Learning about other women who had to fight for what they thought was right has helped me realize that my world is not something I should take for granted, and I should stand up for the things that I think are right.
It’s the skill of being able to stand up for myself, say what I think is right or wrong, and being able to tell people my values. When I was eight years old, I observed that a lot of girls didn’t say what they wanted to. They would follow the “queen bee” around and dress like her, act like her, and say that they liked the same things as she did. At that time, I had already developed confidence in myself because of my experience at Girls Inc. where I have been taught to listen to others and I feel like I am heard. The facilitators planned activities in which we would practice our communication skills and how to really listen to each other. Being able to say what I want and standing up for myself because of Girls Inc., has changed my life forever. I feel more free to express myself, communicate, and ask questions in my academics, athletics, and the arts. Girls Inc. has encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone to explore new adventures and ideas about life.
Girls Inc. started to spark my interest in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields when I was only five years old. I have enjoyed learning about this so much that I would now like to pursue a career in biomedical engineering. Along with my education, I was swimming twice a week, and running, playing flute, and feeding my passion for art on the other days.
Even though my parents were some of the first people to introduce me to healthy, outdoor activities, Girls Inc. has taught me more about survival and women’s empowerment in the outdoors than I ever could’ve imagined. For the past two years, I’ve been part of the Girls Inc. EnCourage program where I’ve learned how to stay safe in a challenging environment and where I’ve formed immense bonds with my group. During my first summer in this program my group went on a fifteen-mile hike after many weeks of training. We felt proud to have trained and been able to hike that far, especially with the circumstances. This experience taught me how it feels to be part of a team and how to stay strong in the toughest situations!