To say that I am missing Guatemala after returning home to Florida is an epic understatement. There are some events in your life that define who you are as a person. This was one for me. I found inspiration in some of the most poised, persevering young women whom I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
As a researcher for She’s the First, I am responsible for communication with three partners in our directory. To have the opportunity to visit one of them, Starfish One by One, was an irreplaceable experience. Quarterly, I speak with the directors of the three partnerships under my watch, to get updates on the girls and occasionally photos. During our six days in Guatemala, I got the chance to live it. I could put names with the faces that I had received photos of and heard stories about. I was able to see these amazing mentors in action and the girls soaking up every bit they could learn.
‘The girl effect’ that we always discuss was so tangible at Starfish One by One. We visited the homes of some of the girls in the program and had the opportunity to speak with their parents. To say that I was blown away by the effect that Starfish One by One had on not only the girls, but their parents and families as well, is also a huge understatement. Mothers that would never have thought of the idea were now discussing birth control with their husbands, fathers that had not ever taken into consideration talking to their daughters about postponing marriage and childbirth were now having frank, open conversations about it.
These girls are breaking barriers. They are pushing boundaries. They are inspiring change within their families, their communities, and their country. They represent the heart of what She’s the First is all about. I look forward to more #STF360 trips and the continued inspiration that is given to me by these amazing young women.
[Editor's Note: She's the First 360 trips are independently organized and individually funded. If you would like to take a 'voluntourism' trip and visit one of the She's the First partners in our directory, learn more here and email email@example.com!]