Vrinda Goel, a high school junior from New Jersey, envisions a world where every girl has the chance to see her dreams come true.
We’re lucky to have her as a Girl Rising Regional Ambassador and are seriously excited about the work she’s doing to ensure that everyone in her community sees equal access to education is a human right. She even started a Girl Rising club at her school!
Vrinda recently sat down with her school’s newspaper to discuss Girl Rising, #62MillionGirls, and how students can get involved.
We edited it slightly for length and clarity, but you can read the entire piece here. It’s inspiring!
What made you start a club for Girl Rising in Watchung Hills?
As a Regional Ambassador, my primary aim is to ensure the bigger, global message that Girl Rising has to offer reaches communities like ours. Schools are the best place to make this happen because we’re the ones who define what progress will mean for the next generations.
What do you hope to achieve this year and the next?
We’re privileged enough to never second guess the fact that education is a right. Girls in other countries don’t get that right, and the primary reason is because of their gender. Hopefully, that strikes people as irrational, because it definitely is.
For example, International Women’s Day is a great way to make people stop and think about the simple aspects of life that are denied to girls in other countries just because of their gender! The right to speak out, bodily autonomy, and economic independence are amongst the long list of rights they are denied just because they’re women. Hopefully we can use IWD to incentivize people to get involved. I would also love to screen the documentary for the entire school, there’s so much to take away from it.
What are your thoughts on the #62MillionGirls campaign?
The #62MillionGirls campaign is a great start to get people to recognize that this issue actually exists, and the impact it has on the international community. Education is the most powerful tool we can give girls to empower them for the better, and this campaign is a wonderful way to start getting the message out there. It’s just a start though. We have so many people pledging their support, now the next step is to see everyone take action.
What’s one thing that you’d want every student in Watchung Hills to know about Girl Rising?
It was quickly found that the simple, elegant solution with the highest return in investment, was to educate girls. This isn’t just about “feminism” or civil rights, it’s a step towards the overall progress of every nation on this planet. Again, these girls are denied going to school simply because of their gender! The society around them expects them to be mothers and caretakers at a young age instead of students. In fact, the leading cause of death amongst teenage girls on a global scale, isn’t car accidents or drug abuse - it’s childbirth.
Another thing that’s important to emphasize is that it doesn’t take a massive donation to change these girls’ lives. People have a misconception about non-profits, that huge amounts of money are the solution. While that may be true in some cases, it just isn’t here. Awareness is key. Yes, we have glass ceilings to break right here in America, but we need to progress as a world together, and we need to help these girls catch up to where they should be. They should be running for president, becoming professionals, and supporting themselves, not fighting for the right to step foot in a schoolhouse.
As for the monetary aspect, just $35 alone can support one girl’s education for an entire year! My bottom line is, it doesn’t take much to make change.
The last thing I have to say is that Girl Rising is NOT just for girls to become involved. Male involvement is just as important, because it says that this isn’t just a campaign about females empowering each other; it’s a global statement saying that everybody believes in equality, period.