Next month, 50 HerStory ambassadors and mentors will travel to New York City from 10 program sites across the world to design and share action plans for bringing real change to their local communities. Many HerStory girls face tremendous barriers every day and continue to push forward toward transformation. They inspire us all!
Over the course of the next few weeks leading up to the Global HerStory Summit, we will be sharing the incredible stories of each of the HerStory Ambassadors who will be joining us. You will learn about their career aspirations, what being a part of HerStory means to them and their vision for their specific Community Action Plans (CAPS).
First, we are pleased to introduce you to the delegates from three program sites across the United States:
Ambassador Names: Sophia, Karen and Jaselle
Program Coordinator: Marah
Local Mentor: Vivi
Community Action Plan: The FemiZine Project
Patriarchal ideologies continue to cause oppressive and toxic behavior toward women. In order to bring awareness to this issue, HerStory girls in Los Angeles will create a feminist magazine – a “FemiZine” – to be distributed among members of the local community. The magazine will be rooted in research and will cover a variety of topics, including safe spaces, vulnerability and emotional intelligence. They hope this project will change minds and hearts about the strength of girls across a broad audience.
These girls are truly remarkable, and have so much to teach us on a variety of topics from practical science to feminism to self-love. Their awareness for how gender affects both boys and girls is astonishing, as they recognize a need for change in how boys are expected to communicate their emotions. One day, Sophia aspires to be a paleontologist or an astronomer. Karen would like to be a surgeon. Jaselle (“Jazzy”) wants to be an artist. They dream big and they lift each other up.
When asked what she likes most about being part of the HerStory LitClub, Jazzy said it is teaching her to love herself. “If I love myself, I can be a better leader.”
Ambassador Names: Alicia, Amaya and Aniya
Program Coordinator: Cynthia
Local Mentor: Shawn
Community Action Plan: The Positive Girls Project
There is often a mischaracterization of females in the media; they are referred to in derogatory terms and body shamed constantly. This has caused girls and women to feel oppressed, which negatively affects their self-worth, and in turn makes them feel less optimistic for the future and their contribution to society. In order to improve the situation locally, HerStory girls in Detroit will help build self-esteem through a series of messages of affirmation and positive experiences. Their plan will help girls understand that they are valuable members of the community and, ultimately, help them to take on more leadership roles.
Just being in the presence of these girls is inspiring. Helping to empower others is so important to them, and they work hard to be inclusive of everyone. They are so excited about traveling to New York and can’t wait to learn about the cultures of the other girls who will be joining them. One day, Alicia would like to be an engineer. Amaya wants to be an entrepreneur, and Aniya wants to be a doctor. Gender stereotypes don’t matter to these girls; they know they are capable of making their dreams come true.
When asked what advice she would give other girls in the community, Alicia says, “I want to teach girls they matter.”
Ambassador Names: Anaiya, Tiara, Tamera
Program Coordinator: Sarah
Local Mentor: Lynette
Community Action Plan: Food is Life, Love and Happiness
Many families in the local community are led by single women who have a hard time ensuring their families have enough to eat. HerStory girls in Maryland will start a community garden and get women and girls involved in maintaining it. This will also provide a space that allows the voices of women and girls to be heard, encourages more people to be part of the solution to issues like hunger, provides fresh food to families who need it, and makes sure everyone knows the options and resources available.
The enthusiasm these girls have for HerStory LitClub and for supporting others is infectious. They are so encouraging and want so badly to help other girls believe in themselves. In a world where girls are seen as “too emotional” or “too nurturing,” these girls prove that the world will be a better place with more of these qualities. One day, Anaiya aspires to be a lawyer. Tamera also would like to practice law. Tiara wants to be a doctor.
When asked what advice she would give other girls, Tiara says, “stay focused in school and never give up on your dreams. You can be whatever you want in life as long as you work hard and never give up.”