Women Like Us Foundation supports women’s leadership for Gender Equality and Social Justice in the areas of Sex Trafficking, Homelessness and Education. It is the purpose of our blogs to create awareness of the work of women and the impact they are making on the world.
Preying on Innocence
Knowing that teen pregnancy and suicide have skyrocketed propels me forward to fight for them…One Girl at a Time.
I have often been called an advocate for teen girls. I love that label; however, I am truly an advocate for ALL women. I believe a woman’s strength, compassion, and ability to find the best in people enables females to empower one another. For so long now, we have been, in a sense, brainwashed. We have allowed the media and workplace to determine our personal sense of self-worth. We have been programmed to believe that pink is our color of choice. We have been told that we can become nurses, but not doctors.
We have digested the misconception that we must all aesthetically emulate supermodels to be seen as beautiful. Though I believe our society has sought to make strides for the benefit of the female, in many ways we have not. I come from a generation where leading career opportunities were left for men, despite the fact that a household required two incomes to forge ahead. There’s a silent understanding that the mother will take care of the family, support her husband as head of the household, and be successful in her career, as well. For generations, we have battled this expectation of the modern female, while also facing societal struggles of idealistic stereotyping.
Even one girl makes a difference
I started the One Girl at a Time Program because I knew one thing for sure: If I started with one, that would create impact, and that would help her to be strong and raise her children to be wise and empowered. And if that grew to thousands, how wonderful would that be? I have seen young women who once bowed their head in shame and guilt soon hold their chin high, because they realized they had a gift. They had experiences they could share, love to give and arms to hold those who needed them. We all need this—we just need to learn the power it has to created change.
So many of our young women in One Girl at a Time have said, “I am only me.” But by focusing on them as amazing already, by offering them the tools to make good decisions, their confidence flourishes. These confident young women lead. They fight for justice. They dream bigger and they believe they can have impact to better the world. Why? Because we, as role models who simply can, cared enough about them to uplift them, to share what we know and pass it along. Girls have said to me, “I never knew so many girls were stressed out like me and had the pressures I do; so many have problems at home or have faced the hardships I have. I understand I am not alone. I don’t want this program to be over.”
I say to them, “Oh, honey, it’s not over: it’s just beginning.” Teach our young women their strengths and they will take flight. Enable them to be brave and bold and it will cause a ripple effect on the world in all areas of need. We have to fight for our youth. Sex trafficking in the United States is just below drug sales as the most profitable criminal activity. Knowing that teen pregnancy and suicide have skyrocketed propels me forward to fight for them… One Girl at a Time!
Deb Myers is the National Director of the One Girl at a Time Program for the Women Like Us Foundation. Learn how you can get involved in this program and help make a difference in teen girls lives in your community.