These women are not very old, but they are jumping into Big Ocean, adding their waves of goodness and excitement. Each of them has already been active in a local cottage. The group will be part of the delegation to represent us at CSW (Conference on the Status of Women) at the United Nations in March. Here are introductions for each delegate. Watch for details and additional photos in future newsletters and their reports on attending CSW.
Emma AntonucciEmma Antonucci, 17, was born in Texas and moved throughout her childhood to four different states. If you asked her where she considered her home, she would tell you it’s wherever her family is. She learned from the mother of a childhood friend about Big Ocean. That friend had served as a youth delegate in 2017 and posted about her experiences at UN on social media. Her friend had wanted something to get behind, but didn’t feel completely convinced that the mainstream feminist movement was the best vehicle to do so. After reading Big Ocean tenets, Emma agreed. She also wanted to share God’s light with everybody and make the world a better place.
Emma shared this bio: “She (Emma) is an avid musician and patron of the arts. In her spare time, she plays the piano, viola, violin, cello, and some guitar and ukulele; although most of her time is devoted to personal piano and orchestral viola. She is a junior at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia and absolutely loves it, although Calculus she absolutely despises. She plans on applying to Brigham Young University (BYU) in the fall to study Business Management and music. She’s so excited to represent the women and girls of Big Ocean Women at the CSW this year!”
Halli Boman, 19, lives in Provo, Utah. As a student, she was taking a lecture series and attended a Big Ocean presentation. It resonated with her. Feminism is something she wanted to resonate with, but she felt different from other feminists she knew. Big Ocean felt real to her and is a great link to true feminism. She is an officer in the BYU Big Ocean cottage. She believes attending the UN will be an incredible experience. She is interested in studying international relations and looks forward to this singular experience.
Halli says, “I’m studying Biodiversity and Conservation at BYU. This summer I did an independent research project on tropical soils in Ecuador. I am interested in activism- last year I attended a rally at the Utah State Capitol advocating for the protection of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments. In the future, I aspire to run for president, but until then I want to teach science to young children. I love music, dancing, cooking, and reading. I also love animals. I am so grateful for the opportunity to go to CSW this year!”
Lacee Jenkins, 18, from Gilbert, Arizona, is a second generation Big Ocean member. Her mother has been involved the Arizona cottage that she attends and Lacee loves that we stand for faith, family, and motherhood. She has a passion for feminism and families and is excited to have the opportunity to go to CSW at the UN to learn and gain more insights.
Here is a little more about Lacee, in her own words: “I have played basketball for as long as I can remember and am planning to attend Southern Utah University on a full ride scholarship from basketball after I serve a mission for my church. Along with basketball, I enjoy music and believe it can be used to uplift people in extraordinary ways. I’ve traveled to Ethiopia five times with a humanitarian group, Hope Arising, and have helped in the dental and women’s clinic there, as well as taught feminine hygiene classes in several high schools in Ethiopia. I love women and the incredible impact they have had and will continue to have on our world and can’t wait to meet and support all the amazing people at the Commission on the Status of Women!”
Sierra Phillips, 22, is married and lives in Provo, Utah, where she attends and serves as an officer in the BYU cottage. She learned about Big Ocean and the opportunity to be a delegate from Taryn, a delegate from 2017, and a fellow member of BYU Student Association. Sierra says she is a feminist, but also believes families are important and didn’t relate with other feminists. Big Ocean embodies for her what she had envisioned – that womanhood and families are gifts. She found Big Ocean is a way to bring that message to the world.
Sierra is currently helping homeless families who want to enter their children into schools through a Head Start program. She has been engaged in multiple service opportunities and missions both internationally and locally, some including bringing medical attention for the first time to indigenous tribes in the Marovo Lagoon, and aiding struggling refugees in Jordan as well as the USA. She enjoys singing, surfing, swimming, and acting, and has won many awards and scholarships for her abilities, including an international award for her artistic abilities. Currently, she has been engaged in newer hobbies including painting, the harp, skiing, and rock climbing. She hopes to start a nonprofit that does conservation work for marine life in the future, as well as go to law school to become a lawyer for adoption and child advocacy. She feels it an honor to be part of Big Ocean and plans to continue to be an active member.
Grace Garn, from Lindon, Utah, is a 17-year-old senior in her homeschool studies who is passionate about inspiring change through global communication. Big Ocean founder, Carolina Allen, is one of the teachers at the homeschool cooperative she attends and introduced her to Big Ocean and the Provo youth cottage. Being cautious about activist movements, Grace took time to research the Big Ocean tenets and found that those beliefs did resonate with hers. She feels that being an advocate for the things she believes in is essential to fulfilling her greatest potential and loves doing so. Grace has been involved in online marketing for five years, including business promotion and event and website creation. Grace loves to participate in public speech and debate and has been producing events and conferences for youth and young adults for nearly a decade. She is eagerly anticipating the trip to New York for the CSW. To stay connected with Grace, add her on Facebook or Instagram @myfriendgracie
Alexandra (Sasha) Smith, 23, is from Upstate New York, currently living in Provo, Utah. She learned about Big Ocean from her mother and Taryn Royal Marick, another BYU student and delegate from 2017. She enjoys learning what Big Ocean is all about. She believes as the world seems to be falling apart, she wants to make a difference by standing up for light, for God, and family.
Sasha writes, “I am a student at Brigham Young University studying Therapeutic Recreation, Nonprofit Management, Spanish, and to be a Child Life Specialist. I am the leader of the Provo Student Cottage and am very excited about what our cottage is doing. I am the third of eight children, and my family is my joy and my song. I have incredible parents who have taught me the power of families. I can’t wait to be a mother, and so I’m in Big Ocean Women to advocate for them.
For fun, I love to learn, have deep conversations with my friends, read books, and watch movies. My favorite thing to learn is languages. I can speak English and Spanish fluently and have studied Chinese, French, and Swedish. I received the NSLI-Y scholarship to study Chinese in Beijing, China and have served a mission for the LDS Church in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I am so excited to go to CSW this year to show and tell people from all over the world the power of faith, family, and motherhood.”
Written by Norma Hendrickson