03 Apr Meet Anna: G Day’s New Social Media Coordinator!
As an early morning biker, passionate writer, wanderer of art museums, and avid consumer of TED Talks and podcasts, I am known to my friends and family as a forever optimist. To me, however, it is an approach more than a label, that is, an approach to embracing the adventure of everyday life. My name is Anna and I am an American student of philosophy and French, an aspiring arts entrepreneur, and the new Social Media Coordinator for G Day for Girls.
“Why would a twenty-year-old student from the Midwest United States be working with a team of women from western Canada?” one might ask. I am motivated by the authentic and creative ways that G Day for Girls is celebrating adolescent girls and their empowerment, and can’t help but want to collaborate with G Day’s incredible team.
How I connected with the team and G Day is a longer story. It all started a couple of years ago with a trip to a local bookstore, a bout of social media browsing, and a passion for feminisms. I first learned about Canada’s realm of women’s empowerment not in the country itself but in a Barnes and Noble bookstore in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. While flipping through a magazine on social entrepreneurialism, I read about the mission and success of SheEO, a Toronto-launched international organization to celebrate, support, and finance female entrepreneurs. I was hooked, and knew that I had to find a way to connect with their team of revolutionary and energetic women. Strings of emails eventually led me to becoming SheEO’s half-year-long Social Media Coordinator and Marketing Intern during my sophomore year at St. Olaf College. And it was while learning about the leaders of SheEO’s top five ventures of 2015 that I first met and chatted with Madeleine Shaw, founder of G Day.
Now a year later, I have joined the G Day team to celebrate the wonderful and diverse gifts that adolescent girls have to offer the world. I wish that my adolescent self would’ve had more opportunities, and thus believe that G Day is offering something truly unique and inspiring to girls and their families.
I grew up in a house packed full of girls, and it is is through my relationships with my two younger sisters, our creative mom, and our wonderfully supportive dad that I recognize the importance of celebrating individuality at any age. Amidst the casually-thrown nasty words of female peers in elementary school and the middle school days spent literally growing into one of the tallest girls in my grade, I’d return home to a space where expressing oneself through art and open conversation was encouraged. While I used to be embarrassed by my quirkiness or ‘artsiness’ in late elementary school and early middle school, I now always and imperfectly embrace my colourful individuality.
Things that I look forward to:
- Weekly shifts as a Barista at a local café in my college town
- Watching French comedy shows
- Dark chocolate of all sorts, particularly with sea salt, espresso beans, or orange peel
- Reading artist bios in books and galleries
- Travelling the world!
I am inspired by the diverse ways that communities around the world are exploring the intersections between cross-cultural dialogue, empowerment, and the arts. I am also an explorer, and spent this past fall and winter studying art and French in Paris, France, and travelling throughout much of Eastern and Central Europe. And after returning to the United States in late January, I now spend my days writing for G Day, exploring philosophy and French in the classroom, and making and sharing music as a violinist in my school’s touring orchestra.
If I were to tell my ten, eleven, and twelve-year-old selves anything, it would be to bypass the opinions of my peers and instead boldly and unashamedly chase the passions that made and continue to make me tick. There’s a lot of beauty to be found in connecting with your creative self and sharing that with your community, and I believe that G Day for Girls is celebrating just that!