Written by Dana B. and Nikita K., School Girls Unite Youth Advocates at Mayfield Woods Middle School
We are two students from Mayfield Woods Middle School with the same intentions: to make a difference in the lives of girls around the world. There are twelve of us in our group at school, Equality for All. Our motto is “Unity today, Equality tomorrow,” which means that we strive to accomplish a unified team today so that we can achieve equality tomorrow. Our group Equality For All is a chapter of School Girls Unite. Although our intentions were set on helping the girls achieve an education around the world, we still recognize the issues that boys face and that the phrase “Equality for all” means equality for both the females and males. This year, our group mainly focused on learning about the lack of education and overall rights that girls in our communities, but mainly around the world, have to endure.
As the “action” portion of our contribution to further ensuring girls’ welfare, we participated in a petition drive. This petition required lots of planning and preparation. We first had to request permission from administration to come in at 7th and 8th grade lunch shifts to present our tri-fold board with our informational displays such as the “boxing out the barriers” which presented many issues that girls face in Mali including child marriage, transportation, gender roles, and health issues. We then wrote short speeches to inform the students about our purpose that we shared in our presentation. We invited kids in the cafeteria to come up on stage to sign the petition, and we also went to each individual table to collect signatures. Overall, we collected about 250 signatures. We also asked teachers and students all around the school to help our cause and encouraged them to make a difference.
We also inspired others to take initiative during these lunch sessions. As we travelled from one table to another, we were able to experience students’ eagerness to help out and even to consider joining our group next year!
P.S. Our School Girls Unite chapters combined their efforts, and we collected over 400 signatures in total! So awesome!