10th Anniversary Dreams Campaign 10 Question Series - Ginny Carroll
One of the ways we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary Dreams Campaign is through a 10 Question Series. The Dreams Campaign was created on the belief that girls who dream, become women with vision and through this campaign we hope to connect the SEGA girls with people and organizations around the world through their shared dreams. Our goal is to show each girl at SEGA the endless possibilities that come from investing in girls' education.
We are excited for you to read our 10 Question Series with Ginny Carroll, Executive Director of Circle of Sisterhood an organization with the mission of helping to make life better for women and girls around the globe through education.
What did you aspire for at an early age?
I spent my formative years with many aspirations, including going to college and having a successful career. It was not until after college while working for a women’s organization did I realize my passion was to do work that empowered girls and women. My education was an important part of my evolution because I could practice building skills, learn about the world and explore opportunities.
What inspired those dreams?
My parents were always an inspiration as well as the strong women around me in college and in my career, all of whom chose me to lead and encouraged me to lead with integrity.
What is the most difficult decision you’ve had to make to pursue your dream?
The difficulty in pursuing a dream always seems to lie in what one will sacrifice to chase that dream. To start a charitable organization was a big risk and required a lot of resources – both human and financial - to ensure success. Long hours and a lot of travel can take its toll on family and other commitments. While it was hard, it has been worth it.
What’s one thing you would tell your younger self?
Be a better student and don’t ever take for granted that you can be educated to whatever level you desire.
Who is someone you look up to / admire?
My mother because her love was unconditional, and she was a pillar of strength. She only wanted her children to be healthy and happy and did everything in her power to make that a reality.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
The anonymous quote “Leap and the net will appear.” I don’t know who provided the advice but I have tried to live by this advice. Good happens because people take risks to make the world a better place.
Who was your best teacher/helper on your journey?
I have way too many and it would be hard to identify a “best.” So many people have guided me and encouraged me and mentored me in my life in different ways that I could not choose one. I will say, always stay connected to the people you meet because you never know when they will resurface in your life and be of help to you or you to them.
How did your environment/friends shape/support your dreams?
I have been very lucky and I feel quite privileged. I am college educated, I come from a good family and have created a wonderful one of my own. I have never had a job I did not love. As mentioned above, we are all given the opportunity to create networks of friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. that will guide and support us along the way. The greater and more diverse the network the better. Being surrounded by a supportive community AND by people one can learn from every day is very important to accomplishing any goal.
Was there ever a time you felt uncertain about your dream?
Of course. My “dream” has evolved over time. One does not come into the world knowing their path. Learning what one truly aspires to be or do is an evolution over a long period of time. I’ve known since college that I wanted to make the world a better place for girls and women and that aspiration has materialized in many different forms – from jobs to volunteer roles to family responsibilities.
What is a piece of advice you have for the SEGA girls?
As you search for meaning, know that the journey will not be clear. Be a good student, always look for new opportunities, take chances, and explore many subjects. While doing that, you will find what it is that makes you proud or happy or fulfilled. You will know and understand your strengths and you too will always be happy while making the world a better place for all.
Ginny Carroll is the Founder of Circle of Sisterhood and served on the board of Trustees from 2010-2013. In January of 2014 she became the part-time Executive Director responsible for ensuring ongoing programmatic excellence.