Mariangela Rodriguez joins the GEN team! Ring the bell!

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Mariangela Rodriguez has joined Girls Empowerment Network as Data & Operations Clerk/UT Student Worker in GEN’s Austin office. We’re thrilled that Mariangela 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?
I’m a second-year student at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m pursuing a B.S. in Advertising at the Stan Richards school. On campus, I’m involved in a service organization called Habitat for Humanity where students raise awareness about the effects of gentrification and help build affordable homes that are eco-friendly. I interned at a non-profit organization, Brownsville Wellness Coalition, in 2017 in the social media department. I’ve also interned at a small jewelry business, Oliv & Frankie, for two years in the media and marketing department.

What excites you most about your role at GEN?
I like being part of the team that serves young girls, helps them appreciate themselves, and recognize that they are more incredible than they may know. I love every part of GEN’s mission and how it is a strong catalyst for change. Igniting the power in young girls is as important as learning chemistry or history. The future is dependent on the strong women that believe in themselves, others, and in the capability for the world to be better. And GEN is a big part in that.

What do you think is one of the biggest challenges girls today are facing?
One of the greatest challenges facing girls today is the potential negative effects of social media. Social media can be a great tool to connect, share ideas, thoughts, etc. However, it is easy to manipulate and wrongfully take advantage to create negative influences. Adolescents, specifically, look toward social media for approval or guidance. The challenge is that they can be wrongly guided and this will affect girls especially hard while they are still navigating who they are. Girls should be able to have a safe space on social media where they are free to express themselves with no anxiety or fear. 

What’s one word to describe you in middle school?
Lost.

Jason Sugawa