I am strong because I can lift my own weight. I am smart not just because I get As. I am bold because I am not afraid to stick up for my rights.
Title IX opened doors for my future
by Hemavattie Ramtahal
Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region, NY
I grew up in a rough neighborhood in upstate New York. Raised by my siblings, I didn’t grow up with a lot of resources and sometimes made poor decisions or acted out. It wasn’t assumed I could succeed or go to college.
In high school, I started playing sports. I joined the tennis team and played at the varsity level. It taught me how to be a team player and to put my all in everything I do. So even if I lost, I could walk away proud of my hard work.
I also started going to Girls Inc. There, I mentored younger girls in science. I was so proud of how the girls conquered their fear of touching something slimy or were amazed at their experiments.
Today I’m a junior at Cornell University, where I’m studying to become a gynecologist and a member of the women’s rugby team.
When I think about Title IX, I think about the many doors it opened for me. I can challenge myself on the field. I can learn and grow at one of the most respected universities in the country.
I also think about how important Title IX is for the next generation. I think about the younger girls at Girls Inc. and how any of them could choose to be scientists or engineers. They deserve to have every door open for them.
We can’t take laws like Title IX for granted. Thank you, Title IX, for all you've given me.
Title IX gave me a chance
by Undria Thomas
Girls Inc. of Columbus and Phenix-Russell, GA
I am 16-years old and a 10th grader in Columbus, Georgia. I play soccer and basketball, and I love sports. But when I was little, I never thought I would become the athlete I am today.
I have lived in two public housing locations. A lot of kids hang out on the street and do not have anything constructive to do, but there was a Girls Inc. nearby, and my Mom signed me up for it when I was 9.
At Girls Inc. I got into sports. First I tried softball and then soccer. I didn’t know I had potential, and the soccer field was far across town. But once I learned to play, I got fast and my coach said I scored the most points of any player at Girls Inc.
Then I started basketball and jump rope. When I started high school, I made the varsity basketball team as a starter — and I’m 5 feet, 2 inches tall.
Playing has given me opportunities to travel and visit places I would never have seen otherwise. Also, people started noticing things I could do and congratulating me. It really made me feel good about myself.
When I learned about Title IX, I was shocked that there was a time when girls like me couldn’t play. It made me angry and feel lucky.
Every girl should get to play sports because it will help her in some way. It may help her be healthy or deal with stress. It can teach her about teamwork. I’ve been on the honor roll since 5th grade because sports gives me an outlet after school, letting me keep my head in my books in school. It helps me set positive goals, like going to college.
I want to say thank you to Title IX and to everyone who helped make it a law. Girls like me need sports to succeed and realize our potential.
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