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    Female empowerment club leaders consider impacts across community

    High School female empowerment clubs create an environment for girls to flourish in various male-dominated fields. Leaders of the clubs reflected on the impact of their organizations on the larger school community and the objectives they hope to achieve.

    Leaders of High School women’s empowerment clubs each have unique motivations for establishing their organizations, but they share a common interest in increasing female representation in academic fields. Now, as the leaders reflect on their purposes and objectives, they each highlight the means of fulfilling their goals of moving towards gender parity across all disciplines.

    Empowering Women’s Education Worldwide

    For president of the Empowering Women’s Education Worldwide club Rowan Hamilton (’26), founding her club was an opportunity to maximize her impact in addressing the denial of education for young women around the world.

    “Our goal is to fundraise and raise awareness for girls across the world who don’t have access to education,” Hamilton said.

    In 2019, when traveling to Amman, Jordan, Hamilton visited a refugee camp where she encountered individuals whose lives starkly differed from her own. In particular, Hamilton, whose passion has “always, always been swimming”, said she was deeply moved when meeting a young girl who aspired to be a swimmer but lacked the means to pursue her dream.

    “She has the same passion as I do and the same talent, but I have access to resources that help me achieve those things while she does not,” Hamilton said. “As I’ve grown older, I have realized that the education I receive puts me at an advantage. Even though talent can be equally distributed, opportunity is not. The goal of my club is to try and create that opportunity for everyone.”

    After having seen the realities for many young women her age facing scarcity of resources, Hamilton said she felt increasingly motivated to create change through her club at the school. This year, the club raised £400 to financially support women in Indonesia through university, which Hamilton said “is just a small step” in the right direction.

    Additionally, as a female leader on campus, Hamilton said she feels a certain responsibility to act as an exemplar to her peers.
    “Having a woman in a leadership position makes it more accessible for the next girl,” Hamilton said. “Doing the best I can to be a role model and example for students coming into high school, I think is really important.”

    Support For Girls Who Code

    Maisie Rosenberg (‘24) noticed a lack of female representation in computer science classes at the school, so she co-founded Support for Girls Who Code in order to foster an environment for women “to feel more comfortable” in the male-dominated field.

    “I had noticed that there were not a lot of girls in higher level math and computer science courses, which should change,” Rosenberg said. “The best way to do that is to just have more girls in these spaces because it automatically creates a sense of camaraderie that I kind of lacked.”

    The Support for Girls Who Code club organizes its meetings to support Lower and Middle School students as they pursue their interests in coding and computer science. Rosenberg said she feels a strong commitment to these younger students, striving to create an inspiring and stimulating environment that helps counter the challenges of studying in a stereotypically masculine field.

    “My responsibility is to make girls feel really supported in and out of the school setting,” Rosenberg said. “This way they would be more passionate about these topics later on and just generally feel more comfortable.”

    Women in STEM

    The Women in STEM club co-leader Yuval Fransis (’26) said the club’s mission is to empower women in the community by fostering an “empowered and unified” environment. Fransis said a “safe space” allows members to comfortably share their experiences as women striving for success in a field lacking female representation.

    Fransis’ interest in robotics began in Grade 2 science class, and since then, she has been aspiring to create an empowering environment for women in STEM. Additionally motivated by the support from her co-leader, Fransis said she feels extremely rewarded for having realized her goals.

    Additionally, the Women in STEM club supports Stemettes, an organization working to help young girls and non-binary individuals learn to code through initiatives and events. Fransis said her club has arranged bake sales and fundraisers at the school to collect money to further promote and support Stemettes.

    Fransis said she feels a responsibility to motivate other girls interested in STEM subjects to pursue their passion and push past “heavy obstacles” they might encounter.

    “Encouraging and supporting other women, especially in STEM, in their endeavors and inspiring them to pursue their goals and their dreams is definitely the most important of being a female leader in this community,” Fransis said.

    Moreover, she said the club meets with a “very relaxed” agenda every other week. Each meeting varies and the focus ranges from helping members with STEM-related homework to organizing future projects and events.

    Fransis said the most valuable aspect of her club is establishing a sense of camaraderie among the members.

    “Our club is a space where other women can come in, to be honest, and share about what they want to do in STEM,” Fransis said. “It’s a place where they can come to pursue their interests without judgment.”

    Women in Business

    Women in Business Co-Leader Imi Cestar (’24) said alumni initially founded the club. She has since taken up the mantle with the goal of fostering a supportive environment for aspiring women in finance.

    “It’s a really safe space to empower women, who are either interested in the finance industry or they want to go into it in the future or they have parents who are in it already,” Cestar said.

    In November 2023, the club completed the Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship course, a course that teaches how to pitch business ideas, communicate opinions, collaborate with others and understand the fundamentals of the Blue Ocean Strategy, tailored for high school students. Cestar said the program has been instrumental in helping her and her club members “build confidence for the future in finance”

    “The club’s mission is to allow young women to grasp what the industry really looks like and help to create change in the future,” Cestar said.

    Furthermore, she said the club’s mission revolves around creating new opportunities and bringing attention to the statistical inequalities women face in “a very male-dominated industry.”

    “Statistics-wise we want to shed light on the amount of women who were in the industry before [the 21st century] in comparison to how it is now,” Cestar said. “Looking at the drastic differences between time periods and just looking to the future and increasing these numbers.”

    Feminist Literature Book Club

    Feminist Literature Book Club Leader Eden Leavey (’24) said she has a longstanding interest in exploring the relationship between English and gender. Accordingly, her club integrates both themes to create an organization specifically structured to analyze gender across literary history.

    Leavey said the club was originally established to study gender identity and sexuality in literature. However, their plans and objectives have since evolved to place a greater emphasis on examining the role of the press.

    “We made the club a little more discussion based this year around what is going on in the world and in the media,” Leavey said. “This year we have been watching a lot of movies and television and reflecting on what the media perpetuates.”

    Leavey said she was originally inspired by Poet Olivia Gatwood, who is known for her work on gendered violence and feminism. Gatwood’s impact extends beyond influencing the activities of her club; Leavey said it has also deeply influenced her personal values.

    “I’ve always been drawn to feminist writers,” Leavey said. “I absolutely fell in love with her unapologetic, feminist work and I found that to be really motivating and validating for me in my experience as a woman.”

    Leavey wanted to encourage a space where women could engage in discussions on gender stereotypes that evoke emotional and thoughtful responses. She further aimed to foster an environment where individuals could come to terms with the gender-based structure of our modern-day society.

    “I wanted to create a space where I could further [feminism] and allow people to reflect on really any issues in society that drive them to want to express themselves through writing and reading,” Leavey said. “It’s a place for people to come to terms with the world they are living in and express those realities.”

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    About the Contributors
    Gaby Friedman, Media Team
    Gaby Friedman ('26) is on the Media Team for The Standard in Advanced Journalism.
    Leila Meilman, Media Team
    Leila Meilman is a member of the Media Team for The Standard in Advanced Journalism.

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