Be Bold, Dream Big, Sail Far: Kickstanders at She Sails 2023

By Anna Craven and Nora Panahi

Whenever Anna and I attend an in-person Kickstand event, we find a way to sneak the fact that we went to high school together into conversation. We’ve known each other for at least a decade at this point, and (I hope) I speak for both of us when I say ending up at Kickstand together has been the icing on the cake. So, when our high school reached out and asked us to speak at its flagship alumni networking event, we jumped at the opportunity! 


This April, Anna and I were given the chance to appear on a panel entitled “Careers in Storytelling: Communicating with Purpose, Power and Passion” with two other alumni. Over the course of two sessions, we shared our journeys from all-girls high school students to PR mavens, offered advice to current students at a pivotal moment in their lives, and connected with fellow storytellers across the generational divide. 


The panel covered topics ranging everywhere from the classes we took in high school to dealing with writer’s block to the advent of ChatGPT. We were able to discuss how we each made our way to Kickstand and how a career in storytelling can mean so much more than conventional pen-to-paper writing; Anna shared how media relations and strategy are a form of storytelling in and of themselves, and I regaled the audience with the wonders of byline development. 


Giving back to a community that gave so much to the two of us at a young age didn’t just spark warm fuzzy feelings, but also a sense of responsibility. We’ve both attended plenty of She Sails events over the years, and have retained the inspiration and wisdom shared by previous speakers well into our adult lives. It only seemed fair to return the favor and equip today’s high school students with the information they need to make informed decisions about their future.

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