Girl Up is an international organization created by the United Nations (UN) to fortify and empower women and girls, especially in third world countries, by advocating for their rights. These liberations include the right to be educated, healthy, safe from violence, leaders and advocates for their own environment, and documented. They execute these goals worldwide by campaigning for policy changes, funding UN programs that instigate progress for these incentives, and hosting camps that create the female revolutionaries who will continue the initiative for generations to come.
The Girl Up Club at Manatee Middle School demonstrates how the ambition of girls leads to the empowerment of themselves and others. The club, originally founded by Olivia Saunders, Sharon Saint-Surin, Alejandra Ramos, Esther Jean, Nathalia Martinez and Joanne Augustin, has since grown to 35 members. This year, this club hosted a fundraiser with an initial goal of $275 with a program called “Chip In,” where chips were sold at school. The profits will fund two Girl Up programs; sending refugee girls to school, and buying a bike for them for transport to school. We have raised $337 dollars, $62 above the goal. As a result, they have raised their goal to $600, and are still accepting donations.
The club hosts meetings every other Monday, where a group of girls present on a specific issue impacting women internationally, such as child marriage, availability of health education, etc., and consider, as a group concentrating on women’s rights, how they can devote their abilities and influence to solving these problems through preexisting Girl Up programs or fundraisers.
The Girl Up Club has also created a video extolling Marco Rubio for his achievement in passing a law facilitating the access of education for refugees, especially girls. The club advocates for the members of Congress to utilize their power for the benefit of underrepresented girls.
In addition, the Girl Up Club has formed a book club, having read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey that has assisted the group with individual self-improvement, in order to become more apt leaders. The book club also read “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd, a book that has multiple inspirational characters who are female and people of color. The author visits Marco Island seasonally, and the girls would love the opportunity to meet her and chat about this admired book. Evidently, the Manatee Middle School chapter of Girl Up is helping girls, inside and outside of the club, develop into the robust, intelligent, productive women of tomorrow.