Leymah Gbowee arrived at our school at 9:30 am and the school was on fire with anticipation and excitement. Everyone was wearing their brand new white "women for peace" tee shirts which were distributed upon arrival. The message she gave the students was to "decide what you want to be and give it your best!"
As she spoke she did so in a gentle yet powerful manner. She assured the seniors and challenged them at the same time. Leymah cautioned them that "in the university of life, some may get misguided. . . Wherever your journey takes you, you don't leave a legacy by lying down when you fall, but by your ability to get up and stand tall."
My seventh grade class loved it when she told them: "You still have a long way to go. You can decide if you want to be Beyonce or Hillary Clinton. Follow your dream."
Leymah shared that she has more responsibility now that she has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and will continue to work for women's rights and peace. She encouraged the students to become leaders and change the world as they can.
As she spoke there were resounding cheers often. One of my students commented that they were impressed that she spoke to them about their concerns and answered their questions candidly and without hesitation.
One of our sisters shared the following link with me as Leymah was on "The Daily Show" last evening with Jon Stewart. I share the link with you and hope you enjoy it: http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/mon-november-14-2011-leymah-gbowee. Also if you have the opportunity to view "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" you can see her story.
Today was a wonderful day and one that will be remembered for a very long time!
Sr. Pat Schifini, OSU