St. Saviour senior honored as Future Woman of Distinction

October 30, 2013 Denise Romano
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Adding her name to a list including Martha Stewart, Roz Abrams and Vera Wang, St. Saviour High School senior Lesogo Pearl Nkosi was honored as a Girl Scout Woman of Distinction at a haute gala held at Cipriani’s in Manhattan on Tuesday, October 29.

Nkosi grew up in Pretoria, South Africa, traveling to the United States at the ages of nine, 10 and 11 before moving to Harlem permanently four years ago. She joined the Girl Scouts when she began St. Saviour’s because she “liked the sisterhood and different activities.”

Nkosi recalled the “support and confidence” she received to “explore my passions and put them to work.”

Some of her passions include “providing solutions to problems in the community” and also selling her Girl Scout cookies, and earning patches and badges.

“I have never worked with women before, so this is about girl empowerment. Working with girls and building up their confidence and self-esteem mentally and emotionally,” Nkosi explained. “I think that’s important.”

Nkosi previously received a Girl Scout Gold Award, which about only five percent of Scouts receive. But she said she never experienced anything like the event at Cipriani’s this week. About 700 leaders in the fashion, publishing, banking and retail industry attended. It raised a record-breaking $365,000 for the Girl Scouts.

Other women honored alongside Nkosi included the senior vice president for Donna Karan International.

“It was surreal. You know as people we make up scenarios in our heads. I had all the evidence that I was there yesterday, but it felt like a dream,” she explained. “They intimidated me. I was like, ‘Oh my god, how do you do all of that?’”

Looking forward, Nkosi plans to apply to several colleges, including Babson College, Stanford University, Brown University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Barnard College, George Washington University and Trinity College.

She also has three ideas of what she will major in: business administration and management; international business with a minor in entrepreneurship or international relations.

Plus, Nkosi is on the way to incorporating her own 501c3 non-profit, Living My Life Free. The organization works with girls in her native Pretoria who go to the primary school Nkosi used to attend.

“This year, I worked with them for four to five weeks so they can [learn how to] voice their opinions,” she explained. “When you’re nine, 10, 11 and 12 years old, no one wants to hear what you have to say, but there is a way to say it without being rude.

“Most live with grandmothers and don’t have any father figures,” Nkosi went on. “They are going through different situations than I did. To see them prevail is amazing. They don’t even see themselves how far they have come.”

When she is not busy making the world a better place, Nkosi enjoys reading, watching movies, hanging out in the park and volunteering for her local church. She also has five brothers and two sisters who currently live in South Africa.

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