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School event

A positive force for change

ACG Sunderland students, parents and friends of the school were dazzled by an extremely impressive keynote speaker at the Annual Parents and Friends College Breakfast event last week.

With a wealth of experience and breadth of knowledge far beyond her years, activist and entrepreneur, Alexia Hilbertidou shared her ideas on the proactive role of today’s youth and the importance of being “movers, shakers and action-takers.”

“If you want opportunities that not many people get, then you need to make choices that not many people make” Alexia explained.

This dynamic 20-year-old is the founder and CEO of GirlBoss New Zealand, a not-for-profit organisation she established when she was just 16 years old as a result of her own experiences as a teenager growing up in Auckland.

Alexia kept the audience captivated as she explained how she created GirlBoss New Zealand with a single mission – to close the gender gap and encourage young women to embrace STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), leadership and entrepreneurship.

As New Zealand’s largest organisation for young women, GirlBoss emboldens its members to ignore the current trends, battle the stereotypes and prepare themselves to take their seats at the boardroom table.

Thanks to her philosophy to inform, inspire, teach and connect, Alexia and GirlBoss now lead a 12,000 strong army of young women who are committed to achieving gender equality in their lifetimes.

Speaking to a co-ed audience, Alexia was an obvious crowd success with her achievements and capabilities extending far beyond GirlBoss. She was just 17 years old when she led a research project at the New Zealand Treasury. And a year later, she was invited by NASA to be a part of the SOFIA project, seeking new stars and planets during an overnight exploratory mission.

“Realise you are never too young to create change” urged Alexia. “You don’t need to wait until you reach a certain milestone, like finishing university, or starting a career. You have everything within you to make a change today.”

Named the most influential young leader under the age of 25 at the Westpac Women of Influence Awards, Alexia was also a 2018 recipient of Queen’s Young Leader Medal for services to the Commonwealth. She is the youngest Commonwealth citizen to ever achieve this honour.

Proving that you are never too young (or too short) to be an agitator for change, Alexia inspired and motivated students and parents alike to take a chance and pursue what matters to you.

“It was a pleasure to present to the wonderful students, staff and parents at ACG Sunderland” said Alexia at the breakfast’s conclusion. “I really admired the supportive environment and the confidence of the students to ask questions.”