(#2) Good Things Come In Threes: Three Up & Coming WAG Presenters
Good things come in threes, including our highlighted We Are Girls Austin Presenters of 2017! We interviewed three wonderful women, all presenting at We Are Girls next month, about their organizations and their passion for empowering girls. Last week we got to know Lacie Taylor of Math For Keeps. Next up is Tiffany Malone of InspireFire.
Tiffany Malone (pictured middle)
What inspired you to start your organization, InspireFire?
Once I graduated Howard University, I was working as the outreach coordinator for Resilient Together Houston; it was a miracorp base so it was basically domestic Peace Corps. At the end of our year we had to come up with a community service project and I ended up asking the girls if they wanted to teach with me at YMCA Health Classes. We started to teach there every Thursday. I’m not sure if that’s what started it or if it was this one time me and my friend Jasmine were talking and I said, “I had a vision that we had a business together in a pink building and we would talk about how to live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects-spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, nutritiously.” And she was shocked and replied, “You are kidding me! I had the same vision.” Then we called our third friend, also named Jasmine, and she was down and came up with the name InspireFire and then we got to work.
What’s behind the name InspireFire?
We inspire the fire in others to live their best life. We want to be that spark in someone’s life to lead a healthy life, in all aspects, especially mentally.
Why do you think your organization is important for young girls?
We’ve been doing this confidence-boosting workshop in Austin and Houston for two years and I’ve seen it’s definitely needed. Young girls need a reminder that being themselves is enough and that being authentically themselves is what’s going to set them apart from everyone else. We give them that confidence boost to not feel the need to fit in, because when you fit in it’s never going to sit well with you. You’re only going to attract what you need when you start being yourself, using your own talents and your own mind. We also want to let them know that we understand how hard it is, especially as you get older and start worrying about what others think. We want to plant that seed in young girls to not worry about that and instead focus on themselves.
What do you think is the biggest challenge girls face today?
I would definitely say the comparison factor, especially with social media now. I think social media can be great if you’re using it for inspiration but it depends on how you use it. Now you can see the most beautiful people ever on Instagram; you can see their lives and how it’s being portrayed and I think that’s a struggle because people are constantly on their phones looking at other people’s lives and comparing it to their own life. Sometimes it can inspire them but it can also make them feel depressed or sad. It can lead to a downward spiral of not thinking you’re enough when the reality is that YOU ARE ENOUGH. What you see on the internet is not true; people are showing only their best selves. I see this struggle in not only young girls but in everyone!
What do you hope the girls take away from your workshop at WAG this year?
For the Healthy Living For Queens workshop I hope the girls start thinking about what they’re consuming, so that means looking at ingredients, learning what will nourish them and what will be a detriment to them, and encouraging their families to do the same. From the Confidence-Boosting workshop I hope they learn that being themselves is enough and it will bring out so many beautiful talents that they have.
What is your favorite thing about the work you do?
Seeing the girls laughing and having fun, for sure. I learn so much myself, too. For example, we just started this Vegan Challenge on our blog and all the sudden I’m vegan! In everything we do-podcasts, teaching, blogs, and workshops- we always end with affirmations. I love seeing people using their “I am” affirmations and starting to believe them. We explain affirmations as something you may not think is true now but feel it as you say it, with all five senses and really try to envision it. It’s those little things that you can see actual changes in the girls that keep us going!
How would you describe the We Are Girls Conference in two words?
Dynamic and needed.