Diplomacy student Cynthia Sularz will represent the United States at the 2014 G(irls)20 Summit in Sydney, Australia this August. Sularz, who will be entering her junior year, is a double major in Diplomacy and International Relations and Modern Languages, focusing on German and Russian.
G(irls)20 brings together one representative between the ages of 18 and 20 from each G20 country, along with a representative from the European and African Unions, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East/North Africa region. While at the summit, students will discuss, debate and design ideas to help economically advance girls and women around the world.
Sularz said she applied for the program after seeing a Facebook link to the Summit posted by Amanda Gagne, president of Seton Hall’s Women for Women Chapter. To be selected for the Summit, Sularz had to complete a thorough application process and articulately respond to a series of questions, such as "What do you believe is the greatest obstacle for girls and women in your country and why?" And, "What would you do if you were not afraid?" It was required that her responses be 500 words or less, which, she said, made her think clearly and concisely.
Looking ahead, Sularz can hardly contain her enthusiasm for the opportunity. "When I applied," she says, "I honestly thought it was such a long shot. When I was asked to do a Skype interview as a finalist, I was floored with excitement. I am so honored to be a part of the process, and to know that I will be representing my country this summer."
Ann Marie Murphy, associate professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, helped prepare Cynthia for her interview with G(irls)20. According to Murphy, "The project aims to empower young women who are already making a difference in their home communities with training and skills to take them to the next level."
Sularz said the Summit is creating immense opportunities for her, both personally and professionally. After the Summit, she hopes to enroll in a global membership program, which will enable her to network with a panel of mentors including Farah Mohamed, President and CEO of G(irls)20.
"The G(irls)20 community is one that has already welcomed me with open arms," Sularz explains. "It has helped me build long-lasting professional relationships and design my own initiatives. Overall, this experience will help me to implement my vision to economically empower girls and women in my own communities. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I could not be more grateful."
The G(irls)20 representatives will participate in panel discussions, attend workshops and caucuses. At the end of the conference, participants will attend a press conference where they will present an outline for how girls and women can be utilized and engaged to help improve financial prosperity in the world.
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