Spring break with CNN and GFB

Abigail Kesner is a Senior Associate at SE2, a Denver communications firm specializing in public policy. She is a former CNN producer and communications director for Colorado Senate Democrats.

When my boss told me I was heading to Daytona Beach for spring break, this is not quite what I had in mind.  As one of the younger producers at CNN’s Paula Zahn show, I was assigned to help produced a segment on “spring break safety.”

It’s funny that I got my first taste of spring break, Daytona Beach-style as a twenty-something CNN producer and not a rowdy college co-ed, but sometimes that’s how things go.  It was during this assignment that I first met Erin Weed, Girls Fight Back, and their unique ability to empower and educate women.

The assignment was to convince a group of girls to let me join them for a spring break night out in the quintessential spring break spot: Daytona Beach.  I had a small video camera and I tagged along as they visited bars and beach-side dance clubs to record their spring break experience.

The following day, we would meet with Erin Weed of Girls Fight Back. We would review the video to see how the girls played it safe and how they could have made smarter, safer choices.

Amazingly, I recruited two groups of girls to be a part of this story and I joined them on spring break. Things did not happen the way we thought it would. The group of girls we expected to be wild and crazy, stuck together, kept it under control, and played it safe. The group of girls we thought would be tame, got a little crazy, and then one girl separated from the group (twice) to meet with a boy alone and away from the cameras.

Both groups were safe, and nothing bad happened to them that night, but I think they learned an important lesson from Erin and Girls Fight Back – and it’s an important lesson I learned as well.

You can go a little crazy at spring break in Daytona, but always stick together. The support we can provide each other is essential to our survival (literally and figuratively).

Erin, thanks for teaching me that lesson and for joining me on one of the most memorable spring breaks I ever had. Happy Birthday GFB!  Keep up the good work!

Note from Erin: How Abbie and I both ended up here in Colorado after starting our careers in NYC television production amazes me! I am grateful for responsible media folks like her, when she worked at CNN and still today as she continues her gift for cause-driven communications at SE2. Thanks for all you do!

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