Girls Inc. Celebrates IDOTG by Lifting the Voices of Girls on Issues that Matter to Them
For International Day of the Girl, Girls Inc. is celebrating by lifting up the voices of girls because we know girls have something to say! To help us commemorate this event, we invited our 2023-2024 Brand Ambassadors to speak on issues that matter most to them. Whether it’s about beauty standards, women in STEM, agriculture, or the pay gap, our Brand Ambassadors have lots to share. Check out their thoughts below and join the Girls Inc. “Girls Have Something to Say” Celebration by lifting the voices of girls in your communities.
Ria is a participant of Girls Inc. Worcester, who teaches at a dance studio, where she has noticed a consistent behavior of the young girls she assists.
For this International Day of the Girl, I have something to say about beauty standards. When most girls receive a compliment, their first instinct is to push it away. Instead of saying “thank you,” they find another part of themselves that they don’t like—they use words like “ugly” and “unattractive” to describe parts of them that are beautiful. So it’s important that they learn to embrace who they are. They can look however they want to look and wear whatever they like. It’s their life, their body, their beauty. I teach the little girls at my dance studio that all bodies are unique and special, that they are unique and special. By telling them this at a young age, I hope they can apply it as they grow up. I want them to wear their confidence proudly and use it to inspire every other girl they meet.
Willow is a participant at Girls Inc. of Greater Houston and a senior in high school. She’s a dedicated STEM student.
I am a 17-year-old who is making waves in my community as a passionate STEM advocate, entrepreneur, and change-maker, actively working towards bridging the gender gap in male-dominated fields. After realizing how underrepresented I was within computer science and business I co-founded a startup organization called ClosingTheGapForHer.org which is dedicated to fostering a world where women are empowered to take charge, lead with purpose, and excel in leadership positions. My startup offers countless free resources for girls and young women to help them succeed in fields that have been historically male-dominated. Recently, my work in tech has been recognized by the Women In Tech Global Awards, and I plan to use this honor to inspire more young women to break the barriers around them.
I thank Girls Inc. for empowering me and offering resources to tackle the issues I care about. The values and experiences I accumulated at Girls Inc. allowed me to become an MIT Beaver Works Institute and Kode With Klossy scholar. By leveraging my technological knowledge for social good, I hope to reshape classrooms all around the U.S. to pave the way for future generations to excel in fields traditionally underrepresented by women.
Fernanda is an alumna of Girls Inc. of San Diego and is in her first year of college. She reflects on her experience as a woman in leadership.
At Girls Inc., I learned that most men are in leadership positions because women are less likely to use their voices to ask for a raise or a promotion. As a girl, it is hard to live in a world that’s been accommodated for men. From the way I see it, you can either let this discourage you, or you can do something about it.
In order to see change you need to start with yourself. When I became aware of this issue I started to think about what I could do at that moment as a high school senior. I started involving myself in diverse clubs even though I was scared and intimidated. I ended up running for leadership positions. Even though I didn’t get them all, I was proud of making a change by just trying.
This world has enough space for every voice to be heard, and in order to shape our society into one in which all genders have equal opportunities, we need to speak up because girls have something to say.
Audrey is an alumna of Girls Inc. of Alameda County, in her first year of college. As a student at UCLA, she hopes to use AI as a tool for her future.
For International Day of the Girl, I want to talk about how AI is affecting our world and development as a society. As someone who has thus far been interested in investigating how racism has shaped our American civilization, finding a way to tie these two interests together is a new avenue for me to explore. I’m beginning this new journey by taking a year-long cluster course at UCLA called “Data, Justice, and Society.” In this class, we are focusing on how data and logarithms are imperative to our perception of life and ourselves. I believe that others should care about this topic because in this day and age, interacting with technology and giving out one’s personal data is inevitable, because of this fact, learning about how data and logarithms affect our lives is a valuable resource for being more conscious in the way that we interact with the world.
Grace is an alumna of Girls Inc. of Pacific Northwest in her first year of college. Grace addresses the gender wage pay gap.
For International Day of the Girl, I’m choosing to speak out about the gender wage pay gap. According to this report, on average, women with a bachelor’s degree make $1,248 per month, while men with the same degree make around $1,632, almost $400 more. These disparities are even greater for Black and Hispanic women. Women are paid 83.7% of what men are paid. We can change that by using our strong, smart, and bold voices to enact change.
Jacqueline is a participant at Girls Inc. San Antonio, and a senior in high school. She’s passionate about women working in agriculture.
From the classroom to the farm to the boardroom, women in agriculture are helping pave the way for a better future. As leaders, it is our responsibility to make sure the next generation of women are educated, encouraged, and empowered to take on the challenges of meeting the world’s growing food, fuel, and fiber needs. Women have been a critical part of farm and ranch operations across the country, and around the globe, for centuries. But now, as women in agriculture, we have a unique opportunity to be the change we want to see in our industry. We must build on the incredible legacy of stewardship, innovation, and productivity and help one another succeed now and moving into the future. Whether it is a farm business that feeds the world, land that you leave better than you found it, or a relationship that empowers and supports your community, industry, and neighbors, there are many ways to build and grow your contribution to agriculture. The time is now for each of us to step up to the plate and take on these challenges.
Aubrey is a participant of Girls Inc. of NYC and a senior in high school. She shares how she advocates and raises awareness for mental health and the LGBT community.
Like most LGBT young people, during COVID I struggled with my mental health. The isolation, as well as my preconceived negative feelings about my own identity, led me into a self-hating spiral that made me not want to continue on. A beacon of light during this period of intense darkness was chatting every week virtually with my school’s LGBT Club, which was reintroduced to my school during COVID, partially in response to the queer teen’s mental health crisis that raged alongside with the chaos of the pandemic. In many ways, that community, in tandem with access to professional mental health services helped me become the healthy person I am today. After COVID restrictions were lifted, I was determined to help queer teens who have felt, or currently feel, how I did in the past. With my school’s LGBT Club, I raised money for a mental health organization particularly by and for LGBT youth. During May, for the past two years, in the wake of my own struggles with mental health, I spent most of my free time making pride-themed jewelry and ribbons to sell at my school to raise funds for The Trevor Project. Alongside my club members, I sell my trinkets and encourage my peers to wear their rainbows proudly to show support for the LGBT community. One of my proudest achievements is that in total across the two years we’ve been doing this fundraiser, we’ve raised $1500. In response to the boundless loneliness I once felt due to my identity, I felt empowered to highlight my school community’s support for the LGBT community to ensure that LGBT teens who attend my school feel safe, with an action as simple as proudly wearing a ribbon or a bracelet while supporting the vitally important cause of queer mental wellness.
Thank you to our Brand Ambassadors for sharing those issues that matter most to you on International Day of the Girl. Their resilience and strength inspire us and we know they will be a catalyst for others as they raise their voices and create awareness for the issues impacting them, their communities, and the world.