Updated: Jul 1, 2019
Gratitude and passion sums it up. I am truly humbled and grateful that Girls on Fire has taken off. For five years, we have garnered so much support from the Premier Charter School community , St. Louis businesses, individuals we inspired, and my family members and friends. The out pour of love from people and actual time spent volunteering for and showing up in support of our events has not gone unnoticed. In fact, this serves as confirmation that our mission resounds in the hearts and minds of men and women.
Our mission states that "Girls on Fire is an organized movement to empower young leaders, developing their self-love, self-awareness, sense of purpose, and readiness to face the world with resilience." We are not about promoting the illusion of flawlessness, but creating a reality that we can do the work to love ourselves in spite of our perceived imperfections. We are beautiful and worthy now in our current state. Let's say #byeselfhatred. At the same time, we #getupandgrow to reach new heights. Yes, we are complex; we can be great and wonderfully made and still choose to make some adjustments, set goals, and add knowledge and skills to win and conquer life.
While we are at it, we can choose to be a positive force, loving each other through our actions. One goal I strive for as a teacher and a parent is to #lovethemtohealth because we are not our best selves every day. I need to be patient enough to love others at their lowest point. This is tough. Girls would benefit from this as a whole; we can be more compassionate to even the "mean girls." Pain and hurt manifest themselves in different ways; we just see the scars. I had girls this year who needed extra support in this area. Yes, year five was the most trying! My hope was that if I love them enough and not discard them that they'll realize that #beingmeanisnotcute. However, sometimes this revelation does not come easy. There were fights, pettiness, and girls trying to be leaders, but being sucked into the drama. True leadership is cultivated through tests, trial, and error. There were mistakes involved, listening, and reflecting. Tough talks and second, third, and fourth chances led to tough love. Girls and women have to express #irespectmyselftoomuchtobedisrespected. I expect better from you.
Girls can unite around this common goal of empowerment! There are lots of girls organizations that exist. I think this is a positive thing because there are lots of needs to be filled. We are not about being cookie cutter, mass producing girls who are the same. We need nuance, diversity of passions, talents, etc. In Girls on Fire, we celebrate uniqueness and individuality. You do not have to be like me or strive for some image that someone else has created; be the best you and love "you" while you're at it. Once again, we are about sharing experiences, skills, tools...empowerment! Let's level up together!
Once again, we can cultivate self-love by identifying our strengths. Did you know that some people don't think they have any admirable qualities? Acknowledging strengths and areas for growth is still a useful exercise. What?! We can love ourselves to speed up the healing and growth process. The support that we've gotten is evidence that people realize if our girls and young women do not love and take care of themselves we will not be able to sustain thriving healthy communities long-term. Yeah, self-hatred is one of the first things that has to die before we can properly suit up to face the world as the resilient warriors we are meant to be! Simultaneously, uplifting each other is a must.
Yes, my passion is given so much life in the mission of Girls on Fire. Yes, I am grateful to be able to truly fulfill my purpose to help girls #getupandgrow. Can we work together ladies as #girlsunitednotdivided? Let's continue to #igniteouramazing, so our cups are overflowing and we can inspire the next generation.
Many blessings to you,
Founder and Executive Director
Girls on Fire