Guest post by Girl Scout Ria, who attended “The Power of the Educated Girl” at the Apollo Theater
On Tuesday, September 28, I had the privilege of attending a seminar on “The Power of the Educated Girl” at the Apollo Theater, hosted by Sophia Bush and Glamour Magazine. I was part of an audience of 1,000 girls from different girl organizations around New York. The guest speakers were First Lady Michelle Obama, actress Charlize Theron, Former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, and Nurfahada, a 16-year-old missionary from the Philippines. This panel of amazing women spoke to us about the importance of girls being educated.
Being in the same room as those incredible women felt like a dream. They were so inspirational and real. They spoke to us like they were speaking to their daughters. They taught us that education is one of the most important things in your life, that we have the power to succeed and we deserve a rewarding future. The more educated girls are, the better they are at resolving conflicts and supporting other religions and beliefs, and the more likely they are to have an educated family. Listening to First Lady Michelle Obama share about how she grew up, the opportunities she had, and how she fought for her education was inspiring. She told us that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. She taught us to be true to ourselves. Charlize Theron spoke about growing up in a small town, and breaking down barriers to make a better future for the women of South Africa. Nurfahada was also so inspiring to me. She is just 16, yet she’s traveling the world, talking about young girls in the Philippines who have nothing and can’t speak for themselves.
There are so many girls around the world who don't have an education because their countries or cultures teach that only boys should be educated. The big message from this panel was that girls should be just as educated as boys, if not more. I learned that it’s equally important for girls to take control and stand up for education. Did you know that there are 62 million girls around the world who will not get an education? The “Let Girls Learn” campaign is about providing girls with the materials that they need so that they can receive an education and get opportunities in life.
I think everyone in the audience left the seminar smarter, stronger, and inspired. I also learned something about myself: I learned how lucky I am to be living in the United States, where everyone has access to an education. I also learned that by going to school and making myself a better person, I can help so many other girls around the world so we can make it a better place to live for all of us.