Inspiring Girls to Pursue Their Passions

Contributed by Savannah Guthrie

I would like to tell you a story of a young girl named Stella, who struggled to realize that what made her different from others actually made her incredibly special. Her story, told for the first time this year, resonates with many young girls, but the dreams and experiences that inspired it began much earlier…

For the majority of my childhood, I dreamed of being an astronaut. My pillowcase was patterned with stars, and I could rattle off the planets in order before I could form a sentence. Often I would create a rocket-ship out of our linen closet - sitting inside, upside down, preparing for “blast off.” I pictured myself at NASA, preparing to go to the moon to make a new discovery and would often lay outside for hours starring at the night sky. I can easily say astronomy was my first passion in life.

Like most childhood dreams, my passions in life transformed as I did. Slowly but surely, I realized my talents lie not in scientific research, but in creating art and studying design. Many began to encourage me in my art and support my pursuit of it. By the time I went to college, digital art had taken its permanent place in my heart. Yet I cannot help but smile now at how much my childhood dreams still inspire the work I do today. As it turns out, my first job out of school was a design positon for a physics department that studies deep space! These experiences and my young dreams are the inspiration for Stella.

My senior year of college as a media communications major was extremely busy with many projects. I was producing a large quantity of work that I was proud of, but nothing that left me entirely inspired. As the year was coming to an end, I had one story inside of me that had not yet been told. Although there was no time, I pulled together an all-female team of talented women to bring Stella to life. During my undergraduate education, this short film was the only project I created purely out of a deep desire to see it happen and not because it was assigned. My passions finally met my abilities, and it should have been no surprise that excellence followed. It is my proudest work.

StellaWhen it comes to inspiring the next the generation of women to pursue excellence, let us first take the time to acknowledge their passions, call out their gifts, and recognize what truly makes each person special. As a young girl, I knew what I was passionate about, but until people began to help me realize the gifts I had in design, my passions and abilities could not collaborate. Many young women struggle with feeling that they are too different to fit in, but like Stella, I am hoping that they learn that those differences are actually their strengths. Excellence comes when those strengths are combined with what girls truly love doing.

All this being said, I hope you enjoy Stella’s story. I also hope you find it helpful in beginning the discussion with young women about what makes them different and why that is an incredibly special gift to have. Individuality does not count us out, it means we have something new to offer.

Savannah Guthrie is a designer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. She graduated from Asbury University with a bachelors in Media Communication. Savannah's ambitions include creatively collaborating with other designers to provide high quality art.