Girls and Women Make History
In the US, March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women’s Day! I think it’s wonderful we have a day and a whole month to celebrate women past and present who made history. These women were once young girls like you, who grew up and made remarkable contributions, discoveries, inventions, movements, and achievements. These women are incredible examples and inspiration. And I believe every one of them would agree with me that girls shouldn’t have to wait til they’re older to pursue their passion. To honor this holiday, I want to highlight some empowerful girls like you who are changing the world right now.
Angelina Tsuboi is a teen in California who builds apps as solutions to problems in her community. She is fluent in 13 programming languages, which have helped her quest to code for a cause. Her mother, a Japanese immigrant and single mom, inspired Angelina to create Lilac, which helps non-English-speaking parents with child care, housing, and translation services. Angelina also created an app to monitor air pollution, another to connect teachers and students for tutoring, and an Apple Watch app which buzzes a rhythm that guides people to perform CPR at the proper pace. Angelina has won and been recognized for multiple honors , including Apple’s Swift Student Challenge and People’s Girls Changing the World. I am eager to see her next coding creation.
Tween Bellen Woodard of Virginia wanted all kids to feel represented when using crayons. So she created her own line of multicultural crayons featuring diverse skin colors, and named it More than Peach. Bellen has received several awards and recognitions for her work and advocacy, was selected as a Time Kid of the Year finalist, a Scholastic Most Inspirational Kid, and was recognized by the Virginia State Legislature. More than Peach’s product line also features colored pencils, coloring books, a picture book that tells her story, clothing, and a new interactive book called More than Peach: Change the World. Bellen’s More than Peach products can be found in Target stores, Amazon, and the More than Peach Project online shop.
Reagan Bischoff, a teen also from Virginia, is a brain injury survivor with cerebral palsy, which affects people’s ability to move their body. Although Reagan has limited abilities on the left side of her body, her left hand in particular, her resilient mindset keeps her focused on finding solutions. Reagan learned to use tools that help her with certain tasks, like doing her hair or preparing food, and is even a skilled lacrosse player. Reagan wanted to help empower other teens with disabilities, so she started sharing her skills and tips on her YouTube Channel, Throw Leftie. Her videos have not only helped numerous teens with disabilities, they’ve also spread awareness. Reagan was selected as one of People’s Girls Changing the World and received an award from Brain Injury Services of Northern Virginia. Again, you can check out her YouTube Channel, Throw Leftie, to learn more about her.
Chloe Mei and Ella Lin Espinoza
After seeing a video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose, teen sisters Chloe Mei and Ella Lin Espinoza of California turned their sixth grade passion projects into an environmental campaign called Skip the Plastic Straw. The girls have a YouTube Channel and present to schools and youth organizations, educating them on the harmful effects that single-use plastic pollution, specifically plastic straws, have on our environment and oceans. Thousands of people have taken their Skip the Plastic Straw pledge, including five school districts and two hospitals. Chloe Mei has received several awards and honors, including the Captain Planet Foundation’s Young Superhero for Earth award, and was selected as a Time Kid of the Year finalist. You can learn more on their website SkipThePlasticStraw.com.
Gitanjali Rao is a teen from Colorado. A few years ago, after learning about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Gitanjali developed a device called Tethys that detects lead in water. She recently launched an anti-cyberbullying service called Kindly, and also invented a solution for prescription opioid addiction called Epione. Gitanjali received multiple recognitions for her achievements, including Time’s Kid of the Year, Time’s Young Innovator, Forbes 30 under 30, and America’s Top Young Scientist. She also received the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award and is a UNICEF Youth Advocate. Gitanjali wrote a book titled, “A Young Innovator’s Guide to STEM: 5 Steps To Problem Solving For Students, Educators, and Parents.” You can check it out on Amazon or her website, GitanjaliRao.net.
Shine Your Light
These were just five of countless inspiring girls making a difference all across the world. They’re everywhere, and I love it! Now, if instead of feeling inspired by them, you feel like you’re not making a difference like they are, I want you to listen up. I get it, when we see someone else’s light shining, our knee-jerk reaction is to dim our own light.
But girls, you do not need to compare yourself to those girls, or to anyone else. Your light is yours, their light is theirs, and your lights are all unique and valuable. If we all dim our lights when we see others shine, this world is just going to get darker. And we don’t want that, we can’t have that. Girls doing good in the world is good for every girl and good for everyone. Instead of comparing your light with other girls, cheer on other girls and shine the light you have in your own way.
If you’re good at a skill/sport/subject, if you’re interested in a cause, if you have a burning question on your mind, if you see a need in your community, that is your spark, that is your light starting to shine. Use your abilities to help people strengthen their skills. Use your knowledge and passion to educate and empower others. Use your voice to influence and inspire your community. You are already an Empowerful Girl. I truly believe that you and your generation of girls are going to change the world and make history. And you don’t have to wait, you can start now.
Empowerful Girls Change the World Poster Printable
To help you remember this, I created a “Empowerful Girls Change the World“ poster for you to print out, personalize, and post on your wall where you’ll see it, remember it, practice it, and believe it — that’s the important part.
If you have a topic suggestion, I’d love to hear from you! Send an email (tweens get the OK from your parents) to [email protected] .
If you have social media already, follow me on Insta or tiktok @empowerfulgirls. I’m not encouraging or endorsing social media, but I’m on there to offer an unfiltered, uplifting alternative to what’s in your feed. Remember to get on the email list for the newsletter!
Also, if you enjoy listening to 10 for Teens + Tweens, I would truly appreciate you telling your friends about this podcast or leaving a review so others can find it and feel uplifted, too! Your support means the world to me!