For me, this holiday weekend following Independence Day brings new beginnings. Beyond the simple pleasures like patriotic outfits (I wore a red and white polka-dot sundress to my grandparents’ cookout), glowing fireworks, and flag-like cakes dotted with fruit slices, I am thankful for those in our armed services, including my dear boyfriend serving in the Coast Guard with whom I wish I could have spent the Fourth; I am thankful for the multitude of choices I have in this world as a young, healthy woman with a college degree; and I am thankful for a new opportunity about to unfold.
Tomorrow, I start an adventure. A new city awaits me—a city filled with monuments, museums and a rather large, white, important house. Yep, I’m moving to Washington, D.C. There, I will begin an internship with Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation that encourages girls to immerse themselves in issues facing girls worldwide by raising both awareness and funds. Girl Up fosters leadership development and reaches girls all over the world, and I couldn’t be more excited to work there.
At the same time, I am mindful of the incredible opportunities that I have attained, and Girl Up will help serve as a platform to leverage my privileges in meaningful ways. The Girl Up “Vision” states: “Girl Up envisions a world where all girls, no matter where they live, have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.” Many of the girl populations on which Girl Up focuses come from ravaged, impoverished communities where girls don’t yet have a voice, an education, a vision of their own dreams fulfilled. I can already tell that my time with Girl Up will be a learning experience, a wake-up call, a call to action all at once.
To learn more about Girl Up, and how you can start a Girl Up club at your school, please visit www.girlup.org.
Victoria Justice is a big fan of Girl Up, too. Have you seen the music video she made for the organization yet? Check it out!
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