In a world full of material things, it’s not always easy to have faith in dreams which may not guarantee financial security….I used to be a person who was always waiting for something, doing jobs like a robot and without initiative.

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Hsih-Yin Tan


Becoming a Humanistic Researcher

Leaders are like researchers or scientists; they try different techniques to learn what will work and what will fail.…In my own experience, I have seen the connection between being a leader and being an excellent researcher firsthand.

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Sanghamitra Dubey


How Experiencing Poverty Led to Compassion and Activism

My family and I have always struggled. Whether it was attaining an education, finding a good job, or establishing a career, nothing has been easy for us.… Though financial poverty was our struggle, spiritually, we were rich.

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Eyrún Osk Jonsdottir


“When you are afraid to follow your dreams, help others.”

The best advice I ever received was from my mother... I’ve tried to make this a motto in my life, and it’s been a constant reminder to never give up on my life-long dream of becoming a writer.

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Jiye Choi

Republic of Korea

Building a Better Society through Media

After earning a degree in multimedia studies, I started my career in broadcasting where I realized my life’s mission: to help build a better society through media.

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Rachel Mundus

United States

Uprooting my Tree of Doubt

I was in first grade when I started to doubt my academic abilities, a seed that began to grow ... I remember often coming home from school in tears, thinking I wasn’t good enough to pursue my goal of working in dental healthcare.

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