Strong Women Strong Girls!
I’m super excited because there is so much going on! The semester is over for me Wednesday. After Wednesday any studying I do is studying I want to do not have to do, like the research I would like to continue performing on sexual exploitation (more on that at a later date). But, most importantly, with the spring semester coming, I will be a part of a fabulous mentoring program called Strong Women Strong Girls. This program was started by a Miami native. She went to high school here, was accepted to Harvard and really made an impact with this program in the Boston area and is now looking to bring it to Miami. This is a mentoring program for at-risk girls in grades 3-5 where college women go to their schools and teach them various things to empower them for the future. Me and 14 other fabulous women will be the first mentors for the Florida chapter of Strong Women Strong Girls at Florida International University.
This program means a lot to me because I didn’t really have a mentor growing up and had to learn my lessons the hard way. If I could impact the life of one girl in a way that she is led down the right path and learns her self-worth, then it’ll most definitely be worth it. I wish I had someone as a kid to teach me that I was worth more than I thought I was. I wish there was someone (other than my mom of course, because who truly listens to their mom’s to begin with?!) that would have taught me that there was more to life than finding my prince charming and living happily ever after and to be able to teach me what is wrong with this way of thinking. As a kid, I was planning my future around the mystery man I would marry and I learned the hard way after a divorce at 28, that this was the wrong way to look at my future. I also learned what this way of thinking does to a woman’s self-esteem when things don’t go as planned. I have to give my mom credit though, she did teach me independence, although according to her I was always a pretty independent child and she also taught me that I would be the only one who I could truly depend on. I’m teaching this to my stepson now, and will teach it to my daughter if I ever have one, because it truly is invaluable advice.
I want girls to know that they can be whatever they want, and they can do whatever they want. If they want to grow up and be President of the United States, that’s possible. Whatever it is that they want to achieve, they can, and I would to inspire the next batch of women leaders.