Fatimata Cham ’19 is one of 25 young women selected from 500 applicants to serve as a Girl Up Teen Advisor by the United Nations Foundation. She will serve in this role for one year starting on June 1. The Girl Up website describes the role that Fatimata will take on in the following way:
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.
Fatimata has already been in contact with the other Girl Up Advisors and she is looking forward to July when they will all come together in Washington, D.C. They will have a chance to talk about their goals and priorities for the year and to lobby senators and representatives on behalf on girls around the world. Apart from this trip, Fatimata will spend the summer working at the United Nations engaging in these global initiatives. Her work as a Girl Up Teen Advisor will also give her the opportunity to support girls in her hometown, the Bronx; her task is to work with girls in her local community to start a club which improves access to high quality education for girls. She looks forward to this challenge and wrote the following in her application for the program:
“I am proud of my accomplishments because I get to show other girls in my community that they can do it too. That being a girl should not hold you back, being a hijabi should not hold you back, but most importantly being yourself should not hold you back.”
We look forward to following Fatimata’s work as a Girl Up Teen Advisor throughout the year as she takes on this important work on behalf of girls all over the world.