My name is Sophia TenClay, and I am a member of One World Girl’s Youth Advisory Council. For four years I lived in Italy, where my family worked with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. My mom is a social worker who worked mostly with women who were survivors of human trafficking from Nigeria and with refugee families from Syria, where a brutal war continues. My father is a pastor who served as a protestant Christian minister to five churches in Italy, two of which had many people from various countries in Africa who attended. My sister and I attended italian schools and learned to write, speak and read Italian in less than a year! 

Although my parents were the official missionaries, my sister and I also spent a lot of time with the people my mom and dad helped. We attended worship and other activities at the churches where my dad worked, and I helped lead Sunday School for the other children. We attended a multicultural school where some of the women my mom worked with participated...

Greta Thunberg is a sixteen year old Swedish environmental activist whose campaigning for climate change has gained her international recognition. She first became known in 2018 when she staged a strike for two weeks outside the Swedish parliament, demanding that the government cut greenhouse emissions by fifteen percent that year. These protests began to spread throughout different communities, causing Thunberg to launch the “Fridays for Future” movement. This movement encouraged students to skip school on Fridays and demand action on climate change from their governments, leading to the largest climate strike in history. This year, on September 20th, around 4 million people in over 160 countries protested for their governments to take action. 

She continues to go on strike every Friday.

Thunberg’s sudden rise to world fame has made her a leader and inspiration to young people all around the world. I think that the work she is doing is amazing. She is committed to her cause and wants ot...

Objectifying women and girls can be incredibly detrimental to self-esteem. If a girl is not respected as a person, how can she believe she has the potential to follow her dreams and make her mark on the world? Body image is one of the most talked about issues in terms of low confidence, and as we wear clothes every day, fashion is closely linked with body image. We often use the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but that isn’t necessarily true. I agree that identity is more than just appearance, but appearance can also be a powerful way of expressing identity and communicating.

It is undeniable that fashion contributes to the culture of defining a girl by her looks. Often times advertising focuses on stereotypes and a “correct” way of looking. In my opinion, the modelling industry is elitist and has a history of shunning anyone who is not exceptionally thin or Anglo-Saxon. Celebrities and influencers post flawless, often edited pictures in expensive clothes that look effortless....

With the end of 2018 fast approaching, we should take the time to think about all that this year has brought and look forward to all that 2019 will bring. While there were many hardships, we closed the year out with a huge victory for women in the primaries. Furthermore, there were more women of color elected than ever before, and our government has become the most inclusive that it has ever been.

Looking forward to 2019 and 2020, I am excited to be able to vote in the election that marks the centennial of women’s suffrage. While we have come a long way since then, there remains a long way to go in terms of inclusivity. I look forward to 2019’s being the year of inclusivity among all women, not just white women. As more young women are able to vote and participate in politics, we progress toward having an increasing number of women of color participate—therefore, we progress toward having the most diverse and representative democracy possible.

2019 will begin with a huge milestone, as th...

One year ago, if someone mentioned “coding,” I pictured a turtleneck-clad man peering intensely through thick-rimmed glasses as he typed away gibberish computer jargon before a blinking monitor. To me, coding was an esoteric hobby enjoyed by an elite boys’ club. At school, the boys would flaunt their newly designed programs as if they were yachts and they were inviting their fellow programmers to join them for an afternoon cruise. On the television, I would watch shows like Star Trek and observe as men crowded around computer screens in an attempt to solve a complex system malfunction while pretty women flitted about in the background. Although I was never explicitly told that computer programming was not an appropriate pursuit for a girl--in fact, I was encouraged by so many people not to live by the expectations of society--the subtle hints were all around me. They had penetrated what I had thought to be my thick I-can-do-whatever-a-boy-can-do skin. I felt that I was undeserving of m...

October 23, 2018

“You're broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can't find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I'll rise up
I'll rise like the day
I'll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again
And I'll rise up
High like the waves
I'll rise up
In spite of the ache
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousands times again”

These lyrics by Andra Day still resound in my heart and mind. They became more than lyrics recently. They have become a heart cry. A soul soundtrack.

Last weekend, I led a group of 25 mothers and daughters to One World Girl's  empowerment day on Broadway – my seven year old daughter Charlotte in tow for the experience. Although the afternoon matinee of FROZEN was nothing short of magical - it was our time together in the workshop studio that has given me new insight and meaning in this life. Our wonderful partner organization “Broadway Workshop” broug...

If you love movies like I do, you may have heard of the Bechdel Test. It originated from a comic by Alison Bechdel and created guidelines that can be used to evaluate women’s roles and representation in films. In order to pass the test, a movie must include two women who discuss something other than a man. Sometimes there is another requirement, that the women are named. This test is extremely basic and it is dismaying although not shocking that many mainstream films do not pass.

While the number of movies passing the Bechdel Test has been increasing as time goes on, a ridiculous amount of movies fail to have two named women talking about something other than a man. Something as basic as that is overlooked in Hollywood.

Solo: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool 2, Love, Simon.

None of these movies passed. This is why movies like Ocean’s 8 and the new Ghostbusters are so important. Every girl knows the feeling of watching these movies and being amazed by the talented female cast on screen being fu...

Women know what it is to be silenced. To be violently hushed.

To honor the 100th anniversary of a woman's right to vote, let us choose to exercise our freedom loudly and unapologetically. 

Our voices have been and are often still considered lesser than. We must fight to be heard, and fight we will.

We must shatter the societal ideal of women who strive to be agreeable.  Disagree with someone's view? Keep quiet.  Feel passionately about an issue? Don't be too enthusiastic in your political opinions.  Hear a family member or loved one say something problematic? Avoid the confrontation.

No more.

It is our responsibility to call out problematic behavior--especially when it comes from those who are close to us.  Particularly white women--it is our responsibility to use our unearned privilege to break down both subtle and overt white supremacy and to amplify the voices of women of color as we tackle injustice together. Our selective, exclusive activism is an act of violence.

If you are n...

December 21, 2017

Ever since my parents took me to see Disney's The Little Mermaid, I have been in love with Broadway. I was fascinated by the dancing, the singing, the energy, the sets and costumes. It was a magical spectacle, and I have been going back to see shows ever since.  

When I heard of the opportunity to see Broadway shows through One World Girl, I was ecstatic! You can imagine my excitement when I learned that not only would we be seeing the show with other girls our age, but we would get to talk to some professional Broadway actors as well!

When the day of the trip arrived, I was practically jumping up and down with glee. This was an opportunity that you don't come across every day, and I got to experience it and meet new people at the same time. Talking to those three women in the studio was incredible. The space was small, which made the conversation more intimate. We discussed a wide range of topics, from mantras to get through bad days to funny stories about mishaps in shows. It was cool...

November 7, 2017

A friend introduced me to One World Girl a few weeks ago as she told me about the “Girl Empowerment Day at Broadway’s Anastasia.” I listened and pondered what an opportunity this event would give young women to connect and bond with one another. I imagined the attendees learning what it is like being a woman on Broadway and talking about their own experiences as women in the world. As these ideas floated through my head, I started to think about the relationships that have helped me navigate the world as a young woman. There have been many women (friends, teachers, and aunts) that have helped and encouraged me, and also a few men.

My Dad is one of the men in my life that has supported and encouraged me as I have grown as a young woman. I have memories of my Dad celebrating my accomplishments with me from a young age: everything from successfully making it to the potty on time to getting accepted into college. Recently, I have begun to notice how often I hear my Dad say, “I’m proud of yo...

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