“With the support I have received at Girls Inc., I now feel like there isn’t anything I can’t do.”
Meet Destiney Friday, of Girls Inc. of San Diego. Destiney is a national brand ambassador and a UC San Diego-bound member of the graduating class of 2023 ready to take on college. She shares the impact Girls Inc. made in her life.
Before joining Girls Inc., I mainly kept to myself. I felt like I still needed to find my place. Expressing my thoughts without stuttering or standing up for my beliefs was challenging. Imposter syndrome was also a big issue for me that even when I made the honor roll, I didn’t think I deserved it. Instead, I thought I probably got lucky. It felt as if I was doing the bare minimum.
When Girls Inc. came to my school, I thought this is different. I loved the focus on girls’ rights and quickly felt like it was a safe space where I could be myself and vent about the state of the world, while learning how to take action to create positive change. I also became part of a community with other girls going through similar experiences. What also piqued my interest was the different types of programs Girls Inc. had to offer, Girls Inc. wasn’t just focused on STEM or the arts. There was so much to do and learn, and that included finding ways to advocate for myself and others.
Every month there was a new event like creating and distributing menstrual equity boxes to students in need or opportunities to meet extraordinary changemakers in society. I learned about the importance of social capital and networking and how to navigate the world from the college application process to job interviews and everything in between.
With the support I have received at Girls Inc., I now feel like there isn’t anything I can’t do. Having people always rooting for me and believing in me is a transformational experience. It has helped me believe in myself. The Girls Inc. mentors have been a powerful force in my development. They have been the most positive influence in my life–my role models. They put educating us first and ensuring everyone feels safe and that the girls have the experiences they need. Because of their work, I’m going into this next stage of my life filled with confidence, knowledge about the world and my surroundings, more involved with my community, and set up for success. I have found who I am, my purpose, and I am proud of who I’ve become, thanks to the support of Girls Inc.
In the fall, I’m heading to my school of choice, UC San Diego. I truly believe my essay played a big part in my acceptance with a solid developmental story thanks to my experiences at Girls Inc. I’m ready to take on this challenge, knowing I’m supported by a strong network I can tap into for anything.