She’s EmPOWERed: Meet the 15-year-old political journalist challenging bias in the media

For many people, finding your passion and purpose can take several years or even several decades. But not for Cassidy Conley. At only 15 years old, she is already making her mark as a political journalist. 

From copywriting in the government and advocacy sectors to curating content for her blog “Let’s Talk Politics,” Cassidy has a wealth of experience . . . and she’s just getting started.

“I found my passion in politics because I wanted to be part of the movement our nation is going through today. I didn’t want to sit idly by complaining about what our nation is doing wrong,” Cassidy said. “I combined my two passions and effectively used my voice for the better of people, especially women, like me; young and resilient.”

In addition to being young and resilient, Cassidy describes herself as funny, intriguing, fierce, bold, bright, joyful and helpful – all of which would make her a great candidate for political office someday. 

After high school, she plans to attend the University of Michigan, major in Public Policy and intern for her state representative’s staff team.

“My service is for the community. It is centered around the community. The whole purpose of my service is to give citizens the best resources and representation,” she said. “Our news resources are very biased, and it is not fair to the upcoming generation to take the brunt of the biased media.”

Finding Balance

Cassidy may be laser focused on her career, but she finds balance in other passions. 

“I love to impact people and help them in any way which is also a huge reason why I am stuck in politics, but other than that, I am a competitive figure skater.”

We are so proud of Cassidy and wish her much success in her life and career.

If you know a girl who is making an impact, tell us about her. We’re continually accepting submissions for She’s EmPOWERed. Learn more here

She’s EmPOWERed: Tulsa Teenpreneur Uses Greeting Cards to Inspire, Celebrate Girls of Color

Kolbi Lucas was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship as a tween after she noticed a lack of diversity in the greeting card industry. 

That introduction quickly became a passion when she discovered that she could also use her ideas to create and control her future. “I have received a lot of support from many girls and women who tell me that I have inspired them,” said Kolbi, 13. “Their words are affirming and make me feel like I am on the right path.”

That path was directed while Kolbi was out shopping for a birthday card for a friend. She realized there were very few cards with images of Black and Brown girls. 

So, at 10 years old, she started Kolbi’s Afromations – a company that designs handcrafted greeting cards and stationery.   
She hopes that her cards inspire, encourage, and affirm the beauty, intelligence and magic of being a Black girl.

Words of Encouragement
As a successful girlpreneur, Kolbi offers some encouraging advice to aspiring young business owners. 

“Be patient with your business. It is a process, and you won’t always see the success you want right away’” she said. “Prioritize your business by managing your time. As a business owner, you have to be willing to put in the time it takes to provide the best quality for your customers. Sometimes, this means sacrificing things you want to do, but in the end, it will help your business grow.”

Kolbi has aspirations of her own. After high school, she plans to attend NYU or Howard University and study art or fashion. The ambitious teen is interested in being a fashion designer, stylist, or chief editor for a high-end brand. She’s also interested in acting. 

We’re sure she will flourish in any career. Kudos to Kolbi!

Connect with Kolbi:
IG: Kolbis_afromations 
FB: Kolbi’s Afromations

She’s EmPOWERed: Ohio social entrepreneur educates girls on how to be beautiful from the inside out

Leah Berdysz is a young woman on a mission. She’s an educator, social entrepreneur, up-and-coming author and girl-power enthusiast.

The founder of Empowered & Poised (E&P), Leah works to empower and educate girls on how to be beautiful from the inside out through discovery of social, mental and physical components.

Her previous work with youth as a physical education teacher, babysitter and party motivator for Rock the House Entertainment prepared her to launch E&P as well as write her upcoming book Conscious Empowerment: A Guide to Helping Girls Build Self-Esteem & Confidence.

“Founding this organization, writing my upcoming book and obtaining my master’s degree in social work were inspired by the struggles I’ve faced with anxiety and body image. I recognized that I was not the only one struggling with self-esteem and confidence,” Leah said. “Therefore, I made it my mission to make a difference in the community and support young girls in their growth and development towards becoming strong and capable women.” 

Girls definitely have a strong and capable role model in Leah. At 25 years old, she has numerous achievements to her name and she’s just getting started. She has advice for aspiring changemakers, social impact heroes and entrepreneurs. 

“Being a girlpreneur or social entrepreneur can be challenging, but it’s SO worth it. Surround yourself with a supportive tribe, and don’t give up when it gets hard. You can do it!” she exclaimed.

Learn more about Empowered & Poised at www.empoweredandpoised.com. Be sure to follow Leah via social media at @empoweredpoised and @itsleahbee.

Girls Who Transform the World

You’re probably already aware that Empowered Flower Girl is an advocate and ally for youth. We work to help young people of all backgrounds live above life’s drama to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. 

But we also know how vitally important it is to serve and support girls and young women as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. 

Girls across the globe face challenges – from equal access to education and capital to greater risks of digital harassment and domestic abuse. 

But despite those challenges, girls are poised to change the world. They are creators. They are innovators and they are POWERful.

On October 1, 2020, Empowered Flower Girl will dedicate our social media to “Girls Who Transform the World.” We will host a live discussion via Facebook as well as highlight girls who are making an impact in their communities. We’re doing this in honor of International Day of the Girl, which is observed every year on October 11. 

The International Day of the Girl campaign encourages girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights. This year, under the theme “My voice, our equal future,” organizations and individuals are encouraged to seize the opportunity to re-imagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted and invested in.

Do you know a girl transforming her community or the world through entrepreneurship, volunteerism or the arts? Let us know at info@empoweredflowergirl.com and we just may feature her in our She’s EmPOWERed column. 

Do you want to help transform your world?

If you are a teacher, counselor or nonprofit/after-school professional who is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young people, let’s connect. Seriously. Schedule your FREE 20-minute discovery call to discuss how we can help you. 

BTW, Girl World Peace Academy enrollment returns September 25th. Learn more at  www.rashedakamaria.com/girlworldpeace

She’s EmPOWERed: Seven-year-old author helps kids learn colors and count with confidence

At 7 years old, Rosemary Nwaosuagwu already is an accomplished author. She’s published not one but two books. And while she may not be old enough to formally teach a class, she’s helping kids learn their basic colors, count and believe in themselves.

With inspiration from her mother and aunt, Rosemary published her first book at 6 years old.

“My mother always tells me to believe in myself, follow my dreams and to always do my best to achieve my goals,” she said. “I love reading books. I like to use my imagination to create stories so I started writing stories at the age of six. One day, I was complaining to my aunt and I was not in the best mood. (She) told me I should turn something negative into something positive and creative. So I used my skills to create the book ‘Lily’s Favorite Color.’”

When she wrote “Lily’s Favorite Color,” Rosemary already had plans to write more books that educate, inspire and bring joy to children everywhere.

She followed her dream and published another book: “Come Along and Count with Lily,” which introduces children to counting and helps them with early literacy skills.

“For me, having published two books now at such a young age has been a huge accomplishment and a blessing! I love motivating other children and inspiring them through my books,” Rosemary said.

She encourages other kids to never give up on their dreams. Her advice is simple, yet profound – “You can achieve anything you set your mind to.”

In addition to writing more books, Rosemary aspires to study medicine. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

Learn more about Rosemary’s journey and purchase her books at booksbyrossy.com. Follow her via Instagram @booksbyrossy and Facebook @booksbyrossy1.

Save the date for our Facebook Live conversation and training “Girls Who Transform the World” on October 1, 2020 (7 pm EDT). We’ll discuss how Generation Z is inspiring change, how we can uplift girls and things to do to celebrate International Day of the Girl.

Excluded to emPOWERed: How to help young people who’ve experienced bullying

Do you know a young person who has been a victim of bullying? Chances are you do, even if they’ve never reported it.  In the United States, 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 has been bullied during the school year according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

Founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center,  the observance/campaign aims to unite communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.

Often young people don’t report bullying for fear of retaliation or more aggressive harassment.

In seventh grade, I was harassed and teased daily.  The constant bullying was almost unbearable. I was alienated and excluded. Like many tweens and teens, it took months for me to build the courage to speak up for myself and report the taunting.

I confided in a trusted adult – my English teacher – and that changed my life.

You can be the change for young people.

Bullies and their victims have something in common – they both are dealing with some sort of pain. They both need someone to listen to their challenges, struggles, aspirations and hopes. Listening can empower victims and transform perpetrators.

It is up to us – the village – to empower young people to speak up. We must listen without judgment, avoid victim blame and shame and be willing to advocate for them.

Knowledge is power and the more you know about bullying prevention, the more equipped you’ll be to support and empower the young people in your life.

Signs a child is being bullied from Stopbullying.gov (partial list):

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school

For the full list of warning signs, visit https://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs.

Rasheda Kamaria Williams is an award-winning mentor, motivational speaker, author and chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl. Check out a clip from her Bullying Prevention Month talk entitled “Excluded to EmPOWERed.”

Back to School Series: How to inspire an emPOWERed school year

Educators and parents, mentors and coaches all care about the wellbeing and livelihood of young people in our communities.  We are well aware that twenty-first century tweens and teens face unprecedented challenges that many of us may have never imagined, from cyberbullying, drama, trauma and immense societal pressure. 

 But to combat these challenges, I was inspired to do something.

Nearly 15 years ago, I was a mentor and youth advocate who wanted to do something to make a difference for middle and high school students – who like me – were teased, bullied and ostracized by classmates and even relatives.

In 2010, I launched Empowered Flower Girl. Since we started, we’ve been on a mission to transform the way young people relate to one another. Through workshops and programs that address and combat cyberbullying, relational aggression and other social/communications challenges facing youth, we work to empower the next generation of leaders.

So as students prepare for a new school year, we want to remind the adults in their lives of the importance of collaboration aka the Village approach.

It takes parents, educators, community members and youth themselves to truly make a difference.

Let’s work together to ensure that every young person has a successful and safe school year!