Girls unite

Festival motivates young women


WorldWideWomen Girls' Festival

Gabrielle Guido, Senior Reporter

With career dreams and motivations, girls attending the upcoming WorldWideWomen Girls’ Festival on Nov. 9 will participate in contests, performances, have access to an athletic arena, and observe over 50 girls under the age of 18 sell products in popup shops. 

 Girls of all ages and backgrounds will gather at the Palace of Fine Arts for the fourth annual festival, which promotes female empowerment through activities and interactions with nonprofit organizations. The six-hour festival has attracted over 10,000 attendees within the past three years

“I am looking forward to feeling empowered and like a part of something,” junior Beimnet Lesanework, who plans on attending, said. “I hope it will give me and other girls resources for confidence.”

Activities at the festival will include career path panels such as a Shark Tank-like experience where girls can pitch ideas to judges and a STEAM-focused creative area and expo where girls can interact with local organizations.

“There will be amazing things to do from all-day performances that will be on the main stage to a fashion show of young girl designers,” WorldWideWomen founder Maureen Broderick said. “Everybody is going to walk out the door full of connections to organizations and programs that they never knew they could make.”

The festival is affiliated with theWorldWideWomen foundation which aims to connect women together through nonprofit organizations. They encourage females all over the world to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

“My favorite part of the festivals is seeing girls’ faces light up at every activity or workshop they attend or performance they see,” volunteer Emily Randall said. “There is a tangible feeling of possibility in the air at the festival. It’s unlike any event I’ve known and it is completely inspiring and thrilling to witness.

The setup of the festival is intended to foster a sense of connectivity and community within the large venue.  

“We thought that we should bring this foundation to life in local markets,” Broderick said. “We wanted to bring all the resources for girls together under one roof so everyone can see and connect with these amazing organizations.

Girls will be able to meet and hear from a panel of well-known women in STEAM fields, including the founder of the female leadership company, SHE-CAN, Barbara Bylenga and Niyati Shah, a senior software engineer who has continuously fought for racial and gender equality through the Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Center.

“I believe it offers them a chance to explore and to not only see the possibilities for their future, but to feel how supported they are in their journeys and know how many people are rooting for them to succeed,” Randall said. “It seems that young girls are craving knowledge, looking for chances to participate and get involved.”

The event is meant to inspire equality and confidence in young women,                                                                           by forging new connections with other women and experiences centered around the girls’ interests, according to WorldWideWomen.

“I hope to inspire girls and show them that they can do anything they set their minds to,” Broderick said. “Power and possibility is our motto.”

Girls can also win prizes up to $1,000 or concert tickets and the opportunity to be filmed as a news anchor for writing poetry or sharing business ideas. 

“Girls can look forward to over 100 activities to participate in, from 20 workshops on topics like human trafficking, STEAM, coding, fitness classes, sports activities, listening to career mentors talk about different career paths and hands-on activities in the maker space,” Broderick said. 

Tickets range from free to $15, depending on age and are available on the WorldWideWomen Girls’ Festival website 

“I want to be able to return from this festival and give something back to our all-girls school community,” Lesanework said. “I want to have an all-girls community outside of school as well.”