Tuesday, February 4, 2014

11 Year Old Reminds Us That There Are Powerful Girls Nationwide

I had just come back to work from a four month maternity leave.  I was feeling giddy on less sleep, baby love, excitement to reunite and re-engage with my team at Powerful Voices, and anxiety about the transition from full time mom to working mom. 
Coming in to work in the morning I have my routine.  First I open the blinds, turn on my computer, and then open Pandora to jam out while checking email. So on my first day back to work, I am checking email while listening to Jill Scott, and one particular email stuck out to me.  It was sent on January 1, 2014, the first day of the New Year, which I believe adds to the powerful intention behind the person who wrote to us. 
“Hi, my name is Daeja and I'm 11 years old, I want to join in the Powerful Voices to encourage young girls to do good in school and follow their dreams no matter what other people think or say about it. I want to let them know that their dreams are worth something so that when they mature and become women they can be successful in their life. I also want to remind them that just because other people in school might be cool and popular, that doesn't mean they have to do everything just to become cool and popular too.  For example like doing drugs, having sex, or dropping out of school.  And lastly I want to encourage them to express themselves in as many ways as possible”.
It was signed with her address, phone number and “Thank you for your time”.  Wow.  I re-read it a few more times and imagined what Daeja might look like, what inspired her to do a search on the internet, and what motivated her to email us.  I then had to do a search of her zip code to discover that she lives in California.  I responded to her right away, thanked her for her awesome email, shared some online resources since she does not live in Seattle, and invited her to be a guest blog writer for us.
We continued correspondence and she checked out and liked the following online resources as a cool way to be a part of online girl empowerment communities.  These were suggested by fellow staff member, Layla, who is a resourceful youth advocate and dedicated mom:
  •  A Mighty girl is the world's largest collection of books and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls.
  • New moon girls is an inspirational magazine and online site for girls age 8 and up to engage in self-discovery, creativity, and community. 
Below is Daeja’s blog piece-read on, pass on, and get your learn on!

How did you find out about Powerful Voices and why did you want to be a guest blog writer?
I found out about Powerful Voices by searching randomly in the computer. I decided to be a guest blogger with Powerful Voices to help girls know that they’re not alone.

What advice do you have for other girls?
The advice for the other girls I have is mostly to just be themselves, even if someone is jealous of them and is making them feel bad.  My advice to them is to push themselves to work on their future goals.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
Something about me that will surprise someone is that I like to sing but I only sing at home.  When I sing a little in school their like "OMG, you sing so good".  That's a big thing no one knows about me.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
The superpower I would want is the ability to learn easily.

What do you think are important issues affecting girls?
An important issue going on in our world today is that girls get pregnant in high school and have to drop out.  Then their life is not going to go the way they wanted it to.

What would you like to change about the world?
What I want to change about the world is that everyone is kind and will be successful in life.

What is your dream for girls?
My dream for girls is that they go to college, find the perfect person to get married to, and are mature along the way.

As always she signs every email to me with a “Thank you”.  No, no Daeja, thank you! Thank you for being a young, strong, intelligent female voice and finding ways to use that voice to help strong girls become strong women.