Whatever I face in life, I'm ready.
Updated: Jan 2
By Gabi, Teen Leadership Circle Peer Leader
My mom immigrated to the U.S. from China, and I was born and raised in lower Manhattan/Chinatown. Going into high school, I was shy and never pictured myself being a leader. As an Asian American young woman, there is the stereotype of passivity and submissiveness that has haunted me throughout my life. My school is STEM focused, and the STEM courses are male dominated. The girls are often scared to participate, scared to be heard. In a male dominated society, girls and young women deserve to be heard as much as everyone else.
With this belief, I joined Girls Inc. of NYC’s Teen Leadership Circles (TLC). Over the last two years I recruited and led a leadership circle of 30 participants called Female Force, a safe space to empower girls at school. This group was key to finding a community after the isolation of the pandemic.
Every week, we lead a discussion on subjects like financial literacy, mental health, reproductive health, and other important topics. Last month I presented on financial literacy, breaking down basic financial concepts girls need to know as they’re entering college, such as credit card applications and setting up bank accounts. We had fun role-playing a budgeting simulation, and we all walked away excited to take control of our finances.
Girls Inc. of NYC has been transformative—truly instrumental to developing me into the person I am today. I am more confident, I take more risks, and I do not hold back out of fear of failure. I’m proud of who I've grown into. I can take with me what I learned in Girls Inc. as I approach the future. Whatever I face in life, I’m ready. Now in my last year of high school, I’ve applied early action to a rigorous university, and plan to major in computational biology and pursue a career in women’s reproductive health.
Today, I ask you to support Girls Inc. of NYC. It is important for girls to have a community where we can learn to fight for what’s important to us. Girls Inc. of NYC equips girls to take hold of their futures and step into the courage to pursue their dreams.