Yesterday, Girl Up kicked off our Unite for Girls Tour and our campaign launch in New York City with our first pep rally, hosted at the Vanderbilt YMCA. Along with hundreds of inspired, energized girls, we all got to hang out with two of our Champions, actress Victoria Justice and fashion photographer and author Nigel Barker!
The pep rally was fun, exciting, and educational – all the things we were hoping for – and we were so thrilled to hear the girls tell us as they were leaving that they learned how their sisters in developing countries live on a daily basis. Here’s how it worked: girls arrived at the event, and took their photo for their Girl Up Passport. They then moved on to get their picture taken for Girl Up magazine, and headed up to our country stations, where they played games and interacted with each other to learn about the lives of girls in Malawi, Liberia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala, the countries where Girl Up is funding programs to help girls. They wrapped up with the United States station where they heard how they can unite with other girls to make a difference. Another cool stop on the journey – they got to write a letter to a girl in another country, and put it into a mailbox to be sent off!
Ok, and now for the part of the pep rally that we know the girls all loved most: the appearances by Victoria and Nigel! Both of our Champions are so inspiring – their passion for the issue and their devotion to helping girls feel empowered and motivated to be themselves and go after their dreams was very clear as they spoke to the girls. One girl asked Victoria: “If we help these girls in other countries, will we grow up to be as successul as you?” YES, was the emphatic answer from Victoria.
Missed the event? You can watch the entire livestream recording at girlup.org/live to see what a pep rally in your city might be like. For those who came out, thank you for coming, and thank you for your energy and enthusiasm! Also, a big thank you to our Champions, partners, school groups, and of course, the YMCA, for hosting us. Go team!
Check out our slideshow from the pep rally!