To capture a firm understanding of the effects of Cuba’s Revolution on Cuban Americans, I decided to first explore the history of Cuban migration to the U.S. and the dynamics within Cuban American communities established in the U.S.. In the last three weeks, I focused my research on specific historical conditions that induced waves of Cubans to leave their country, the social makeup of the Cuban population involved in different migration movements, and potential factors that caused divisions within Cuban American communities. This blog post and the following one will be devoted to sharing my interpretation of the Cuban Revolution and Castro’s Communist rule through the lens of Cuban Americans. Continue reading
I changed the name of my nonprofit from Project G.I.R.L to The Girl Narrative this previous summer 2018, and I don’t think I could have made a better decision for my business.
For the first 4 months of being Project G.I.R.L, things were going as any new business was going; we were beginning to build our foundation, our audience, and our marketing plan for the future. Later on, there were several issues that presented themselves that caused me to seriously reconsider our name.
1. Project G.I.R.L is great…but it’s generic
a. When I really got to thinking about it, When you hear the name Project G.I.R.L, you have no idea what we do, who we are, or what our goals are. It is beautiful and fantastic but is overall too generic. When you are building the foundation of your business there are two incredibly important things you need to have: consistency and clarity.
2. There were other organizations that had similar names
a. I remember when I was interviewing Gauri Kapoor, CEO and founder of the after-school program The Girl and I (read our article about her daughter in the program here!), she got confused because she tried to look us up, but found another nonprofit organization. This was also not a one-time-incident. We were constantly confused with other organizations that sounded similar or had similar elements to Project G.I.R.L
3. Our message wasn’t clear
a. This is the biggest reason that we changed our name. Project G.I.R.L tells you nothing about what we want to achieve or why we are important. You would be able to guess that we had something to do with young female empowerment, but other than that, you would have no idea what we do.
The Girl Narrative is unique, our own, and clearly states what we do. We TELL the Girl Narrative. We tell the stories of strong young women to inspire girls to be limitless. Now, with our new name, our partners like March Against Revenge Porn, Nonprofit Jenni, Live Girl (and more!), our audience, and our future customers (HINT! HINT!) will be able to find us, know us, and connect with us better. It doesn’t make it effortless, running a business is never effortless, but it does make things a little easier.
CEO and Founder of
Kapoor, Gauri. “Home.” The Girl And I, http://www.thegirlandi.com/.
Schoenborn, Sabrina “Mahika Chopra.” The Girl Narrative,
Juliett, Leah. “#MARCH AGAINST REVENGE PORN.” March Against Revenge Porn,
Hargrove, Jenni. “Home.” Nonprofit Jenni, http://www.nonprofitjenni.com/.
West, Sheri. “Home.” LiveGirl, golivegirl.org/.
Schoenborn, Sabrina “Home.” The Girl Narrative, http://www.thegirlnarrative.com/.
In the past two weeks, I continued my learning on First Order Linear Differential Equations. In this blog, I will focus on the Bank Account Model. If you find this blog is interesting and would like to learn more from my primary source, please go here.
Bank Account Model:
When you are putting money into your bank account, what would you care about the most? While I guess the answer for me and many will be the interest. So in this model, we will look at the logarithm behind the (theoretical) interest system. Continue reading
Running a business has truly been a test of patience. Being told no all day every day is exhausting, there is no way around that. It feels as if there is only a descent. As someone who was expecting some ups and downs, it was a harsh reality to realize that, for most of my process, it has been a straight descent. Continue reading
With the end of the year approaching, I’m thinking back on what I set my original goal to be for this project. I knew I had a passion for learning about the reasoning behind people’s actions, and why socially aggressive behaviors exist among us. This prompted me to shoot for two things: a deeper understanding of social aggression and related topics, and to make any kind of change within my own community. Continue reading
For my project, the accomplishments have been minor so far. I have been sitting in on eighth grade classrooms and observing the nature of the class and interactions between teacher and student. I have stepped in a few times to give input to students on how their work is.
In the future, I will be finding time to go into lower school, primarily fourth and fifth grade to do what I have been doing which is observing and helping out with certain assignments and activities. Also, with eighth grade, I will be attempting to lead discussions in the book they’re reading.
I don’t see any adjustments there need to be to achieve my goal, because my goal is to gain the experience of being in the classroom and what the roll of being a teacher is like.
Have you ever noticed how many girls and women, when complimented, will immediately deny it or deflect it back to the other person? It often looks something like this:
“Your hair looks so good today!”
“Ugh, are you kidding? It’s so flat. I wish mine looked more like yours…”
I think many people can admit to using this tactic. I hadn’t even realized the commonality of it until just recently when I overheard a couple of girls in the bathroom at school. Initially, their tones could have been mistaken for an argument; they were bantering back and forth while simultaneously inspecting their own bodies and faces in the mirror. As I took a closer listen to their conversation, I realized they were talking back and forth about who looked worse that day. They weren’t claiming that they looked better than the other, but the opposite. It was as if they were partaking in a competition of inferiority and self-hate. After reflecting on it for a bit, I wondered why girls believe that in order to bond with one another or build each other up, they must first tear themselves down.
Responding to compliments can be tricky and even awkward. We can all agree to that. But in the situation of a girl receiving a compliment, it is very difficult for her to respond in a way that will resinate positively with everyone. If she responds by denying the compliment or deflecting it back onto the other, she may often be perceived as though she is fishing for more compliments from the other person, or an ‘attention seeker’. If the response goes the other way, and she responds with a smile and a ‘thank you’, an acknowledgement that she agrees with them, she runs the risk of being called conceited or overly confident. This is one of the many times in which girls just cannot win; they are constantly bombarded with contradicting messages of how they should act in a society. Where does this complicated situation originate?
It may be possible that this negative self talk is just another repercussion caused from an overly critical society. It’s a historical fact that women who make the choice to carry themselves confidently and acknowledge their own success or positive qualities have been tormented by a patriarchal society, fueled by intimidation and insecurity. Not only have men been known to fear a woman who does not carry herself like she is inferior to him, but for centuries, women have attempted to tear down the one at the top, due to jealousy of escaping the social norm of being silenced and modest. Women are simply held to higher standards by society; Pew Research Center states that 50% of people believe that women’s higher expectations in the work field is considered one of the major barriers for women’s success (Pew Social Trends: Obstacles to Female Leadership). Self confident women have been feared and hated forever possibly due to the fact that they refuse to carry out the expectations set onto them by others, either in a work or social setting. It is human nature for girls and women to feel as though it is their responsibility to prove that they are the self-critical, modest beings that society has so long told us we have to be to prevent being targeted.
What’s so flawed about this system is that it is promoting the vicious cycle of inequality for women. On the surface, this game of who-can-pity-herself-more may seem completely harmless. It even may boost the ego of the other person involved who is hearing her compliments being dished right back towards her. However, every time we make even a small comment laced with self hate, we are doing a disservice to woman as a whole. If all of us continue to encompass a mindset that we will be unable to bond with others or succeed without first cutting ourselves down, we will be taking two steps back for every step forward.
So instead of giving in to this toxic urge to shame, hate, and compare ourselves to others, try looking at it from another perspective: ask yourself, why do I feel the need to criticize myself right now? Who is this benefiting? Once we realize that comparing and competing with others over qualities that we should be celebrating is not bringing women together, but instead supporting a longstanding patriarch in which women are unable to embrace their true greatness, we will be taking one step closer to breaking the system. So next time you hear a compliment, resist that urge to deny it. We are beautiful, and we all deserve to be able to embrace that.
– Liv, 3/7
“Chapter 3: Obstacles to Female Leadership.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 14 Jan. 2015, http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/01/14/chapter-3-obstacles-to-female-leadership/.
This week was busy in both the lives of the students and the teachers. I noticed that everyone was rather stressed with the presentations of 8th grade’s work. However, I also noticed that within all this stress, there was a sort of ease that the students used to keep themselves focused on their work. Continue reading
This week, I furthered my research on the science behind the Creation of Patriarchy, and continued to take notes and conduct a summary. I also finished reading about the story of Helen of Troy, who is to be my Greek female “leader.” Though her physical being was not essentially real, her message still was. In Greek Mythology, as well as in Ancient Mythology, for that matter, women played an extremely important role. Religion was, arguably, the pinnacle of life for nearly everyone in Ancient times. The religion and the myths were explanations of the way things worked, like Ra from Ancient Egypt Mythology pulling the sun up every morning. I am almost done developing my “family” tree for Mythological Greek Gods, but as I go on, I find the process being slowed because I am so fascinated by what I find. Every time that I write one person’s name down after researching them, such as Ares, and I get busy looking at the next God/Goddess affiliated with them. Continue reading
Throughout this semester, I have continued to build the infrastructure of my organization – which manifests in multiple ways.
First, I have been working meticulously to clarify and focus the organization’s message and mission statement. I want my organization to be laser focused and understood by at a glance from the general public. After a few more revisions, new pages on my website with a Theory of Change, updated mission, and supporting information will be uploaded.
Networking and partnerships have also played a large role in this semester. I worked to secure my first endorsement for my legislation and first official partner. I have also been reaching out to various people in the field and introducing myself. I want to build as many relationships and coalitions as possible.
Media coverage and digital momentum has been another area of focus. I already secured multiple articles through reaching out to journalists with more yet to be published (the biggest and most exciting from VICE). Many of these articles focused on my story because it is unique that I am in high school, yet still pursuing this work. Part of what drives media attention is my story, so that’s why I’ve also been building my own branding. I cleaned up my online presence and expanded my digital horizons.
This is just a sample of my Semester work. So far I have had a very successful and productive start to the Independent Seminar and I look forward to the rest of the year.