Summer, a time when you’re not bound by having to go to school, and you get more freedom to pursue the things you LOVE or feel PASSIONATELY about. For some, it’s all about getting through that stack of books on their bedside table; for others, it’s about spending time with their friends and families. We caught up with some STRONG Girls to find our how they spent their time over the summer.
When the topic of depression is brought up, most people either avoid it, as they don’t know what to say, or misinterpret what it actually means to be depressed. Before last March of 2018, I was one of the people who misinterpreted the meaning, which is one of my biggest regrets. I used to think that depression meant that someone was upset and isolated themselves all the time. I now know that depression can be experienced in waves and is not always a constant emotion. Also, I learned that a person diagnosed with depression can have many friends, and still experience feelings of severe sadness and dejection. Acknowledging what depression entails not only benefits your own well-being, but also prepares you to step into someone’s life when necessary.
All those who watched the U.S. Open women’s final match were probably struck with a range of emotions. For those that did not watch, this was not your average tennis match. Serena Williams was first given a warning for possible coaching, then had a point taken away for breaking her racket, a US Open Code Violation. Williams, still upset about the accusal of being coached earlier, said to the umpire, “How dare you question my character. I've never cheated in my life.” and proceeded to call him a “thief” for which she received a game penalty for verbal abuse. Her opponent, Naomi Osaka, played an exceptional game, and despite being given one point and one game, fought with everything she had the rest of the match and went on to defeat her idol Serena Williams in the U.S. Open 2018 Women’s Final.
Mass shootings have become all too commonplace in the US in the past two decades. As students, the names Columbine, Sandy Hook, and now Parkland are probably firmly etched in your psyche. Many of you were young when 26 young children and their educators were killed in Newtown, CT, in 2012. But you’ll undoubtedly remember this past February 14th, Valentine’s Day, when 17 people were killed and 17 more were injured at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Most recently, just as STRONG was going to print, 10 people were killed at Santa Fe High School in Texas.
For many years large groups of adults across the US have been voicing their disgust, calling for our lawmakers to protect our citizens and to do something about the growing gun epidemic. But there is also a large group of Americans who want to protect their right to own guns. Gun control is a political issue in the US, and one that people on both sides of the argument feel passionately about. The result has been stagnation.
But now, finally, it feels as though change may be in the air. Following the Parkland shooting, students descended on Washington, D.C., to #Marchforourlives. Huge numbers of young people also took to the streets in sibling marches around the country. The marches were among the biggest youth led marches since the Vietnam War era with numbers in D.C. alone estimated to be as high as 800,000.
Students around the country also participated in a national walkout. Exactly one month after the Parkland Shooting, students walked out of class for 17 minutes, to honor those who lost their lives.
Their message? It shouldn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, or if you like to hunt or shoot for sport or not.
EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE IN A WORLD FREE OF GUN VIOLENCE
For us girls, school can be a stressful time- especially those first few days. The years surrounding middle school to high school are the years in which we begin to figure ourselves out. We want to hold a strong first impression when we first arrive, especially as incoming freshmen when you are starting school in a new place with new people. Read more from Tori Macchi, LiveGirl High School Mentor.
Recently in the past year, Alana has taken the next step that many artists have to take: getting the ideas onto paper and out of your head: “After recording, I've been more like writing and developing, and recording more….I can go on my phone and listen to and be like hey that's me or that's mine and I wrote that it's kind of really really fulfilling.”
In a world where women account for only 19% of Congress and 4.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs, LiveGirl founder Sheri West believes it is more important than ever to empower the next generation of female leaders. Mrs. West kicked off the week with a reflection on many of the women who supported her throughout her life and she hopes Camp LiveGirl provided the same inspiration to each of the 140 campers.
As a 22-year-old recent college graduate, Maddy has just finished her teaching certification in PA with second grade and is currently a full-time principal speaker for Sunrise Movement. Maddy travels across the country to interact with young people and discuss the current political system in our country.
These past months, I have been listening to “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye. The poem brings me back to many events that changed the way I perceived the world. It was transformational in retrospect and kindness becomes the only story that I want to listen to and bounce back with when facing challenges.
At this point, you’re imagining senior year Abby as a total Boss. She is so much cooler and smarter than you. She has gone through a major weight loss, grown, and is going to her first choice school. She’s a social butterfly who crushed high school. Mainly, you hope that she is everything you are not.
While many other 15-year-olds spent last summer relaxing at the pool or on vacation with their families, Tabitha underwent extensive back surgery to treat her scoliosis, a disorder that causes your spine to curve abnormally. Tabitha has come through her surgery and is making a fantastic recovery thanks to a great attitude and the support of her family and close friends.
When I was a young girl, I always had so much to say, but never knew how to say it. For some reason, I was so scared to speak my mind. Now that I’m older, I have found my voice and I am no longer afraid to use it. It took me a while to realize the power I had within myself, but now that I realize how impactful my words are, no one can silence me.