An Interview with Miranda about GEN’s We Are Girls Conference, clubGEN, and Summer Camps

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Miranda, who has participated in clubGEN, GEN Summer Camps, and the We Are Girls Conference, and her mom, Bella, graciously agreed to speak with us about their experiences with GEN. Thank you, Miranda and Bella!

Miranda:

What do you think is the best part about the Girls Empowerment Network We Are Girls Conference?
I think it’s because you get to experience different things and experiment with things and meet people who you don’t really go to school with or know very well.

 

Why do you think it’s important for girls to do different things and meet girls who they don’t go to school with?
To have some difference. It’s variety.

 

What do you enjoy about the We Are Girls Conference?
I enjoy how many different fun things there are to do.

 

How do you feel at the end of the day when you leave?
I feel pretty happy. I made some new friends. I got to meet some really cool people. I got to take some really cool little classes.

 

Does it have an affect on you after you leave? Are there ways it affects your life over the next few days or next few weeks or however long it may be?
Yeah, actually. There’s one of the courses kind of that’s an art thing and there’s a really awesome app they suggest for art. I use it all the time now. It’s improved my drawing a lot since I’ve got it.

 

How do you think the We Are Girls Conference helps girls?
I think it helps them in their confidence about themselves and they can then feel good about themselves and knowing that you’re not really alone. Knowing that there are people there for you and they’re awesome.

 

Do you feel like those are messages girls need?
Definitely.

 

Why are those important messages?
Some girls think that they’re not good enough and going to the camp is like ‘you’re awesome, you’re fabulous, so don’t even worry about it.’

 

Why do you think that some girls don’t feel good about themselves and GEN helps them?
I’m not totally sure why girls wouldn’t feel like good about themselves. It’s just like some people look at themselves and it’s just like ‘I’m not good at this. I’m not good at that. So I’m probably not good enough.’ So the GENaustin club and the Girls Empowerment [Network] convinces them. It kind of just reminds them that they’re totally awesome.

 

What would you say to girls who are unsure about joining one of the GEN programs, like clubGEN or camp, or the We Are Girls Conference?
I would say that they totally should. Because it’s a really great place to meet new people and have new experiences and there’s really nothing to be concerned about.

 

Have you ever struggled with something and being a part of GEN, the Conference or club or the camps, helped you?
Yeah, actually. For clubGEN last year, I was nervous about signing up for the talent show. And I was like: ‘I can’t do it. My voice isn’t good enough, it isn’t good enough, isn’t good enough. I can’t dance, I can’t stand in front of people.’ But then once I went to GENaustin and talked to them about it, they were like ‘No, your voice is amazing. You can dance amazing. You are amazing. And you can totally do it.’ And then I went and did it and that is awesome.

 

Is there anything else that you had really enjoyed about any of the GENaustin programs?
I’d just wanna say that the program is awesome. I love meeting all the people. I love everything that we did. I had an awesome time with them. The counselors, the people who work for GENaustin, I really enjoyed spending time with them. And I hope that they do [the camps] again next year.

 

If people were thinking about whether they wanted to scholarship a girl to the Conference, what would you say to them?
I would say that that’s definitely a really good decision. That’s a really good idea. I would do that.

 

Is there anything else you want to talk about?
I would just say that like of anyone is listening right now, tell them that they’re awesome and tell yourself that you’re awesome and have an awesome day.

 

Bella:

Why do you think GEN programs are important and why have you ensured Miranda participates in them?
I think that GENaustin is an important program that supports girls and their confidence. This gives her [Miranda] the opportunity to share in real discussions about difficult topics in a safe environment and know that she has support for anything that may come her way.

 

How have you seen Miranda change or be impacted by her time in GEN programs?
Miranda has always been a compassionate friend and this program has allowed her to get to know more about other girls and their challenges. She has stepped in roles as a leader and advocate for others.

 

What would you say to someone who is considering providing a scholarship to a girl to attend the We Are Girls Conference by donating $30 to GEN?
The We Are Girls Conference is a wonderful experience for girls to make new friends and have a blast trying out new activities that are not offered in school situations. There is something for everyone – from art to social to tech.

 

Would you like to contribute to our We Are Girls fall campaign and help girls like Miranda? Visit our Crowdrise and donate any amount that you are able.Share with your networks to help GEN scholarship even more girls.

Vanessa Wright