Fatimata ’19: The Impact of the United Nation’s “Girl Up” Foundation

For the 2018-2019 school year, Fatimata ‘19 was one of twenty-four girls chosen out of a pool of eight-hundred teens from around the world to be a teen advisor to the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up. Girl Up began in 2010 as a campaign and grew to be an initiative that helps position girls to be leaders in the movement for gender equality. The initiative has over 2,200 clubs in over 100 countries and has trained over 40,000 girls from all backgrounds.

From visiting Michelle Obama on the Today Show to speaking at the UN General Youth Assembly, Fatimata has been busy making an impact in her role as a teen advisor.

The Teen Advisor program is where Girl Up truly lives out its “by girls, for girls” mission. Composed of a widely diverse group of teenage girls, Teen Advisors are passionate change-makers who together spread and fuel Girl Up’s work. As Teen Advisors, they are central to all Girl Up decision-making including advocacy, fundraising and communications strategy. To support the Teen Advisors in this task, Girl Up provides skills-based trainings, professional development opportunities, hands-on learning, and most significantly, personal relationships with the staff.

On October 8, Fatimata addressed the entire community in a Morning Reading presentation. She introduced the Girl Up Foundation and the diligent work she has completed as a teen advisor. This summer, Girl Up invited Fatimata and one of her peer advisors to speak at the United Nations General Youth Assembly about her experience being involved in the foundation. This experience paired with the many others that Girl Up has provided, led Fatimata to publish her first book this Spring titled, “Perfectly Imperfect.” 

fatimataDuring her Morning Reading presentation, Fatimata expressed the importance of finding your passion and pursuing it vigorously. She invited the entire community to become involved with Girl Up through the White Mountain committee she is creating. In her closing remarks, she shared a fitting quote from one of her favorite global leaders, Kofi Annan, urging the White Mountain community to become involved:

¨I am often asked what can people do to become a good global citizen, I reply that it begins in your own community” – Kofi Annan


On October 11, three days after addressing the White Mountain community, Fatimata was one of thirty Girl Up teen advisors invited to attend the Today Show in New York City to meet Michelle Obama and watch her speak on the show. Michelle spoke to honor the International Day of the Girl and launch Global Girls Alliance Initiative, a program of the Obama Administration that seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education. In reflection, Fatimata shared, “Michelle Obama explained that you do not have to be in the White House to make a difference. The difference can be big or small and every move you make counts. Michelle exudes confidence and teaches me to be unafraid of who I am and who I can be.”

You can watch the Today Show segment Fatimata attended here.


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