Everyday is a struggle for me to keep up confidence in myself. I always try to tell myself that I’m good at what I do, and I am worth something. The thing is that sometimes I fall into the trap of Confidence On Demand. I guess it happens to everyone once and awhile. Confidence On Demand is that to be confident, you demand someone else to say something good about you. Sometimes girls don’t feel smart, until someone tells them that they are. There are days when I feel I look awful, but when someone tells me how pretty I am, my confidence level rises. There’s nothing wrong with getting nice compliments and accepting them. That’s what compliments are for. They make a person think better of themselves. The problem comes in when confidence demands a compliment. If no one else tells you that you’re beautiful, you think that your not. If no one says that your idea was brilliant, you no longer think that it was great yourself. Nothing you do is noteworthy, unless someone else says so. Your self confidence is now in the hands of other people. And the worst thing is, the compliments that are needed to build the confidence won’t always come. I hear sometimes older women talk about how they received many compliments on how they looked when they were young. They are still wonderful people; it’s just that now the compliments don’t come around as often. If they always waited on someone to say something flattering, they wouldn’t ever think they were worth anything. The only person left to give them confidence are themselves. Sitting around waiting for other people to tell you’re this awesome person is really a waste of time. So sometimes on days when I just feel I'm not that great, I don't hope for someone else to make me feel better. I don't wait for one of my friends or my family to tell me that I'm special. I tell me about how wonderful I am. If I think an idea is great, and no one else does, I don’t change it because they don’t like it.I keep in my mind that my idea is just as worthy of consideration as the person’s sitting next to me. When I look in the mirror, I tell myself that I’m beautiful in case that day no one else does. I've come to learn that confidence should not from what other people say about me, but what I think about myself. So the next time when some nice person comes around with a compliment for me, I’m ready to accept it. But I don’t demand it to support my self-esteem. - Cherrelle
Terralynn with her Mom and Bertice Berry at the PBWC Conference
Terralynn has been involved in GFC for three years. Terralynn’s team has completed several social change projects including: a violence prevention campaign, educating themselves and then their community about pregnancy prevention, and creating self-esteem workshops for students on campus. Terralynn has been a leader and visionary through every step of each project. She has gained, practiced, and shared her skills such as project management, fund-raising, networking, and teaching. Terralynn has also overcome outrageous violation and tragedy to achieve what she has in her life. In May of 2006 Terralynn was the recipient of this year’s 2006 Professional Business Women of California's scholarship in the category of female high school senior. Terralynn is a leader and a rising social entrepreneur in the healthcare profession. In her leadership of the Girls For A Change team project on pregnancy prevention, she identified gaps in access to information on pregnancy prevention and found a new way to deliver that information to the youth in her community. Recognizing that there is no community resource center and that most youth in her community lack access to the internet; parental support; or transportation, Terralynn found a new way to disseminate information. She researched and contacted several health care professionals and coordinated presentations for her Girls For A Change team. She then led the team through the process of creating a campaign to teach other students and community members about pregnancy prevention. The goal was to teach students and the community basic prevention methods and where to go for additional support. Terralynn saw a problem, provided a new method to move out and forward from that problem, and spread the knowledge widely to fundamentally change her community.
Terralynn accepts her scholarship in front of 5000 women!
Terralynn is an awe-inspiring young woman in all regards. Her goal is to become a healthcare professional and return to her community to serve those in the direst situations when she graduates from college. Congratulations Terralyn, we are so proud of you! -GFC
Gunderson High School's Girls for a Change Girl Action Team has decided to take on a project tackling the issue of body image and the effects it has on society. Many of us, at one point or another, have experienced an obstacle dealing with body image, and many of us can relate to it, whether it be through putting ourselves on diets to be skinny, or wondering how we can change our bodies to fit the criteria that society seems to lay out. One way our Girl Action Team is trying to change the overwhelming issue is by putting together a compilation of letters and poems addressed to girls about the topic. We are hoping that those who would like to help us conquer this obstacle of society will help by sending in letters or poems that can be left anonymous, so that we may add them to our compilation. When finished, all letters and poems will be put together in a book and then distributed out to the community when done. Please be a part in helping us change the community by contributing to this project - GHS Girls for a Change Girl Action Team
Letters and poems can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org Ideas to talk about: Life experiences Media Influences Friendships Appreciation of your body and much more...
We wrote RESPECT: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Respect and Dealing When Your Line Is Crossed to support girls in becoming strong and confident forces in their own lives and the world. But our mission doesn’t stop there. That's why were so excited to help 1,000 girls get a free copy of Respect at the Girl Summit November 4!
When we were teens we struggled with lots of issues—negative body image or labels, doubts about our intelligence, seemingly "world-ending" mistakes, unhealthy relationships with guys and family members, and violence.
Once we were both in college, we found more support, guidance and sisterhood. We focused on our passions and accomplished our goals, such as becoming journalists. This helped us become more comfortable with our true selves, and made it easier to make choices that were right for us. And we finally discovered that what was missing in our teen years wasn’t just life experience—it was self-respect. We needed more of it, and the respect we did have, well, we needed to know how to hang on to it.
A few jobs out of college, we met as editors for ChickClick, a progressive media network for girls and women. And it was there that our joint mission began. Thousands of girls were talking on our network about dilemmas, drama, and traumas that they were dealing with every day. From not knowing how to let their true feelings be known to being pressured into stuff, harassed and abused. They were going through the same things we had, but even worse in some cases.
We were tired of girls and women being held back by disrespect, myths, and mixed messages. Like girls are told they can do anything but then they are pressured to package themselves as objects of desire. This is so false!
We wanted to pass on to girls what we had finally learned: That respect is connected to everything. No matter what girls are going through or need, respect is the remedy. So we set out to write a guide to life for girls centered on how to build self-respect, get and give respect in relationships, take action to deal with disrespect, and spread more respect for all people.
So that's how Respect was born! We’re so excited to have raised enough books to offer them to every girl attending the Girl Summit this fall! As coaches and volunteers for GFC, we know that it helps girls learn and live our 7 Respect Basics. GFC is event featured in the book our "Spreading Respect" chapter which gives girls tools to fight for their rights.
To check out excerpts from our book or to find out how to plan a RESPECT DAY for girls you can go to our Web site: www.respectgirls.com. While you’re there, don’t forget to tell us in My Say how you’re building respect in your world. - Courtney & Andrea
In Niger, malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and other ills kill one in four children before the age of 5. Last fall, the situation for the Nigers worsened. The country's economic stability depends on its herders and farmers but last year, the anrticipated rains' arrival was replaced by the infestation of locusts-- the worst the nation has seen in 15 years. Here are some fast facts about Niger and its dire hunger crises:
nearly 1/3 of its 11.3 million population is in crisis.
800,000 children under 5 are suffering from unger, with 150,000 who are malnourished.
Niger is the 2nd poorest country in the world. 60% of its people live on under $1 a day.
The cost of feeding one Niger per day: $1.21.
The cost of medical health care for a Niger family for 1 month: $12.12.
I am really proud of myself-- for the past week, I've kept my promise to myself of doing daily exercize. Today, after 14 minutes on the treadmill, I felt like I was going to collapse! This shows you how out of shape I am. Unfortunately, I belong to a large group of teens in this country who are not as physically-- 15% of American youth, in fact. Did you know that...
about 1.2 billion people in the world are overweight and 300 million of them are obese?
people are less active today than they used to be because of increased usage of TV, computer and videogames filling their time?
fat deposits have been detected in children as young as 3 and high blood pressure exists in 5% of children?
Luckily, there are ways to keep yourself out of these statistics! One way is to maintain a healthy diet. This means cutting back on high-fat meats like hamburgers and hot dogs, eating more fruits and vegetables, and replacing over-intake of sugary drinks and sodas with water. Additionally, doctors reccommend up to 60 minutes of daily exercise. This can include anything from tae kwon do to jogging to swimming to hiking.
Healthful eating and exercise habits are not only beneficial physically, but emotionally, as well. - Alina
Alicia Alicia is a student at Evergreen Valley College who will soon be transfering to SJSU. With a major to declare, her experiences with GFC have oppened doors and new ideas which motivate her to continue her education and consider business or community psychology as a major.
Alina Alina has been a writer since she was in first grade. She loves to volunteer at her mosque, and with Girls For A Change and Youth Philanthropy Worldwide.
Cherrelle Cherrelle, 19 years old, lives in Florida and is studying computer engineering. She likes to create artwork, write, and go jogging.
Lilly Lilly loves and lives in Northwest. She is a senior in high school. She is passionate about the power of the printed word.
Naiema Naiema is an active member of GFC and has been involved with girl activism since high school.
Patty Patty’s passion for social change has led her to Mexico and South America to work on gender, economic and environmental justice projects.
Stephanie Stephanie is an artist, musician, activist, and is a Sophmore in college majoring in astrophysics and art. She has been with Girls For A Change for five years serving on the Board and doing public speaking. "Soy el futuro"
Whitney Whitney is the Founder of GFC. Her mission in life is to make sure every girl knows how to make social change!