self-esteem

7 Years Later

by Aby Ryan, CEO & Founder of Athena Camps. Originally published here.

 

Seven years in, as the matriarch of this thriving, growing organization, it gives me great joy to have walked with two of my Athena Directors as they crossed over the threshold into motherhood. Raw, vulnerable and FOREVER changed. Becoming a mother, inspired Athena Camps. 

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The Power of Your Vulnerability

by Caitlin D'aprano, CEO of Willpowered Woman. Originally published here.

Vulnerability is about being honest about our past life events that have shaped who we are and what we may be feeling in the moment. Personally, admitting how much I want something and going for it makes me feel vulnerable.

Let me put it in to context. Five years ago I booked a one-way flight from Melbourne to London. I went there to start a shoe business and to work in the fashion industry. I landed amazing jobs with the Headquarters of Burberry, Harrods and REISS. I ensured that I got different jobs to gain experience for my shoe business. After I gathered enough experience, I ventured to do the shoe business alongside my own sales and business consultancy. I worked hard to make these things a success, but then came “my quarter life crisis”. I started to question everything, I felt like my life had no meaning, so I started searching. 

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Dr. Carol talks Empowerment, Self-esteem and Women in Tech

by Dr. Carol, originally published on her blog here

Listen to this recent interview with Dr. Carol where she talks about empowerment, self-esteem and women in tech: https://soundcloud.com/breakingintostartups/59-dr-carol-langlois-how-self-esteem-empowerment-are-changing-the-ratio-through-hackbright

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When I Joined the Oakland Teen Empowerment Pageant:

by Anna Sara M., alumna of the Oakland Teen Empowerment Program

"Hi, my name is Anna Sara and I am going to college. Hola, me llamo Anna Sara y voy a la universidad. Bonjour je m'appelle Anna Sara et je vais aller a l'université."

A proper and impressive first impression was one of the first things I learned when I joined the Oakland Teen Empowerment Pageant. I remember receiving a lecture on etiquette, poise, and eloquence in a classroom at Laney College, a campus which I found much bigger than I had expected in my 13-year-old mind. At the time, I thought of myself as a really driven girl but it wasn't until I joined that Pageant that I found a direction in which to propel myself.

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Poor body image: The overlooked obstacle inhibiting the potential of our nation's young leaders

by Connie Sobczak, Co-Founder & Executive Director of The Body Positive. Originally published here. Connie will be leading a workshop for Alliance members on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 (info here).

"Let me tell you, this generation coming up—unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic—I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands."
—President Barak Obama, Farewell Speech, January 10, 2017


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Book Review of Naomi Katz's Beautiful: Becoming an Empowered Young Woman

by Paulina Sicius, Public Relations Intern at Alliance for Girls

Image result for beautiful becoming an empowered young woman 

In her book, Beautiful: Becoming an Empowered Young Woman, Naomi Katz is right: being a teenage girl is one of the most stressful things in the world. Naomi perfectly captures the anxiety associated with fitting in, cliques, alcohol and drugs, sex, and insecurities.

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2016 Summer Highlight: Camp Nicaragua

by Coach Bre, Shannon, and the SF Sol Coaches at Girls Leading Girls

The week of June 19, nine SF Sol players, two mothers, and three coaches jumped on a red eye flight headed to Leon, Nicaragua, where we spent a week running soccer camp sessions for over 30 girls in the nearby rural village of Goyena. The girls jumped right in during soccer camp sessions to help equip their Nicaraguan sisters with new soccer skills. It was something special to see the American girls and Nicaraguan girls interact so easily and make instant connections on the soccer field.

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Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley Volunteer Spotlight

by Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley

Heart & Sole coach Abby Lopes (pictured right) at the 2015 Girls on the Run 5K.Heart & Sole coach Abby Lopes (pictured right) at the 2015 Girls on the Run 5K.

Volunteers are the backbone of Girls on the Run! To highlight their efforts, we spotlight a different Girls on the Run volunteer each month. This month's superstar volunteer: Abby Lopes, a three-year Heart & Sole coach at Sheppard Middle School in San Jose (Heart & Sole is our Girls on the Run middle school program).

Check out the interview with Abby below!


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Celebrating 20 Years of GirlVentures!

by GirlVentures and their alumnae

Currently celebrating our 20th anniversary year, GirlVentures’ programs empower girls to develop and express their strengths through transformative outdoor adventure and leadership programs. Participants become healthy, confident leaders, allies with one another, and environmental stewards.

Through Girlz Climb On, our 9-week mentored after school program, girls are paired with women volunteers and learn to rock climb, while participating in activities around trust, identity, social justice and leadership.

Check out what our alumnae have to say (below) about their time with GirlVentures!




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Turning to Self-Love in Times of Tragedy

by Jessica Diaz France, originally posted on The Body Positive on July 9, 2016

It seems that every day the world feels the reverberation of another tragedy. Gun violence, race relations, war, changes in the economy, poverty, inequality, gender gap…the list changes daily and also stays the same. The world is hurting. From whatever vantage point you have on whichever continent—if you look for the negative, you will inevitably find it.  

I asked myself after the third shooting in a week that was blasted on every social media platform, and on every news source: In a world that is hurting, is there a place for self-love?

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Professional Black Women are Dying for Inclusion

by Precious J. Stroud, founder of BlackFemaleProject and lead consultant for PJS Consultants. A version of this article appeared in the March/April 2016 edition of Daisy Magazine.


Has your boss ever said:

“You oversold yourself during the interview.”
“You are not meeting expectations.”
“You don’t know your place.”
“You go by that name at work?”
Or my favorite, “You seem angry.”

If not, imagine hearing statements like these over and over again from the person to whom you report.








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Looking Ahead

by Nakia Dillard, Founder and Director of Y-LEAP


I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to not only attend Alliance for Girl’s 3rd Annual Conference but to have had the amazing opportunity to speak on stage. This experience was so empowering for me as it was my first time speaking to a large crowd about Y-LEAP and the importance of investing in girls and young women. After I spoke I was surprised to get a standing ovation and to see so many people approach me afterwards. Not only did people come up to me to speak about future collaborations or to share their thoughts on my speech, people also followed up within a few weeks of the conference through Facebook, LinkedIn, and email.

Some of the manifestations that came forth after the conference included:

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Menstruation in the 4th wave: How my period helped me find my (feminist) voice

by Emma Sachat, sophomore at Wheaton College and intern at the Red Web Foundation

In most cultures, a girl’s first period is emblematic of womanhood. Her first period not only indicates that she is fertile, but welcomes her into the world of women rather than girls. For me, my first period was not so sacred. I began to realize I was a woman not because I was met with admiration and respect, but because my body and my ability to menstruate were regarded as vulgar and obscene. My period marked my coming to womanhood in that I learned how I was meant to feel about being a menstruating woman. And it was because I was so angered by the old-world attitudes towards my period that I began to grow into my feminist-self and develop my feminist thought. My period marked the beginning of a new awareness of unjust attitudes and language regarding women.

Despite being slightly embarrassed when I came home to the raspberry-topped cupcakes my mother had made to commemorate my coming into “womanhood”, my period was not initially a source of shame. I did not share the horrific first-period story as do so many women--bleeding through white pants onto a classroom chair, staining a bathing suit. Rather, my first period was uneventful, almost, it seemed, of no consequence at all. I did not regard my period as a great source of shame, nor did I see any reason to. I did not question my own body and my right to menstruate and talk about menstruation openly until I found myself in the presence of boys at my coed high school.

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STOP

by Robin Weathers, Jenna Cheli, Jessie Marshall, and Soli Tays, students of Cloverdale High School who won Best High School Film at the Alexander Valley Film Society for their film, STOP


Insecurities are something that everyone faces no matter the age, race, or gender. This unifying theme connects us all together throughout generations and will continue to connect us. Then why do we target these insecurities within other people? Why are they one of the most frequently used topics to hurt others with? People throw words at each other that target these insecurities whether they know it or not. Friends even make comments to them as jokes. These jokes are sometimes the ones that hurt the most.


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Q&A with Marta Mendoza

Interview with Marta Mendoza, freshman at Immaculate Conception High School, about her experiences at AAUWSF's Tech Trek Science Camp


What was the Tech Trek Science Camp like?

“I was at Tech Trek's Camp Marie Curie at Stanford. They basically gave you a whole week to learn all the different types of science and math. We got to stay in the dorms and took challenging classes, including a robotics class where we had to figure out how to build and maneuver a Lego Mindstorm Mini Golf, which I’ve never done before. My favorite part was when, one of the nights, we heard from many women talking about their jobs and all the things women can do. That stuck with me because all these different women tried and they’re now at this point where they have a professional job and they’re good.”




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The Duck Syndrome (Anxiety and Perfectionism Among Young)

by Carol Langlois, Teen Advocate: Youth, Culture & Self-Esteem Expert at Dr. Carol


Recently, I learned about the duck syndrome from a friend of mine at Stanford University. The duck syndrome is apparently running rampant at many colleges (and from my research) at many high schools as well. What is the duck syndrome? Well, think of the duck gliding along the water. She looks very serene, calm and pleasant. Then, look under the water and s/he is paddling frantically. That is the duck syndrome. Too many students on the outside are appearing calm, cool and collected while on the inside they are completely stressed out. As women, we want to see ourselves being able to have it all. To be the great student, great athlete, and well-liked by her peers, which typically means being social. But what price do we pay? Proving we can do it all has transformed into an ugly state of unattainable expectations and extremes, which are unhealthy for any girl of any age. It’s a recipe for disaster that goes against what feminism truly stands for.

I believe high school is where this syndrome starts to formulate. Many of the girls that suffer from the duck syndrome in college were probably “big fish in small pond” at their high school. Most teens want to be popular, and to be popular these days means that you can do it all. I see high school students staying up ridiculously late doing homework, always wanting the A, playing on one if not two sports teams, and also expecting to go out every weekend. All this can lead to anxiety, depression, and unhealthy habits. When they get to college, which could have 12 to 20,000 students, being big fish is not so easy anymore so the stakes get higher.



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From Body Hatred to Self-Love

by Connie Sobczak, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Body Positive, originally published in Media Planet


At age 19, I was forced to drop out of college by a life-threatening eating disorder, dashing my plans to become a computer engineer. Thankfully, I conquered bulimia and graduated from college. My sister Stephanie was not so lucky. Her obsession with thinness led to her death in her mid-30s, leaving two young children without a mother and our family shattered and grieving.

A Dangerous Path




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Gender Equity in School & Community Sports

by Molly Frandsen, Law Clerk at Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center


Over the past summer, I worked with Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center’s ("LAS-ELC”) Fair Play for Girls In Sports project, and created an informational video on girls’ rights to gender equity in school and community sports.  This video project was generously supported by the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (“WLALA”).

Fair Play for Girls in Sports works to ensure girls in grades K-12, particularly girls of color and those in low-income areas, have equal opportunities to participate in school and community sports and reap the lifelong rewards of athletic involvement. Studies show that girls who participate in sports maintain higher confidence and self-esteem. They receive better grades and are significantly more likely to graduate compared with girls who do not play sports. Once in the workforce, on average, girls who participate in athletics in high school earn 7% more. The opportunity to participate in athletics is thus critically important to a girl’s future economic success.




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Kid Report: Bay Area Girls Rock Camp

by Victoria, an 11-year-old camper at Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, republished from 510families.com


Bay Area Girls Rock Camp is a fun place! It’s an all-girls space where we can go to learn to play instruments, create a band, make new friends, experience fun workshops, and perform at a showcase at the end of the program.

There are two programs in Bay Area Girls Rock Camp.



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The "Crowding Out" Effect

by Michelle Wong, Alumna of Lowell High School and of AAUWSF's Tech Trek Science Camp


As my AP Physics C teacher begins to explain a problem, the classroom of six female students and twenty ­three male students is attentively listening.

A mistake!

I had noticed that my teacher had skipped a line of work on the whiteboard. I thought to myself, did anyone else catch that? I looked around the room. Why hasn’t anyone else spoken up?

I kept asking myself these questions until one of my male classmates, who is a particularly frequent participant in the class, raised his hand and pointed out the mistake I had noticed before.





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