Contributed by: Daja Martinez, GEN Development Intern
Miranda Badgett has joined Girls Empowerment Network as Community Engagement Specialist in GEN’s Austin office. We’re thrilled that Miranda 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 was born and raised in Austin, TX (I know; “unicorn”) and graduated from UT in 2013 with a degree in Psychology. I’m currently back at UT pursuing a dual master’s degree in Social Work and Public Affairs. Aside from my personal growth learning about social justice and feminism during college, I primarily worked with adolescent girls in my first job after undergrad. Witnessing those girls navigate the pivotal points of girlhood and adolescence and their desire to have a trusted adult care and support them during those times re-emphasized the importance of equipping girls with the skills to believe in themselves to overcome challenges and meet their goals, whatever they may be.
What excites you most about your role at GEN?
Getting to share the mission of GEN with the larger community. A lot of my role involves outreach for the We Are Girls Conferences, so I love getting to further cultivate relationships that already exist and build new ones with people who are also passionate about gender equity. We Are Girls is such a special and amazing day of celebrating girlhood!
What do you think is one of the biggest challenges girls today are facing?
One of the biggest challenges for girls today is receiving validation in their experiences of girlhood. With mixed messages from various forms of media and traditional gender norms, it can be really challenging for girls to feel comfortable being their authentic selves and not feeling obligated to fit into a singular, societally “acceptable” definition of what it means to be a girl. Having role models who can affirm and demonstrate the diverse and vast experiences of girlhood is key here at GEN in helping girls grow into the women they are meant to be!
What’s one word to describe you in middle school?