Update from Nicol Perez, the 2016/2017 US Youth Observer
Hey there! Remember me? I'm Nicol, and I had the honor of serving as your 2016/2017 US Youth Observer to the United Nations. Since having this incredible honor, my life has changed significantly. I have a new job at the intersection of tech and politics, I'm meditating everyday, and I'm working with amazing women on a passion project we share. In this post, I want to tell you about that passion project and invite you to join me on this wild ride.
My travels as Youth Observer exposed just how much we still have to go in our journey to gender equality. Towards the end of my term, I launched Girlz, FTW (for the win), a mentorship program for girls alongside my friends / co-founders Priyanka and Amanda. We launched Girlz, FTW because we were tired of just expressing our feminism through hashtags and "The Future is Female" t-shirts. We wanted to do something tangible to impact the lives of women and girls around the world and drive Global Goal #5: Gender Equality.
The girlz (as we like to call them) in our first cohort hailed from India, Canada, and all across the United States. We paired them with our most inspiring friends, all under the age of 35, and watched the magic unfold. Together, we shared awkward moments, insecurities, fights with our parents. We talked about how to get into college, how to build a killer resume, what feminism means to us. We watched inspiring TED Talks, started bullet journals and planned our visions for the year. We supported each other in a world where many girlz might feel scared, silenced, or left behind.
This year, we're taking it up a notch (or two). We're relaunching applications and we've made our program bigger and better. As we look at recent news headlines from around the world, we know there’s a lot more work ahead of us. So, with our heads up and a deep sense of urgency, we’re marching towards the future we want.
Driving Global Goal #5 takes all of us. Providing girlz with a sense of community, confidence, and support can make the world of a difference. It might seem small at first, but since being Youth Observer I've realized that I'm a combination of all the women and girlz that have inspired me to-date. When we support each other, we're also shaping each other, and in turn shaping the world we live in. So, consider this blog post a formal invitation to join us on a journey to build the world we want.
Apply now by February 16th at 11:59PM PST at www.girlzftw.com.