Many people sacrificed time and energy to ensure that I was constantly learning, exploring, and believing in myself. I am forever grateful for their support. My goal with GLOW is to provide the same opportunities, confidence and resources, so that a whole new generation of women can feel as empowered as I have felt. Through giving, I have met my closest friends and am constantly inspired.
Profession: Nonprofit Founder and Executive Director of Boston GLOW, Workforce Readiness Program Manager
What inspired you to start GLOW?:
The idea for GLOW started when I was living and studying in Namibia. As part of my gender studies thesis abroad, I taught a health and sexuality class for high school aged girls living in a post-Apartheid township (where the HIV rate is over 20%…hence the health class). This was the first gender-specific class the girls had ever experienced, and many asserted that it was the first time they had ever participated in class at all. As part of the class, each girl had to write about their self identity and their future. Girls who lived in a culture ten years post-Apartheid rule, often without electricity and rarely with a healthy diet, were writing about their dreams of becoming community leaders. However, more than once the students had expressed that these were “just dreams.” The students never believed these opportunities were available to them and thus held these aspirations in secret. The goal was to make them feel like these dreams could become a reality.
What was the first charitable gift you gave?:
The very first charitable gift I remember making was in elementary school. I collected pennies to help save the rain-forest I was inspired to do so after visiting the Museum of Science and learning about how many species we could possibly still discover. At the age of seven, I couldn’t imagine losing the rain-forest. Luckily, in my adult life, I’ve visited multiple rainforests, and while my ziplock bag of pennies may not have made a significant impact, I was glad to see the rain-forests still standing, due to the collective efforts and campaigns of many people around the world.
What is your charity of choice?:
GLOW is my cause of choice! I have a passion for any organization that empowers women and girls and also strongly believe in causes that bridge international communities and foster intercultural dialogue. Hostelling International, an organization that focuses on travel and global citizenship, and helping smaller start-up nonprofits, specifically lead by female entrepreneurs will always be important to me. Organizations like Cooking Up Cultures that explores culture and communication through cooking is a great example.
What motivates you to give?:
Throughout my life, I have been very lucky. I watched my parents work tirelessly to provide opportunities for me when they had neither the money or the resources to easily do so. They taught me never to say no to an opportunity and that I had immense talents to offer the world. Many people sacrificed time and energy to ensure that I was constantly learning, exploring, and believing in myself. I am forever grateful for their support. My goal with GLOW is to provide the same opportunities, confidence and resources, so that a whole new generation of women can feel as empowered as I have felt. Through giving, I have met my closest friends and am constantly inspired.
How do you give your time?:
Boston GLOW is 100% volunteer-run, and I am very proud to say that our volunteers contribute enough hours to the organization to count for 4 Full-Time staff members. This includes organizing meetings, performances, conferences, and mentoring the organization’s Girl Leaders. It shows how giving time is just as important as giving money!
I also give my time as a lead organizer of a new project – Cleopatra To Coretta that will bring together female journalists from the US and Egypt to highlight positive stories of women around the globe.
What advice do you have to others considering to give?:
Whenever I connect with people, they tell me they’ve been waiting for an opportunity to get involved with a good cause. My advice is don’t wait. Think about what you’re passionate about, what makes your heart beat a little bit faster, and get involved. You don’t have to give a significant amount to feel connected, and no matter how busy you feel, when you give or volunteer, you have the opportunity to connect. You may learn skills you never knew you had, meet friends, or connect with the next step in your career!