I wanted to take a moment to update you all about what it is exactly that I do and why this campaign matters to me. As many of you know, I work for GENaustin (the Girls Empowerment Network.) Our mission is to support and guide girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood.
How that plays out in my day-to-day is that I plan and manage an annual conference for girls and parents that is projected to serve 1,600 people this year on November 3rd. We focus on helping girls with the biggest challenges they face like bullying, body image, communication, and health and wellness by bringing them together to connect with peers who share their experiences and experts who have the information they need. (You can visit us at www.wearegirls.org to learn more.)
I am writing this because I am currently helping to fundraise for scholarships for girls that cannot otherwise afford to attend. We keep our rates very reasonable and below the true cost--$30 for the day which includes all activities lunch, snacks, and prizes. However, this is still more than many families can spend. Especially when it is a single mom who wants to come with her 2 daughters...$90 is a lot to them.
That's why I'm asking you--my network of friends, family, and colleagues to consider giving to this cause. For only $30, you can ensure that one girl has this life changing experience. Here's an excerpt from one of the scholarship request essays I received. If you read nothing else, read the words of this teen girl.
13 years old, I was already thinking of suicide. I would look at myself and compare me to the others "Picture Perfect". All the time I would see girls with good legs, big butts, big chest and with no stomach. I believed that I was suppose to look like them, exactly the way they showed in the Magazines. I started to dislike my body. I would try and try to look the same as them. I wouldn't skip meals because I wanted to look like them. I wasn't feeding myself well. I became sick with a low self-esteem and depression. Wondering why I couldn't be like them was an everyday struggle. I didn't feel comfortable.
It is of such importance to teach youth, especially girls about what beauty really is. Beauty isn't Air-Brushed models. Many are still with their eyes closed in the belief of having to look like a fake person, that never exists. They need to teach this a lot in schools because many girls are self-conscious and feel insecure. When a girl starts with an insecurity, she can go down the wrong path such as hating herself, making sacrifices to fit in, not eating and then becoming sick. It can help create a better self in each individual. Knowing who we are. To be proud of being a female.
I've heard of GENaustin and think it's such an amazing project that helps youth females. I would love to spread the word about it, tell them my experience and open their eyes to real beauty. In order to do that I would need to learn more. My family is low income and cannot afford to pay for I and my sister. I would definitely appreciate it if I received a scholarship. Hope you take me in consideration.
I spend my year working on this conference so that young women like this gain access to the help, support, and education they need to flourish. But is all for naught if we cannot financially sustain this event. Please consider supporting both me in my work and the young women of Texas by making a donation of $30 or more today.
If you are unable to give at this time, it would also be very meaningful if you can help me spread the word, not only for fundraising but also recruitment to make sure that girls who need this valuable information can access it.
Contribute to my campaign online at: http://www.crowdrise.com/wearegirlsconference/fundraiser/amikane Checks can also be mailed to:
P.O. Box 3122
Austin, TX 78704
Much love and thanks to y'all,