Hi, I'm Annie Gersh and I'm a 9th grader at Marlborough School in Los Angeles, Calif. I participate on my school’s cross country team, and debate team.
This past year, I made it to Nationals for middle school debate. Additionally, I am in the process of forming a Youth Advisory Board for my local congressman. In my free time, I enjoy running, hiking and traveling.
I have always had a passion for philanthropy. I collected nearly 1,000 books in my community and started a library at the school in Newark, N.J. where my sister teaches.
I became inspired to help my counterparts in developing countries when I attended a Girl Up event that featured Queen Rania of Jordan. She gave an inspirational speech and I was blown away to learn that there are girls just like me who lack the opportunities which I have always taken for granted.
For instance, I never realized that some girls my age can’t go to school because they spend hours a day retrieving clean water, or that girls my age are forced to get married to men two or three times their age. It is almost unimaginable to me.
As a Teen Advisor, I held a mother-daughter tea, a movie night, and a bake sale. I have also spoken at private events and conferences on behalf of the campaign. I recently participated in Girl Up’s Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., where I led a workshop about event planning. While in D.C.
I had the opportunity to meet with congressional representatives to advocate on behalf of the Stop Child Marriage Act. I've also led an active Girl Up club at my school.
As a Teen Advisor, I’ve gained more confidence and knowledge about the issues on which Girl Up focuses.