Donning navy blue Oscar t-shirts, the LiveGirls gathered to listen to the empowering advice of Anne Espiritu, VP of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at Oscar Health Insurance. Previously the Head of Global PR at Yahoo, Ms. Espiritu has made waves in the communications industry, currently using revolutionary technology and data to deploy new ways of delivering healthcare to customers through Oscar Health.
Born in the Philippines, Ms. Espiritu came to the US when she was very young, not knowing a word of English. Growing up and going to school, she have a tough time understanding her peers and teachers because they talked quickly. On top of that, she felt as if she couldn’t fit in with her classmates, who grew up in wealthy households. As a result, she was a quiet kid, and spent a lot of time by herself.
However, Ms. Espiritu had a tenacious inner self. She was a competitive Thai kickboxer during her teenage years, worked hard in school, which led her to University of California at Berkeley, the number one public university in the nation, and eventually Yahoo, where she landed a prestigious position managing their communications platforms. Aside from kickboxing and her work ethic in school, she actually credits some of her success to her quietness as a child. It allowed her to be able to connect with people, a skill she calls her “inner brilliance”. “I have always been empathetic,” Ms. Espiritu said. “As a kid, I would spend a lot of time observing people, kind of being on the outside. Having been alone and without friends at points in my life, I understand what it feels like. I was able to take something that resonated with me when I was younger and use it to help me understand and relate to others.”
At the end of her keynote speech, Ms. Espiritu left the LiveGirls with the advice to do something every day that’s out of their comfort zone so they gain a little bit more courage each day to be bold and empowered. “You have to take one brave step every day,” she said. “It can be small, but you've just deposited in your ‘brave bank’. This allows you to be braver over time.”
After hearing from Ms. Espiritu, the LiveGirls continued with the theme of empowerment and created skits demonstrating what it looks like to support and inspire others, then discussing in their mentoring groups how they can reach out to and empower others inside and outside LiveGirl. “Life is a mountain,” one LiveGirl mentoring group said in their skit. “We have to help each other climb it, because no one can get to the top by themselves!” Ms. Domino asked each LiveGirl to reflect on the skits in their journals, so they can look back on it when LiveGirl is over to feel empowered and inspired. The LiveGirls finished up in their mentoring groups by passing around a ball and talking about their hopes for the future.
After lunch, the LiveGirls continued either multi-sports and their musical theatre workshops. “I feel like I can take what I learned in the morning and practice it during afternoon activities,” one LiveGirl said. “Like in sports, we can empower each other by cheering each other on!”