Contributed by: Rhianna Quiroga , GEN Community Relations Intern
Kameryn Poullard has joined Girls Empowerment Network as a Program Coordinator in GEN’s Houston office. We’re so glad Kameryn has joined our team, and recently interviewed her so that we could share more about her background and passions with our community.
What’s your background? What experiences have had an impact on your decision to work in girls empowerment?
I graduated in May from Louisiana State University with my Bachelors of Science in Child and Family Studies, along with two minors in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies. I recently moved to Houston to pursue my Masters in Social Work at the University of Houston. While in high school, I worked with children in summer camps and I immediately realized the difference between the experiences of children that are at risk in regards to their gender identification. As a young woman, I was able to identify with the girls because there are so many issues that regardless of your background, affect all girls in one way or another. Then, while in college I became involved in organizations that had missions to empower women that were survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Then in particular, other organizations that worked to empower women of color. Tying the two together, these women who have been affected so viciously by their systematic and individual experiences, would have benefited SO much by organizations/programs that saw their value as a young girl and would have shown them as girls how to view themselves and their abilities as impeccable. Therefore through my undergraduate experience, I knew I needed to pursue a career that would work endlessly to support girls that would/will ultimately change the world.
What excites you most about your role at GEN?
What excites me the most about getting the opportunity to work with GEN is the fact that I am truly working for my dream job. Not many people get the opportunity to work for organizations in which they are extremely passionate about, and I do.
What do you think is one of the biggest challenges girls today are facing?
I think one of the biggest challenges girls are facing today is having their voices heard. Our identities come with a multitude of intersections, making similar experiences so unique for individuals. Yet, society chooses to only view these experiences in one way, and then once girls attempt to advocate for themselves/educate others on their unique experiences…they are ignored. This lack of voice then translates into their lives, affecting them on such micro/personal levels. Then on top of that, these girls are looking at boys having their voices heard, and begin to question their own value in regards to their gender identification. In turn, leads to a systematic decline in the overall self efficacy of the girls.
What’s one word to describe you in middle school?