An Inspiring Quote from an Inspiring Woman

Last month, I did not write. I wanted to, and I tried, but I did not feel as though anything I wrote was really worth sharing. Every draft seemed so contrived, and simply had very little sentence variation. I believe it was because my thoughts were scattered, and nothing I was writing could articulate what I felt. After the nation was so shaken by the election, it seemed very difficult to put into words how to find inspiration, when I was struggling to find some myself. So, a month late, here is some hopefully inspirational writing from me:

I participated with the Clinton campaign, and as a young woman blossoming into a young activist, Donald Trump winning the election turned my world upside-down. I think this is true for many, many young people today. The stream of half-joking remarks about moving out of the United States should Donald Trump be elected turned into a flood on November 9th. Citizens, furious with the turnout, and fearful of the future of the United States government, have jumped ship- not by moving to Canada, but rather, by giving up on their country’s spirit. It is hard to make progress when you have no hope, when you are disappointed and hurting, but now, with 2017 just around the corner, it is time to stop mourning.

The only way to fight back against the misogyny so overtly rampant in the nation, soon at its highest levels, is with more feminism. The only way to stop discrimination against ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ community is by actively spreading the word of empathy to your area and your peers. The only way to achieve social and political justice is with more social and political activism- get involved with movements and candidates you are passionate about, don’t just hope that the government will acknowledge them eventually. Stay on the ship, and it will sail smoothly.

I want to close this post with a quote from Hillary Clinton, a woman who has embodied bravery and resilience her entire career: Let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.

Inspiration from Tim Kaine

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(Photo courtesy of Slate)

For the past few weeks I have been working with the Clinton campaign in my area. Through many styrofoam cups of coffee, frantic printing of local Clinton event schedules, and a passion to see Hillary in the Oval Office, I have learned an immense amount about the election process.

And as much as Hillary has inspired me as a person, what with her policies and resilience and all, it was not until today that I felt as though I had found my path.

And for that I can thank Tim Kaine.

He came to my area for a rally, and having been volunteering with the Clinton campaign, I was assigned to help run the rally- I even got a badge. While my duties really just included directing people where to sit, being a part of this bigger machine of politics, a part of something so important as Clinton-Kaine 2016, has never inspired me more.

This was an atmosphere much different than registering voters or working a phone bank. It epitomized hope for the future, for doing even better in life; something the Clinton campaign has been running on since the beginning. (Think The West Wing.) And having a role in that, even one so minor as mine, was simply inspiring.

Senator Kaine gave a speech further proving the obvious: that Hillary Clinton must be elected president, and that when in office, she shall be an incredible one.

I have found my passion in law and politics, but what is yours? Be sure to get involved, and truly chase what it is you believe! And vote for Hillary, of course.

Inspiring Woman of the Month: Nadia Murad

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(Nadia Murad, photo courtesy of The Independent)

This month’s Inspiring Woman is just twenty-three-years-old: Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman whose village was attacked by ISIS in August 2014. Murad’s family was killed, while she, like many of the other young women, were thrown into the ISIS sex trafficking market. She escaped to Germany after two years of such horror, and since has been advocating for her people.

The Yazidis are a small population of people living in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, and practicing a religion that draws from several faiths. They have become targets of ISIS’s systematic violence, but are often forgotten on the international level.

Murad has fought tirelessly, now with the help of human rights attorney Amal Clooney, to gain the assistance of the United Nations to bring ISIS to international court for the atrocities they have committed against the Yazidi people, as well as other groups. She is a sex trafficking survivor, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and now United Nations goodwill ambassador.

Despite all that she has been through, Nadia has fought for justice and an end to ISIS’s reign of terror. She is truly an inspiration

A Great Article from Her Campus

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Things have been crazy! I have been doing a lot of work with the Clinton campaign, keeping up with my school work, and blogging, blogging, blogging! I am only a junior in high school, but I have quite a few senior friends who are working on those college applications, in addition to everything else! If you are a senior who needs a few tips when it comes to the Common App, check out this article from Her Campus (a blog I love!). A lot of my friends found it useful, and saw quite a few other articles on Her Campus that have been helping them through applications! Good luck, and hope it helps!

5 Common App Essay Tips that Will Actually Help You: http://www.hercampus.com/high-school/5-common-app-essay-tips-will-actually-help-you?mc_cid=4ae8bbb37f&mc_eid=55a6dc5690

Campaigning Day One

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Today I began volunteering for the Clinton campaign. Amidst the Styrofoam cups of coffee, Hillary Clinton buttons, and tables filled with fellow volunteers, I sat with my cheek pressed to a telephone. They gave me a list of Democrats in my area to call, and try to recruit to canvass and help register voters. To me, participating in the political process, even in such small ways as working in a phone bank, is what makes our nation great. That being said, it is obvious that every time I was brutally rebuffed by someone on the other end of the phone, I grew a little more worried.

It is a privilege to be able to vote, especially in an election so important as the one coming up this November. Your vote does matter. And volunteering to help the candidate of your choice (who hopefully is Hillary Clinton) is something that is invaluable not only to the candidate, but also to the United States. It is important who is elected, and it is important that you care. Respect the opinions of others, but make sure to have and voice your own.

I will be sure to have good stories from my time volunteering for Hillary Clinton, and I will share them with you as they come!

Clinton-Kaine 2016!

Inspiring Woman of the Month: Emily May

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(Emily May- Photo courtesy of Hollaback!)

There is an epidemic in our society, in which young women do not know just how many resources and other independent ladies are out there. To further educate myself, and my fellow strong girls, I have decided that each month I will post a profile of a truly inspiring woman.

This first Inspirational Woman of the Month is someone who has begun a new, creative drive in feminism of today: Emily May of Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment blog and movement.

Street harassment is something that has been frowned upon, but it was not until Emily May’s empowering program that it was seen as what it is, rather than just a mildly crude interaction: discrimination. May explains the seriously harmful effects of street harassment on women, girls, and LGBTQ individuals, and just how key to gender equality ending street harassment is. (I think we can all agree that as much as one can love kittens, cat-calling is beyond demeaning.)

Emily May has earned many a recognition for her inspiring efforts. Time Magazine named her a “GameChanger” in 2011, and in 2012 was referred to by the Huffington Post as one of 20 women “leading the way.” She has regularly spoken at such prestigious universities as Duke, and the University of California at Berkeley, and at conferences like Standford Women’s Leadership Conference, and UN Safe Cities Conference in Egypt. Emily has also been featured on many news outlets such as the BBC and New York Times (links to these features can be found on my Resources page!).

Emily May is a true hero in today’s feminism. Her unique and effective approach in eliminating discrimination is something we can all learn from! To read more about Emily’s amazing Hollaback! and other achievements, go to http://www.ihollaback.org/book-emily-at-your-next-event/. Learn about how you can get involved!

What are friends for?

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We know that we love our best friends, but getting caught up in stress from school and other areas of our lives makes it easy to take for granted how truly incredible our best friends are. Here are a few reminders of all the great things our girls do for us!

  1. They are the most enthusiastic about you- Good news never goes without a good jump and excited giggle with your best friends. They are always there to cheer you on!
  2. They love to hear about you-  Your best friends never get tired of even the most minute of your thoughts and daily details. They care about you 24/7, and are always there for you when you need to talk. Just think of Leslie and Ann from Parks and Rec!
  3. Your girlfriends are a constant source of feminine feminism- Any time you need it, your best friends provide an environment of female empowerment. You stick together, and stand  up for your fellow ladies- a sacred bond your best friends will never break!
  4. No one can match how crazy they are about you- Feeling down? Feeling like your new haircut is just a little too 1986, instead of 2016? Never fear! Your best friends are always there to shower you in a waterfall of all the great things about you. Having that kind of source for validation and constant support is vital for making sure we keep from getting lonely- and your girlfriends are there to make sure you know how great you are!
  5. Your best friends just get you- From the sleepovers in fourth grade to the teenaged coffee dates, girlfriends have seen you through it all. They know what makes you tick, and they love you for it. Those close, deep relationships in which you feel understood are indispensable for making sure you stay happy. Thank your best friends for being the peas in your pod!

Tips for College-Bound High School Juniors

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The new school year has begun! I am a few weeks into my junior year in high school, and as excited as I am to head to college, I know there is still a lot left for me to do. If you are like me, then check out these important tips!

  1. Prepare for and take standardized tests- Colleges almost always require, or at least recommend, taking the SAT and/or ACT. Make sure to sign up for them! And Google a prep class in your area, buy a prep book, or use some of the many resources online specifically for standardized test preparation. It is one of the most important parts of your resume. Ask your school counselors if you should take SAT Subject Tests, and where to begin in that process.
  2. Research the specifics about different colleges- Decide what it is you are interested in, then use that to see which schools have good programs for it. From there, decide what it is about a university that is important to you: is it Greek life, location, school size, sports, religious affiliation, or campus design? Look for a school that has what you want,  then see if you are a candidate for financial aid or scholarships. Use junior year to do all this research, because in the summer and fall of senior year you will apply.
  3. Get involved- If you have not been as involved outside the classroom as you could have been, use the time you still have in high school to find a club on campus or an organization in your community to get involved in. Colleges like to see a well-rounded student, not just one with great grades and scores.

This is a super exciting time, so enjoy the rest of high school. It takes work to be the best candidate you can be, though, don’t get discouraged!

You can find some links for SAT and ACT preparation on my Resources page.

I’m with her!

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Last night, Hillary Clinton made history when she became the first woman to accept the presidential nomination from a major party. The Democratic National Convention saw many passionate speeches from such strong women as Michelle Obama, America Ferrera, Lena Dunham, Chelsea Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Sarah Silverman, Elizabeth Banks, and Meryl Streep. President Obama, Bill Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden also spoke.

While each speaker was inspiring, none had a moment quite as moving as Hillary’s ceiling-shattering acceptance speech. Seeing the first woman nominated for president by a major party made me feel like the future for women in this country is going to be stronger and brighter than we had ever imagined. Every time a speaker said, “I’m with her,” it was a blow to the glass ceiling that has restricted women from equality for so long. And listening to Hillary’s acceptance speech embodied the empowerment for women that she has produced with her campaign.

This year has been one of firsts for the United States. The first time someone with no political experience or qualification whatsoever has been nominated for president by a major party, and by the other the first woman has been nominated. Be a part of history, and go vote! And if you are not yet old enough to vote, you can still be a part of the process! Volunteer in your area for the campaign of the candidate you support!

To quote one of my favorite artists, Lin Manuel-Miranda: History has its eyes on you. So, help the United States make history and make progress- vote for Hillary! I’m with her, are you?

Here are some of the incredible speeches from the Democratic National Convention:

Hillary’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOmwVXDdKRM

Michelle Obama’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaKju-TrEmU

Bill Clinton’s speechhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RchVnIn_-Y

Chelsea Clinton’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Viu9agKuk

Joe Biden’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mADPwsjD_E

President Barack Obama’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98R-H6mBXSM

Meyrl Streep’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSUcqob2OKA

Elizabeth Warren’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0EsVKS4ADw

Sarah Silverman’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RjF1ziPuIA

Bernie Sanders’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rtXaPV5SYM

America Ferrera and Lena Dunham’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESfEGz1QFts

Elizabeth Banks’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XniV1osgHM

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The USA’s Rio Team!

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Some exciting news from the USA’s Olympic front: Of the 555-member United States Olympic team for this year’s Rio Games, 292 of them are women. This is a record-breaking number, marking the most women to compete on behalf of a nation in history.

Be sure to watch the Olympics, cheer on your team, and give a round of applause to the USA for making such history!

For more information about Team USA 2016, check out my Resources page.