GEN in Houston: An Interview with Kim Gandy

Contributed by: Kim Gandy, We Are Girls Houston Volunteer Leadership Committee Member, and Elena Carey


Kim Gandy served on the 2017 We Are Girls Houston Volunteer Leadership Committee and helped fundraise for the We Are Girls Houston scholarship campaign. Her efforts contributed to a successful event, where we were able to scholarship 60% of attendees. We recently had the chance to interview her about her experience being a part of We Are Girls Houston.


How did you find out about Girls Empowerment Network (GEN)?

GEN was getting great buzz everywhere I turned, so I was excited to reach out and join the fun!


What made you want to get involved with GEN?

While living in Austin, I was involved with various women’s networking groups and wanted to find a place to volunteer and empower the next generation of strong females.


What was your experience like serving on the Volunteer Leadership Committee?

Participating on the Volunteer Leadership Committee is one of the most fun ways to support each year’s We Are Girls conference. Your involvement with the conference kicks off months before the event, giving you a chance to bond with the great staff at GEN and network with fellow supporters in your community. As a committee member, your goal is to keep volunteers enthusiastic and create a seamless event day. We couldn’t pull off each year’s conference without the passion and hard work of GEN’s staff and volunteers.


What made you want to fundraise to send girls to We Are Girls Houston? Why do you think it’s important to provide scholarships for girls who attend?

After volunteering with GEN for four years, I was ready to step up my game. I was speechless to see the outpouring of support from friends and family, just by asking for donations via social media and email. Fundraising is vital to the success of each year’s conference with over 60% of attendees requesting to attend on scholarship. And every girl deserves the same opportunity to attend this special event!


What was your favorite part of We Are Girls Houston?

My favorite part of each year’s conference is talking to the girls as they pass through the halls. As a volunteer, you’re busy at work, so simply asking the girls “What session are you coming from?” “Where are you heading next?” will give you plenty of entertaining answers and keep you engaged in all the festivities. The girls’ enthusiasm is contagious!


What are your hopes for We Are Girls Houston in the future? How would you like to see it grow?

I love seeing how We Are Girls Houston grows and evolves each year. My hope is that the conference outgrows any one school in the Houston area, and we can host the day-long event at a large convention space, serving more girls with more opportunities.


What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing girls today? Are there any issues you think are specific to Houston-area girls?

Houston is one of the most celebrated diverse cities in the nation. As young girls, differences can create a sense of self consciousness or insecurity. Girls everywhere, not just Houston, should continually be encouraged to celebrate our differences and just how powerful we can be as ourselves.


What is one of the most important things you want girls to know? Are there any messages you’d like to send to Houston area girls in particular?

I want to remind girls everywhere, you are beautiful, strong and perfect exactly as you are! The world wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t shine your brightest. And if you weren’t at this year’s We Are Girls conference, we want you there in 2018!

Felicia Gonzalez