Club Advisor - Ms. Megan Simonetti
On Thursday October 11, 2018, several members of the Forest Hills Girl Up Club attended a special event for International Day of the Girl on the Today Show. We were invited on behalf of Girl Up Inc. This event featured an interview with former First Lady, Michelle Obama, and musical performances by Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Meghan Trainor. In addition, guests supermodel Karlie Kloss and actress Zendaya spoke on behalf of female empowerment. The Today Show hosted these incredibly influential females to commemorate International Day of the Girl’s year-long effort to develop partners and investors who will contribute to causes that will provide opportunities for females to gain employment all over the world.
During this event, Michelle Obama announced her partnership with Global Girls Alliance, which is part of her world-wide initiative to promote girls’ education. The Forest Hills Girl Up Club members are honored to have been a part of a historic moment in female activism and to have witnessed such inspiring women promoting the same national and international causes that the Forest Hills Club members support every day.
This past Wednesday, the
Forest Hills Girl Up Club hosted a very positive and dynamic discussion with
Alexa Arecchi. Arecchi works for New York State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. He
is the representative for the citizens of District 28 which encompasses ,
Forest Hills, Rego Park, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill,
Middle Village, Glendale, and Kew Gardens. Assemblyman Hevesi and Arecchi work
to improve the quality of life of impoverished, homeless, abused, and neglected
people. Many of the Girl Up members created a series of inquiries addressing their direct
involvement of the community. Some of the most prevalent topics of the afternoon were: safety in schools, and in transit. There was an emphasis on obtaining a larger number of buses that facilitate the commute from schools to homes. This is needed most during perilous weather such as snowstorms delay the commute; individuals hope for better snow removal protocols to prevent injuries. Additionally, some members suggested a greater police presence in areas that are deemed unsafe. It was also brought to the attention that fights amongst young people are
occurring more frequently which leads to inconveniences and a decline in safety. Another major topic was the idiosyncrasies that exist amongst the homeless. In order to solve this issue,both Arecchi and the Assemblyman are working towards obtaining more funds to place homeless into proper sheltered locations. Lastly, many people were concerned with the preservation of the environment. There were many great suggestions as to protect the
environment- more compost bins should be placed around the neighborhood. Although, Alexa Arecchi wanted to answer all of our questions, she agreed to follow up if anyone has any further questions or concerns.
On Sunday April 29,2019, the New York Coalition hosted a leadership summit at Stuyvesant High School. Forest Hills Girl Up President Rebecca Fairweather, Allison Levin, and Sydney Williams lead discussions that encompassed the power of youthful advocacy. This event began with introductions by Yardena Gerwin (Girl Up NY president) and Ana Blue (co-director of Girl Up). Their main focus was on finding one’s passion and spending time in that specific field.
Ana Blue also gave the audience background about
the origin of Girl Up. Girl Up began as an initiative for girls ages eight to
twelve years old in the United States. It began in 2010 as a way to instruct
youthful girls about the United Nations and its philanthropic work. As more and more people took interest in
this initiative, Girl Up started to be present in schools, hence the creation
of clubs in high school settings.
Now, in 2018, Girl Up has gone global. With six focus countries, Girl Up works indefatigably to provide impoverished girls with education, safety, health, and protection. These two speakers also introduced the topic of gender equality. They emphasized the fact that both counterparts should be treated the same way. Joey Bartholomew, executive director of Seventeen
Magazine discussed was the importance of dialogue to achieve change. Rebecca Fairweather, Allison Levin, and Sydney Williams spoke about the key of community involvement to attain positive change. They hosted small panel sessions which included Uniqlo director of Corporate Social Responsibility Jean Emmanuel, Anne Krassner (director of equity and community engagement with Citi-bikes), and Tracy Bryan (district manager of Starbucks Women's development). Each of them emphasized community effort and unity to provide their products to the general public.
On behalf of Girl Up, we thank the participation of all of our guests as well as all the Girl Up members who came forward and support the event.
Article written by Nika Nunez