By LEORA HABER
Princeton’s own Cara Eckholm ’14 was recently chosen as one of Glamour’s Top Ten College Women of the year. Eckholm, who is a Wilson School major, was invited to New York City last week for a summit with women leaders and the other Glamour college winners of this year. Here’s what she had to say about the accomplishment:
What made you decide to enter the competition to be one of Glamour’s top ten college women?
I first read about the competition on Princeton’s fellowship website at some point over the Summer, but didn’t think much of it as I was in full vacation-mode. Well, I ended up missing the deadline. As it turned out, applications were due before Princeton even started. I found myself back on the website this past Fall, and even though the deadline had passed I decided to send Glamour an email. The competition piqued my interest, because it draws together a really diverse group of girls–Glamour make a point to honor people for all different types of achievement. I was excited by the prospect of going into New York to meet the other winners and female leaders. So I wrote to the contest with a resume attached and luckily someone actually listened.
When did you find out you’d won?
(Laughing) A really long time ago. I submitted my application in October, I believe. I actually had to reschedule my interview twice, and at that point I assumed that I had no chance at the scholarship. I ended up speaking with them in November and then largely forgot about the process. But then, during Winter break, I woke up one day to a call from an unknown number. Normally pre 11-AM phone calls do not sit well by me, but of course, in this instance I was thrilled. Glamour told me I’d have to keep the award quiet, though, so I’ve been keeping everything on the down low for the past 3 months.
What did you do on the NYC trip with Glamour?
We went to the Top of the Rock, ate some delicious meals, went on a tour of Facebook and mentored girls at a school in Brooklyn. The big event of the week was an award ceremony and celebrity panel on Wednesday night. L’Oreal Paris did our hair and make up and we all shot individual interviews on the role of beauty in empowering women.
Of the other winners, who’s your favorite or alternatively, who are you most inspired by?
My roommate for the weekend and the grand prize winner–Noorjahan Akbar–is unbelievably cool. Growing up between Pakistan and Afghanistan, she has done a tremendous amount to push for women’s rights in the region–she founded a thriving NGO to support the cause, helped to start Afghanistan’s first all-female internet cage, worked to find lawyers for women who are victims of domestic abuse and led the first march in Kabul against street harassment. She’s fought against all odds, and her story is tremendously impressive.
Eckholm is also a member of The Daily Princetonian’s Editorial Board.