A Former Eagle Soars


Maleah Fennessey, Co-Editor

Kirsten Okamoto, a former McAuliffe student who is now a senior in high school, was recently selected as this year’s Girl Scout of the USA (GSUSA) speaker for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, or CSW.

Okamoto is not a stranger to activism and public speaking; in fact, this is not her first time speaking as a GSUSA representative. The first time she acted as a delegate, she created and helped teach a six-week program on gender equality and its prevalence around the world. This also reflects on the diversity of the topics covered at these annual meetings; these include human trafficking, femicide and assault, but also more everyday inequalities, such as gender pay gaps and prejudice in professional spaces. But as an individual, Okamoto chose to spoke on the importance of developing leadership skills in girls in support of those who are downtrodden or downgraded, something that becomes more important as our world becomes more inclusive.

All of these themes are part of what the CSW was originally formed to work through. In 1946, shortly after the United Nations was founded, this organization was gathered together, and they held their first meeting the year after. They often collect information on trends throughout the world through the representatives in attendance, just as the group did at the start. Since its conception, the organization has been pushing for gender equality, both in the awareness of the reality of female lives and support and change-making when these realities are unfortunate. As an activist working independently as well as with many, Okamoto lives up to these ideals. By working to develop leadership skills in girls as part of her projects, it is more likely that others will be able to use her as an example and push for change.

Throughout her life, Okamoto has certainly accomplished other impressive feats; she has even been voted Most Accomplished Senior at Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science! Additionally, as a Girl Scout, Okamoto has won the Take Action Award and the Gold Award, the latter for her project educating over 100 Junior Lifeguards on sea life conservation. She also has big plans for the future; as an engineering student, the Rossmoor resident intends to pursue electrical engineering in college.

Overall, Okamoto is an excellent example of what just one person can accomplish with hard work and dedication. As she once said, “I hope to inspire my fellow McAuliffe eagles to look forward to high school and accomplish great things.” And with her persistence and readiness to act as a role model, she is doing just that.