By Caroline Cioffi and Meera Srivansan (LiveGirl High School Mentors)
Who inspires you? It is important to identify role models who you admire, learn from them, and emulate their positive traits. These are some women who have inspired us in 2017. We can’t wait to see what amazing things these trailblazing women will accomplish in 2018!
Astronaut Sally Ride on why role models matter: "Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.”
Aside from being an amazingly talented singer, dancer, and actress, Beyoncé Knowles’ character and passion for empowering women and young girls alike make her an incredible role model for all of us. Throughout her career, Beyoncé has proven herself to be one of the most driven, hard-working, and focused women in her field; many credit her enormous success to her ability to keep pushing herself to be the best she can be. Despite juggling her music career and being a wife and mother, Beyoncé still finds time to speak out and advocate for women all around the world. It’s role models like Beyoncé who truly allow us to see that girls DO run the world.
To us, no one represents the STRONG, fierce, and determined woman we all strive to be better than Serena Williams. Serena has been ranked #1 in women’s tennis singles 8 times in the past 15 years, holding an astounding 23 Grand Slam titles. Her passion and determination both on and off the court inspire all women to be the strongest and most successful versions of ourselves each and every day. To achieve this goal, Serena started her own foundation through which she advocates for equality in education as well as victims of violence, in order to ensure that others have the same chance to be as successful as she has been. In her own words, “The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up.”
Her gifted sense of humor, ever-present optimism, and passion for feminism are just a few of the traits that make us LOVE Ellen. There is no better example of a woman who is so willingly open, even on national television, and never afraid to show people her true self. Ellen advocates for equality of gender, race, and sexuality, believing that every girl around the world is amazing and important and should be treated accordingly. A trailblazer for women and girls everywhere, Ellen is never afraid to speak up for injustices. She highlights the inner-beauty of others and reminds us, through her example, that being our different, unique selves is just about the best gift we can give to the world.
Simon Biles exudes brilliance wherever she is; whether getting ready for the Olympics or attending a press conference, her positivity on and off the balance beam is inspiring to girls everywhere. At just 20 years old, she is currently the best gymnast in the world and has broken several records. Besides her incredible accomplishments as an athlete, Simone’s persistence continues to defy the odds and spark hope in every young athletes’ mind. After suffering several injuries as a gymnast, she continued on in pursuit of her dreams. Biles is also the first black American woman to win an all-around Olympic title. She truly is the modern day example of what every young girl can be - strong, powerful and determined.
As the youngest female soccer player to be drafted onto the USA team in 2011, Alex Morgan is undoubtedly one of the best athletes to play the game. After being honored with FIFA World Player of the Year in 2012, Morgan began to bring light to the gender-wage gap in American sports. Her courage and unwillingness to accept injustice has inspired millions of girls and athletes to stand up for their rights as well as brought about change within the US women's soccer team. Using her social media platform as an outlet, Alex has been the voice for women's sports and the unequal system in place. Her determination for change has shown girls that, no matter what the circumstances, all you need is courage in order to create change.
In a globally male-dominated field, Angela Merkel shines as one of the most influential leaders of our time. She has been the Chancellor of Germany for over 15 years and is frequently regarded as the “leader of the free world”. Her persistence in key issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis and healthcare has lead to worldwide changes in how countries deal with their policies. Despite the fact that, at times, she may be the only woman in a room full of men, Merkel never fails in speaking up for what she knows is right. She is the definition of modern bravery and shows that girls can do anything no matter what the odds. As both a powerful speaker and leader, she goes to show that women have the power to change the world.
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