By: Aline Awada, Beatriz Saliba, Estrella Calvo and Mafe Machioni
Contact: +55 11 98533-9038
In the “Inspiring Female Youth” initiative we strive to create a safe space for young girls in St. Francis College to talk about the struggles and obstacles they face in today’s society and give them an opportunity to share and learn from others’ experiences and flourish together.
IFY aims to bring in accomplished and hardworking women who have been through similar experiences that our girls may most likely undergo, and have them offer advice and sharestories. By doing so, girls at our school will be better equipped to start a career in male-dominated industries and know how to use their voices.
Not only does IFY hold seminars, but our committee also organizes workshops, events and launches projects to encourage girls to grow and work towards their goals.
Simultaneously, we will bring attention to the fact that we are part of a privileged society, and want to make sure that we don’t turn a blind eye to other minorities while preparing our girls to acknowledge that women who aren’t in a position of privilege face challenges as well as just ours. This includes obstacles they can face because of race as well as poverty, and we will take it upon ourselves to come together and support each other, regardless of appearance, culture or background.
I have been fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by so many empowering women, who have shaped me into who I am today. This made me learn the importance of having a safe environment for girls to talk to, sympathize with each other, and grow together. This is what inspired me to start IFY. I saw a lack of female representation in my school, and I felt an obligation to do something about it. Not only will this project allow other girls in school to know how to deal with being a womanin modern-day society, it will also give them access to experiences that could help smoothen their transition into the world. I am so incredibly proud of our team and am excited for what the future holds for IFY.
Our practice centers around 3 main statements:
We focus on…
Guiding other young girls through a process of gaining confidence and control over their journey, while working towards strengthening their ability to influence the direction of social change via their voice.
Helping cherish our bodies and amplify self-love, as well as coming to terms with our own womanhood while understanding what it means to be a woman.
Cultivating prosperity and purpose by nurturing our emotional and intuitive aspects, redefining social norms while helping each other become better women.
Our Past Events:
In the past two semesters, the members of IFY have worked hard to initiate and begin what is the start of our trajectory as a successful group. Our president, Aline, has been working hard to initiate some activities and events that have taken place since the beginning of the project. One of the first actions taken by IFY was organising our members and Instagram account, the first step to keeping order and gaining recognition for the project.
One of the first events held by IFY was our first seminar. Sara Awada, a certified transformational life coach and leader of the research team at Twitter NYC, connected with us through zoom and held a seminar with the girls at our school on October 5th, 2022. She told us a little bit about her story, and guided us through a discussion about our’s as well. Sara touched on the topics of the challenges of being a woman, self confidence, and how to build independence as young girls. The interactive seminar was a success, and was a great start to the first of many events that IFY plans to hold.
Additionally, we had another seminar later on in the year! Mary Ann Awada, another Awada sister, came to visit our school on November 3rd, 2022. Mary works as a corporate lawyer in NYC, and she gave us insight on her trajectory, as well as advice on how to succeed in our careers later on. She told us about her past and her challenges coming from a traditional Arab household while living under harsh expectations coming from her parents. It was an incredible seminar!
Currently, in the past couple of weeks, the IFY team has been working hard and planning further steps for this upcoming semester! Stay tuned for more….
Our upcoming events:
Our team is just getting started and we have many plans in the works. Every few meetings we brainstorm new ideas that we think will appeal to many different groups of girls. We have just completed our “Books Written by Women” stand in the library, offering a large range of books from different genres; to give more exposure to female writers in our day to day lives.
We are also so excited to share that we are starting up a podcast! It will be available on Spotify with monthly recordings, discussing topics of self worth, body image, barriers we have to work through, and how we strive for success. We want to normalise daily conversations between teenage girls, making these topics comfortable and accessible. Make sure to keep an eye out for that ;)
With the International Fair, we want to make sure our presence is impactful, spread awareness on our project, and what it is we do. We will be selling merchandise and products with the proceeds going towards a future project coming to school (spoiler alert…it's a kicker).
How can you get involved:
There are many ways you can get involved in the feminist cause and especially in IFY as an organisation.
What we truly want is to incentivize women to feel powerful and motivated, therefore we want to encourage everyone to approach this topic with an open mind and be willing to listen, understand and support all women.
The multiple ways to truly get involved in the cause are to support the organisation and to be present in activities organised by us, especially the seminars that bring in empowering and inspirational women.
Donating to the cause, either through us or to any reliable feminist organisation, and truly being committed to and advocating for the cause.