Hi! I’m Emily Harwell from Tampa, Florida. I was a 2011-2012 Girl Up Teen Advisor and I am currently a co-chair for the 2012-2013 Teen Advisor class. I’m 16 years old and a junior at Berkeley Preparatory School.
Girls’ and women’s rights and international development are some of my biggest passions. I was chosen as one of 50 AnnPower/Vital Voices fellows in 2012 and attended a leadership conference hosted by Vital Voices, a nonprofit that promotes women’s leadership in developing countries, where I learned leadership skills from some of the world’s premier female leaders. I also sit on my school’s Community Service Council, which helps plan school-wide community service events and provides the administration with feedback regarding the community service program. Last year, I received my school’s Award for Service to School and Community for completing the most community service hours in my grade.
In addition to doing community service work, I love to write. I am the production editor for my school’s newspaper, a writer for tb-two* - a student-led newspaper published by the Tampa Bay Times, and work extensively with my school’s writing center. Outside of school, I like to read, travel, volunteer, and do pilates.
My enthusiasm for global women’s issues was ignited when I read the book Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof. I couldn’t believe some of the things I read about what girls in developing countries face on a regular basis, and I knew that there had to be a way that I could help. Through Girl Up, I got an opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of girls just like me but who are not fortunate enough to have the same opportunities I do.
As a Teen Advisor, I have given a speech at a fundraising event, represented Girl Up at a professional baseball game, been interviewed on Radio Disney, worked with the media to get coverage for Girl Up, created a proposal for the Teen Advisor alumni program, and much more.
I have gained so much knowledge and so many skills because of my time with Girl Up, and I am thrilled to be back to help lead the 2012-2013 Teen Advisor class!