When girls form strong friendships, they support one another and feel more confident advocating for what they need. We love watching HerStory girls support, raise and positively challenge one another to grow. Meet two great friends who are in the HerStory program in Southern California: 8th graders Ashley Gallardo and Zulam Palacios. Whether they are teasing each other with love, cheering each other on, or having heart-to-hearts; it’s hard to miss how much they care for each other.

We recently asked them about their friendship and this is what they had to say: 

Ashley Gallardo

Q: Ashley, tell us about your friend Zulam.

A: She’s a weird in a good way. She does weird things that makes me laugh. When I’m sad she always makes me laugh and cheers me up. She makes weird noises and dances around until I burst out laughing.

Q. Why is she your best friend?
A: We have so many things in common. We both love dancing. But our difference is that we don’t have the same taste in memes. She loves sending me memes that I don’t find funny.

Q:. How does Zulam make you happy?

A: There was a friend of ours who tried to hurt herself, and I was really upset about it. That incident really affected me, but Zulam was there for me. A lot of people said comforting words, but Zulam was actually there for me.

Q. Is Zulam strong?

A: She is definitely strong. She’s always there for people and supporting anyone she thinks is sad or having a bad day. I also love that she is great at making friends.

Q. In your opinion, what makes girls special?

A: Some people think that girls are not capable of accomplishing jobs that supposedly only guys can do, but girls can do anything. Without girls in the world, boys will attempt to do the work that girls do…but not do it right. This is why we need girls around.

Q. Why do you think that girls should help other girls?

A: Although we have different personalities and traits, we are all the same. We have the same struggles. When we don’t stick up for another girl, they might think that what society is saying about them is true.

Zulam Palacios

Q: Zulam, tell us about your best friend Ashley?

A (laughing): She’s nice and trustworthy, but very random. She is obsessed with goats, and she brings the topic of goats up during really random moments.

Q: How does she make you happy?

A: Whenever I’m sad, really bored, or in a bad mood; she plays music I like. Or she makes me dance, since both of us don’t know how to dance we end up falling and it makes me happy.

Q. Why is she your best friend?

Ashley has been really encouraging and supportive. I used to be so nervous to dance but she encouraged me to do it and it has made me confident. I love that she is not afraid of speaking her mind. I used to be nervous about speaking in a public setting because I was afraid of people judging me, but seeing her being herself motivates me to do the same. When I see her loudly singing in public, I feel like I too can be myself.

Q. What makes Ashley strong?

A: She’s strong because she doesn’t give up and she just keeps going. She is not afraid of doing things outside her comfort zone. She has an obsession about K-pop, so she doesn’t mind where she is — she will just start singing it! She doesn’t know Korean, but that doesn’t stop her, she’ll just start singing. I couldn’t do that. I find that brave.

Q. Why are girls special?

A: Girls are special because they are very good at empathizing with others. They have a lot of compassion and understanding.If the world didn’t have girls there would be lot more chaos, debates and wars. Some guys are aggressive and women help bring compassion into the conversation. If you’ve noticed it is a lot of guys who start wars.

Q. Why do you think that girls should help other girls?

A: When girls help other girls it helps people not feel alone. When girls help each other we are stronger.

Most of my friends are females. There are a lot of social media memes that make girls look like they are drama, but not all girls are brats. Most girls do have strong female friendships and know how to have a positive social life.