Empower a Girl, Change the World
My junior year of high school, I became friends with Tella, a foreign exchange student from Gothenburg, Sweden, who spent the year at my school in Mobile, Alabama. We were determined to maintain our close friendship, so she visited Mobile again the next year, and I decided to take my first trip outside of the United States to attend her high school graduation. I made it to Sweden to watch my friend graduate on June 7, 2018, and the experience was much different than I anticipated. While graduation in America is a more formal ceremony, Swedish graduation is a 24-hour celebration. Each class at Tella’s school ran along a red carpet onto a stage to dance and celebrate their accomplishment. The students wear white dresses and sailor caps rather than a cap and gown. Family also ties items such as flowers, champagne, and stuffed animals attached to string around her neck. This part of their graduation is called utspring. After utspring, Tella and the rest of her classmates are driven around the city cheering before attending parties for the rest of the day. One party is celebrated with family and friends, and the last party of the night is celebrated with all of the graduating classmates. Aside from Tella’s graduation, my adventures in Sweden included swimming in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, eating a giant cinnamon roll, visiting the famous amusement park –Liseberg, and many more! We spent my last day on the island, Galterö, which we nicknamed Sheep Island due to its high sheep population. Sheep Island had a notebook in which travelers could write about their personal experiences on the island, and we were happy to contribute our own. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to visit Tella in Sweden. She has had such a positive impact on my life, so it was important to me that I was able to help her celebrate her graduation. In our friendship, distance has been no more than a physical separation, and we won’t let it keep our relationship stagnant. I highly recommend doing what you can to maintain friendships with the obstacle of a little distance. Tella and I can’t wait to plan another trip together. Here’s to international friendships!
- July 20, 2018
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- July 8, 2018
After hearing your speech I decided there’s nothing wrong calling yourself a feminist. So I’m a feminist and we all should be a feminist because feminism is another word for equality. - Malala Yousafzai to Emma Watson
I’m overjoyed. I have to tell you, I was fighting back tears a moment ago, as I was reading the SCOTUS-blog and the first line that came out saying that the Fifth Circuit opinion or decision had been reversed. It’s incredible news for the women of Texas. It’s incredible news for women throughout this country. - Wendy Davis
While women still only make up such a small percentage of political leadership, to quote Michelle Obama, ‘because of these women, girls and boys all over the world will have real-life examples that women are leaders.’ In the last two years if I have learned anything, if they have shown me anything, it is that nothing—nothing—is impossible. Emma Watson
I remember everything, of course. I never forget. But it’s the thing that’s pushing me actually to do more and more. - Yusra Mardini
We cannot measure our humanity, but we can act on it. Our humanity is that glowing center in all of us. It is what makes us speak up about an injustice, even when that injustice does not personally affect us. It is what makes us aware that we are better off if our fellow human beings are better off. - Emma Watson
I’ve had to learn that my voice has value. And if I don’t use it, what’s the point of being in the room? - Michelle Obama
Nobody’s supposed to be anything. You can be whoever you want. And I want young people to see that. - Priyanka Chopra
I believe in my generation. I believe in girls. I believe in women. I believe in people of color. I believe in LGBTQ+ community. I believe. - Rowan Blanchard
My heart is beating and I’m breathing, and nothing anybody has ever done has changed that. - Rupi Kaur
Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath. Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving. - The Stanford Survivor
Shake the idea you are not capable: You don’t have to be born with this magical creativity, you can develop it. And don’t let anybody tell you what you ware and what you’re not: The only person who knows that is you. - Alessia Cara
In the past, I always felt like I was trying to prove something. Now, I’m writing what I want to share with the world, rather than trying to give the world what it wants. For better or worse, I’m just me. - Kesha
People who are passionate are good at what they do. These emotions are a driving force, and I don’t think women should apologize for them any more than a man should. - Amal Clooney
To all the little girls watching…never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world. - Hillary Clinton
We cannot disengage our retreat over the next four years. We must remain steadfast in our fight for justice - Kamala Harris
I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles. - Simone Bile
Words have power. TV has power. My pen has power. - Shonda Rhimes
Now is such a pivotal time in our history. It’s such a pivotal, crazy time, and I want you to know – all you ladies up there – you are the leaders. We are the future. We need you. We need every single one of you in this room. You are needed to step up to the plate, right here right now, and let your voice be heard. This is the time. So please continue to do so. - Zendaya
When at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams, because they didn’t want to appear muscle-y, when at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist. - Emma Watson
We must reject not only the stereotypes that others hold of us, but also the stereotypes that we hold of ourselves. - Shirley Chisholm, first Black woman elected to Congress
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