On August 3, 2012, four amazing Girl Grant programs from around the country met at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia for a conference. During this long weekend, each group shared their ideas and what about it made it unique. Some groups focused solely on grant making while others had broader views that included more advocacy. Over all, each group brought something special to the table.
One thing that made the trip wonderful would be everything we were able to bring back from it. While there, we learned about what all the other groups did. We learned what worked for them, what didn’t, and suggestions that they had for us to try. We all, also, learned that our group was not the only group out there trying to make a change. Sometimes we feel secluded because there aren’t any other groups nearby that do exactly what we do, but discovering there were more out there made us feel less alone.
Although learning different ideas and ways of doing things was amazing, the best part of the trip would have to be the girls that attended. Each girl there was intelligent, determined, and ready to make a difference in our country’s young ladies. Some had even already started changing the way things are.
Among those young ladies already making a change, one special girl stood out from the
crowd. She was most noticed because she was doing something that one does not hear about young ladies doing often: pushing a bill through legislation. It all started at Girl Gov. (the name of her grant making group) where she wrote a bill that would make it possible to get a restraining order against someone, even if one had not been in a relationship with him/her or if they were not blood related. This was so important to her because she had been harassed herself. As she talked about the process, she explained how she pushed and pushed for a meeting with her state’s representative, and how, eventually, she was able to get a meeting scheduled. At the meeting, she explained to her representative why the bill was needed, and, in the end, they agreed to sponsor it. The bill is now in the process of getting more sponsors, and it will hopefully be voted on soon.
In the end, the conference was a great way to bring different girls groups from around the country together in order to share ideas and inspire one another. It opened the eyes of everyone there to things they may have never thought of on their own, and made each girl even more excited to go out and make a change in their community.