Inspiring and Empowering Middle School Girls

International Women’s Day 2017

The theme this year for International Women’s Day is, “Be Bold For Change”. Looking up the word “bold”, the internet came back with: adjective: (of a person, action or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

I started thinking about people whom I admire for taking “risks” and being “confident and courageous” and on a global scale, I thought of Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace prize recipient. Anyone who knows her story will agree that she epitomizes the word bold. But I also admire so many people who are not known on a global scale and would not be recognized by any member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. One person, in particular, that comes to mind is Angie Gomez. Angie is a person I met while at a community outreach event promoting the 4GIRLS Organization. After we met, she decided to support the program by being a mentor and transporting middle school girls from Anaheim to the 4GIRLS workshop in Long Beach. After participating a couple of years in the program, Angie asked me, “When are you going to start this program in Anaheim?” Classes in ‘Diplomacy 101’ kicked in and I asked her, “When are you going to start the program in Anaheim?” Fortunately, Angie boldly accepted the challenge and launched 4GIRLS Orange County this past August!

Eight years ago, I took a bold step and shared an idea that I had with my friends about creating an empowerment workshop for middle school girls. I didn’t know what the workshop would look like exactly, but I knew that I was interested in creating a program where girls could identify themselves as inherently valuable, powerful and beautiful. If it were not for the women who listened and embraced my ‘bold’ thinking back in 2010 and encouraged me to take a risk – the 4GIRLS Organization would not be in existence and we would not have had the opportunity to inspire and empower hundreds of girls to be bold and to make positive changes in their lives.

What I now know is whether you want to implement significant change on a personal level, for your community or for the environment, some degree of boldness will be required. Being bold may seem daunting, but like anything that is worthwhile, one has to practice, practice and practice to become better at it. The Spanish philosopher, Baltasar Gracian wrote, “Put a grain of boldness into everything you do.” Let us start with today – let’s put a grain of boldness in everything that we do and let us see the change that is manifested.

Sincerely,

Claudia Copley
4GIRLS Founder & CEO

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