Class of 2019

Class of 2019

It seems like yesterday we came here aiming to foster the flames of curiosity that claimed our brains – ready to learn, to grow, to play the game. We became new people in this short time frame; identified passions with which to define our names; sought to remain our true selves, but never leave the world around us the same.

Classroom Confidence

Classroom Confidence

Some of the most frustrating moments in my life have been around situations where teachers have discredited me- my intelligence, my potential, my morals, my needs, my circumstances. A teacher should be someone whose mission every day when he or she goes into work each morning is to elevate. Elevate students to reach further, challenge themselves, and most importantly believe in their capability. I have had teachers who have exemplified this, and they have left a mark on my life that I will forever be grateful for. However, I have also had many unfortunate experiences of teachers who, consciously or not, have demeaned me. Instances such as teachers rolling their eyes at my opinions, opinions that they’ve asked for, sighing in response to a question, teachers who have grazed over my raised hand and called on solely my male peers.

I Belong to LiveGirl

I Belong to LiveGirl

I belong to LiveGirl.

I am eighteen years old- a young, Malaysian woman with immigrant parents. My idea of community before joining such an empowering, inclusive, female community was only between my mother and father. Growing up in The United States, I longed for that sense of belonging, that feeling of being fully accepted for who I am- as a person, not by my skin tone or the facade that existed when I feel like I needed to conceal my identity for the idea of being “American.”

I Used to Do Ballet

I Used to Do Ballet

I used to do ballet. I stuck my gangly legs into pink ballet tights for way longer than when it was cool, which ended around first grade. I was bad at ballet. Not quite bad enough to realize I was bad, but enough to be in the back of every performance. I loved it. I really did, all of the leaping (which is the one thing I was good at) and spinning (even though one time I smacked my instructor straight across the face while doing a pirouette circle by accident). But the one thing that I didn't like was how skinny everyone was.

Festivals From a Feminist Lens

Festivals From a Feminist Lens

Saturday, June 1st. The start of June, the welcoming of Summer, and the second day of Governors’ Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island in Manhattan. For months, the festival season was the only thing the student body talked about- it was our high school tradition. But, the thought of attending never crossed my mind. I preferred to stay in the comfort of my own home and scroll through my Instagram feed, mindlessly staring at all of the photos of my friends dancing to unreal music sets.

From LiveGirl to #GirlBoss

From LiveGirl to #GirlBoss

How one should go about cultivating a business idea (for profit or nonprofit) for social good:

There are a few key aspects that go into cultivating an idea for common good. I am creating a mobile application that will enable children and adults with special needs make friends. I will share with you what I learned from my experience.

A New Spin on New Years Resolutions. Relax.

A New Spin on New Years Resolutions. Relax.

Like many people, I really hate new years resolutions. There’s something about deciding to change your life starting on one specific day that scares me, that seems really daunting and impossible. Mostly I think it’s just because I don’t like being told what to do. I don’t like things being definite, being written down, telling myself, “Okay, here is what I have to do to feel good about myself and feel fulfilled.”

Every Girl Has the Right to be Confident

I first learned about LiveGirl through my friends, who, knowing I have always been passionate about gender equality and empowerment, helped me sign up for a monthly summit in my Junior year. To be completely honest, I was very nervous for that first leadership summit. I enjoy working with kids but I tend to get very nervous trying new things. I remember telling the other high school mentors to stick with me because I had no idea what to do. But once I got there, I immediately felt like I had found my community.

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER by STRONG Magazine

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER by STRONG Magazine

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.

We Need to Talk About This

We Need to Talk About This

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.

Champions of Compassion

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.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH by STRONG Magazine

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH by STRONG Magazine

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