June has arrived and we are officially in the second half of 2018! Remember the goals you set for yourself back in January? For Girlz, FTW, the beginning of the year really starts on March 8th, International Women's Day. But, since we're feeling reflective, we've decided to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how we're tracking against the goals we set out to do when we started Girlz, FTW a year ago.
The idea for Girlz, FTW first flourished a week before International Women's Day 2017. We realized how tired we were of expressing our feminism via #girlpower statuses on social media and "The Future is Female" t-shirts. We wanted to do something to tangibly support girls around the world, so in 2017 we started Girlz, FTW (for the win) in a matter of 7 days. When we started Girlz, FTW we wanted to drive two major goals:
Connect girlz from around the world with inspiring mentors
Build a supportive community of girlz that support, inspire, and elevate each other
So far, it's been a wild ride!
We're now officially three months into our second cohort. We have some of the most inspiring women we've ever met. This year, we almost tripled the size of our program and reached more corners of the world we ever thought possible! Our woke girlz hail from the United States, The Bahamas, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, India, Malta, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Pakistan, Zambia (and the list goes on). Who are these girl bosses, you ask?
A Facebook content strategist by day, and moonlighting fiction novelist by night who illuminates the Asian-American experience
A National Geographic boss lady supporting a community of inspirational scientists, conservationists, educators and storytellers who are raising awareness around important topics and issues to drive positive change
Global nomad working in emergency disaster relief and helping figure out how to prepare for and respond to events that impact people, facilities, or operations
An advertising maverick working at Buzzfeed paving the way with new partnerships to continue to change the conversation
Founding female leader of Sundara, an amazing organization that recycles hotel soap to distribute in communities, while providing free hygiene education classes for vulnerable populations
One of the leading ladies of RefuGirl, a non-profit dedicated to young refugee and immigrant women resettled in the US
There are just a few of the girlz in our cohort. Check out our video to hear from a few of them!
We've also built an online community that brings together all of the girlz in our program. This is a place where girlz are able to ask for advice, provide encouragement, and have discussions that we're too scared or embarrassed to have with anyone else. After our first cohort, we learned that building an online community can be difficult without careful consideration and nurturing. This year, we've seen the amazing conversations that spark when we allow ourselves to be open and to see the humanity in others. Our program is global, so we're strong believers in using technology to bring us closer together.
This is all to say that we're learning as we go and we could not be more excited to continue on this mission. We know it takes a village. We're so grateful to have you along on this journey with us. As we look at news headlines from around the world, there’s a lot more work ahead of us. So, with our heads held high and a deep sense of urgency, we’re marching towards the future we want.