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New/Gen-Penn Holds Webinar to Promote Student Advocacy


By Anika Basu, Staff Reporter

New/Gen-Penn held a webinar with Launch Neg, an organization dedicated to empowering women to negotiate for their rights, on May 29 titled “Negotiating for the Future.” The one-hour event was held on Zoom and featured award-winning negotiator Donna Hughes from London. Throughout the presentation, Hughes connected negotiation strategies with advocating for personal and general rights.

New/Gen-Penn is an external organization dedicated to advocating for women’s rights and breaking barriers women often face. Junior Deepthi Sathyanarayana was introduced to the organization through New/Gen-Texas and created a branch in Pennsylvania to increase the movement’s influence. She later formed a New/Gen club at Conestoga to extend the New/Gen audience.

“Conestoga is the best place because there’s so many young women with diverse interests. You can just unite them on one platform,” Sathyanarayana said.

Sathyanarayana first met Hughes while searching for a TEDxYouth@Berwyn event speaker. During that event, as Hughes explained the nuances of negotiation and focused on discrimination against women through multiple examples, Satyanarayana was inspired to apply the information to New/Gen-Penn and remained in contact with Hughes. 

“Donna was giving us a point to keep in mind that women almost lose $2 million of their salaries just by not negotiating it right. So, this new door has opened up that you can actually negotiate yourself into a better life,” Satyanarayana said.

Hughes applied negotiation to examples students could relate to.She began with smaller applications such as negotiating internship salary and went into a larger scale of negotiating car prices at a dealership.

“You negotiate every single day, and you have the ability to change your life through negotiation. The biggest mistake in negotiating is to not negotiate in the first place,” Hughes said.

Conestoga’s New/Gen club serves the community in addition to advocating for women’s rights. For example, when COVID-19 intensified during the winter, club members collected and donated supplies to local homeless shelters and churches. The club currently meets every other Wednesday after school from 2:30 to 3:30. This year, meetings were held virtually but are planned to gradually become in-person next year.

Ultimately, Satyanarayana created the club to unify female students at Conestoga to advocate for their rights.

“Maybe I want to go into politics and my friend wants to go into STEM. Together, we’re still women and should show that diversity and ambition,” Satyanarayana said. “I always think about it on a larger scale, that the New/Gen-Pennsylvania club is the face of Conestoga women.”

Anika Basu can be reached at [email protected].

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