The YWCA of Darien and Norwalk recently announced their honorees for the 2020 Women of Distinction. The Darien Times is partnering with the YWCA to share the reasons they’ve received this honor. A luncheon is expected to honor them in the fall. Lily Genovese is also a contributor to The Darien Times.

Like many teens in our community, Lily Genovese has an impressive resume. She is a high achieving student, club president for the Youth Asset Team, a peer advocate, served as a field hockey team captain, was elected President of The Darien Depot Youth Governing Board, and chosen as editor of the school paper. What sets Lily apart, however, is willingness to not only address but work to address difficult topics.

In August of 2018, just before her junior year of high school Lily’s article, “ 8 Things you Should Know About High School Feminists ” was published in Glamour magazine. In that article, Lily addresses issues such as sexual assault, sexism in social media and peer pressure.

When Lily’s beloved teenaged cousin took their life by suicide, she took action. The result has been to take what was a personal family tragedy and boldly make a commitment to address suicide and community mental health. Lily began educating herself about suicide, causes, prevention strategies and how to address the stigma surrounding it. During this process, it became clear that speaking honestly and openly about the topic would help others.

Lily organized town wide presentations to educate her peers and the community at large about the topic. She has harnassed her powerful writing talents to address depression and suicide, letting others know that they are not alone and where they might find help. Through these efforts, she has also helped educate peers on signs to be aware of with their friends, parents on how to talk to their children and made community leaders take notice of the need to address this issue.

The YWCA is proud to honor Lily Genovese as our 2020 Young Woman of Distinction and look forward to seeing what the world has in store for her as she begins her studies at Colgate next year.