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GirlForward girls and Girl Scouts from countries around the world at an event earlier this year.

We know – it’s tough to be a girl sometimes. But there are those few and fun moments when it rocks! Today is the International Day of the Girl, created by the United Nations, and this is our special excuse to spread the love to our sisters around the world. Day of the Girl is a celebration of accomplishments of girls around the world, and an agreement to join their efforts in creating better lives for all. Today is a day for us to think about what we as girls want to see happen within our lifetime and how we are going to contribute to these goals. Here’s a few ways that I’m reflecting on this day:

Keep it real role models!

Recently I did a class project that involved reaching out to a person who is a role model in my life. Sometimes when we get stuck we forget to reflect on people who inspire us and help us grow. My class assignment allowed me to really think about someone who has left a lasting impact on me, and has challenged me to think about things in a different way. I decided to reach out to a woman named Trista Harris who has done some pretty cool things. I simply sent her an e-mail to let her know that I was still thinking about an informational interview that I conducted with her back when I was in high school. This exercise reminded me that it is so important to tell people that we appreciate them! If we don’t say anything, they’ll never know how they have made an impact on us. My challenge for you on this Day of the Girl is tell someone you appreciate them and why. It’s the simplest way to make someone’s day!

Am I better today than I was yesterday?

To be quite honest, thinking about the future often gives me a minor anxiety attack. This being said, the only thing that seems to calm me down is creating to-do lists, and thinking about some achievable goals. It so easy to get in the rhythm of our schedules and forget to think about how we are progressing. This year on Day of the Girl, I am going to pledge to take it slow and ask myself, “am I better today than I was yesterday? If not, what can I change?” This will help relieve the unbearable stress of trying to achieve every goal on my list immediately, and allow me to think about my decisions of the day and how I am growing. Try it out!

Girls doing good

This year on Day of the Girl, I wanted to take a few seconds to see what girls around the world are doing to promote justice in their communities. This week the world was inspired by the courage of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai from Mingora, Pakistan. As the daughter of a school owner and education activist, Malala began advocating for women’s education at a very young age. In 2009, when the Taliban invaded the Swat Valley, Malala began writing a blog for the BBC that chronicled her life under the Taliban’s regime and their ban against girl’s education. As her words resonated with women all around the world the Taliban began to search for the courageous voice behind the anonymous name – “grief stricken” – that Malala used to sign her blog. The Taliban finally found Malala earlier this week on her school bus and shot her in the neck and head in a tragic assassination attempt. The world is in awe of Malala’s strength and perseverance as she struggles to recover from the wounds that nearly took her life. Malala’s story is proof that it is never too young to empower and educate young women, and that each girl has the power to make a difference in her community. This year on Day of the Girl, I challenge you to learn someone else’s story of courage.

I have been chatting with my fellow GirlForward interns about what we want to see happen in our community for future Day of the Girl extravaganzas. We would love to see this entire city come together for a celebration for Day of the Girl every year. If you want to help out, or if you would like to promote your city, sign this pledge!

Obviously, at GirlForward every day is Day of the Girl. But it is great to see so many people and organizations come together today to lift up girls around the world.

– Temi Famodu, Outreach Intern