The #MeToo campaign can surely be applicable to a lot of phases in a young American girls life. Satra Zurita, the District President of the Compton Unified School district is taking that step to let young girls within her educational region know that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to accomplishing, under any circumstances. Last week on the day that the United Nations declared a national holiday, International Day of The Girl – Wed Oct 17th, in partnership with a non-profit, Global G.L.O.W., Compton Unified School district unveiled a floor-to-ceiling mural representing girls of the world. The picture represents a diversity of five girls; at the center is a rosy cheeked girl in a yellow head wrap, to her right is a blond haired girl and the left, dark haired girl with glasses. One each end is a dark skinned girl with dark hair and another dark haired girl before what looks like seeds sprouting leaves and fruit. The words “Hope, Curiosity, Kindness, and Friendship at etched above the faces as resounding words to live by. The mural will be housed and on display at the Bunche Middle School in Compton, where at the unveiling ceremony included speakers that support and give voice to the Girl power in the Los Angeles area. Women like Satra Zurita, President, Compton Unified School Board who spoke on the importance of women sticking together. Ms. Zurita has been instrumental in partnering with Global GLOW to produce a campaign entitled “HerStory” that empowers them to flourish in their communities. The HerStory Campaign works in partnership with a vast network of grassroots organizations that educate and inspire girls to develop the confidence they need to write their own stories and drive towards a future full of limitless possibilities.
Program Manager, Michelle Turner, oversees the programs in Compton and Long Beach. She’s largely responsible for recruiting girls the program, finding sites to house the programs, create partnerships and building community relationships as well as, making sure they programs are staffed. “I think that these programs are pivotal in the Compton and Long Beach areas because the arts are being removed from the schools,” believes Michelle. “Although programs vary from week to week, we are able to bring mentors from the community that are pre or post college grads. They are able to connect because they went to the same middle and elementary schools. They bring the gap. All of our mentors are in their early to mid-20s and they are there to talk to the kids about day to day troubles, they also are their to encourage theme to share their thoughts, tell their own stories and simply build up the girls, through a variety of activities.
Although at the very beginning of the program, it’s made a huge impact just in the past few months. “Global G.L.O.W.’s HerStory Campaign has already made a tremendous impact on many of our girls. We have seen their self-confidence grow and a their minds open to new possibilities for their futures,” said Satra Zurita. “We look forward to expanding Global G.L.O.W.’s HerStory programming to more schools next year and to watching this first generation of Compton Glow Girls achieve success.”
G.L.O.W. programs are taught every week, on Mondays at Jefferson Elementary in Compton from 2:30-4:30pm and Tuesdays at Bunche Middle School from 3-5pm, Gonzalez Park Rec Center from 3-5pm and Thursdays at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in Long Beach from 2:30 – 6:15pm and Roosevelt Elementary in Long Beach from 1:30-3:30pm.
“We are absolutely delighted to be expanding in the Compton Unified School District this school year. We met several of Compton’s ambitious, dynamic girls this summer when they attended our college readiness HerStory Summit at UC Irvine. The energy and excitement these girls had about the program motivated us to strengthen our partnership with Compton Unified School District to reach many more girls this year,” said Kylie Schuyler, Founder and CEO of Global G.L.O.W. “Our goal is that this mural, made by and for girls, will be a constant reminder to girls from Bunche Middle School and all girls who see it, that strong girls are foundational for flourishing communities.”
All of Global G.L.O.W.’s current programming for girls, locally in Compton is part of this global initiative for girls. For more information, please visit www.globalgirlsglow.org.