An Interview with Gracie and Laurie about ClubGEN

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Gracie and her mom, Laurie, kindly agreed to share their experiences with clubGEN with us. Thanks, Gracie and Laurie!

Gracie:

What do you think is the best part about clubGEN?

Even though all of the girls in it, may not hang out together or may have had issues in the past, we are able to work on stuff and come together and make a difference.

What have you enjoyed working on in club?

When we worked on the real beauty campaign, we made a video and I really loved it and it was super fun. We got to act and film and edit it and that was pretty fun. The message was anti-bullying and standing up for yourself and loving yourself.

Do you feel like that’s a message girls need?

Most girls our age are not that interested in makeup yet, but there are people saying things but you have to be careful not to change to please someone else.

How do you think clubGEN helps girls?

I think clubGEN helps girls because it gives girls a voice and helps us solve that problem in our lives but also it helps us solve that problem in other people’s lives.

What problem is that?

That there are all these things telling us what we should look like and what we should do.

What would you say to girls who are unsure about joining clubGEN?

If you can, you really should be in clubGEN. It’s fun, there’s a lot of girls, and it’s a safe environment that helps you do a lot of stuff.

Have you ever struggled with something and being in clubGEN helped you?

I was having problems with my friend who was in club, and some of the stuff we talked about in clubGEN helped me come to a resolution with her. We talked about being true to yourself and being strong and that stuff.

What else have you really enjoyed in clubGEN?

We play a lot of fun games that helped us get comfortable and those were really fun. We also did this activity where we looked at the Dove Evolution video and that kind of stuff and we talked about how that wasn’t real or right. I didn’t know about photoshop before GENaustin told us about it. It was interesting to realize that all these things women have been striving for are probably physically impossible to achieve.

Laurie:

What do you like most about Gracie being involved with clubGEN?

I wish that there had been something like clubGEN around for me when I was that age. I think girls that age need an outlet to figure out what’s going on in their heads. Having club is an outlet and girls learn how to resolve friendship conflicts, they learn how to deal with growing up. It gives them space to figure out what’s going on with friends and with boys. Girls need all the support they can get. clubGEN brings together girls from all backgrounds.

What would be your advice for other parents who are considering their daughter getting involved with GENaustin?

I can’t imagine someone not wanting to be involved. It’s an opportunity for girls to have a safe space to ask questions they might not be comfortable asking their mom.

What would you say to someone who is considering supporting GENaustin through a donation?

Happy, healthy girls- we have to have that. Our girls deserve that. Gosh, you can’t argue with happy, healthy and self-assured.

How have you seen Gracie change or be impacted by her time in club?

Probably the biggest challenge for Gracie has been other girls accepting her. ClubGEN brings girls together in a common cause and exposed her to girls she wouldn’t have spent time with otherwise, and all the girls realized they were the same and wanted the same things- to be happy, successful. When I saw the Love Yourself video the girls did, it was like, “My child is working with the other girls and they have their arms around each other.”

Would you like to contribute to our clubGEN Spring Campaign and help girls like Gracie? Then visit our Crowdrise and donate any amount that you are able or share with your networks to help GENaustin receive even more donations.

Vanessa Wright