A future filled with strong, successful women begins with empowering girls today.
ModCloth Founder, Susan Koger, is super-passionate about empowering young women, and utilizing her platform to amplify the voices of other inspiring women who are capable, confident, and making an impact on the world. In Susan’s words:
“If we want things to change, we have to be part of the conversation — and we have to empower others to be part of the conversation, too.”
Susan recently invited Niki Srinivasa and Christen Brandt, two amazing women who represent incredible organizations that support girls and enable them to reach their true potential, to join her for the second edition of ModCloth’s Hot Tub Round Table™ — an ongoing forum in which we speak the unspoken about the challenges facing women today…
Niki, 17 years old, is the Thousand Oaks Chapter Leader for I Am That Girl. She’s always been warm and welcoming — the opposite of Regina George’s clique, Niki is the one saying, “You can sit with us!”
However, during her junior year, she encountered what has become a widespread issue in today’s girl culture: bullying. “There was a girl that made me feel worthless. I lost my confidence. I started believing the mean girls,” Niki says, “Girl culture today is about what you have and what you can get, rather than who you are.”
It was during this difficult time that Niki discovered I Am That Girl, an organization that works every day to help girls transform self-doubt into self-love; to recognize their worth and inspire others to, as well. “It’s about fostering self-confidence,” Niki says, “We need to shift girl culture — how we treat each other and the world.”
Niki’s chapter has grown from 7 of her close friends to over 50 girls. They meet regularly to discuss the issues young women face today and offer their support to one another. “We talk about so many things, but it always comes back to confidence. How to find the confidence to be who you are. Through these conversations, I’ve seen so many girls grow. The positive environment has had such a great impact on them!”
Christen Brandt is quite familiar with the importance of support and mentorship. As the co-founder of She’s the First — an organization that provides scholarships to girls, fostering first-generation graduates and the next generation of global leaders — she has helped over 850 scholars get the education required to help cultivate secure, stable futures.
Ask Christen about a success story, and she’ll light up as she tells you about Mahesh. “She graduated in 2012, and studied biotechnology and genetics. When she finished her 3-year program and decided to continue pursuing genetics tech, she talked to her family, and they all knew she needed a masters.” Christen says. Mahesh’s family rallied and got the necessary funding. “She is now one of the most educated women I know! She was the first person in her family to graduate from high school, and they wound up coming together to get her all the way through grad school.”
Christen believes that when it comes to young women’s success, mentorship and scholarship go hand-in-hand. “One of the solutions is scholarships — but the other is role models. Especially role models in their community. Girls need to see women around them succeeding. They see it and they know, if she can do it, I can do it.”
What do you think is the key to empowering young women today? Share your ideas with us using #ModClothHTRT on social!