Washington, D.C. (June 1, 2016) – Today, the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign announced its seventh class of Teen Advisors. The announcement comes at the end of a competitive process, with more than 552 applications, the largest number in Girl Up’s history. The campaign selected 21 teenage girls who share the common goal of supporting fellow girls around the world.
Teen Advisors help carry out advocacy goals, provide feedback on campaign materials and energize others to take action. These young leaders come from 13 different U.S. states and three countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia. They are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school.
“Our Teen Advisors are vital in guiding Girl Up, and personify our ‘by girls, for girls’ model,” said Melissa Hillebrenner Kilby, Director of Girl Up. “This Teen Advisor class is the largest and one of the most accomplished we’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to see what they will do together to empower each other and girl leaders all over the world.”
Girl Up has quickly become a borderless movement, with nearly half a million supporters and advocates from the U.S. and around the world. The campaign helps adolescent girls develop leadership skills through online engagement, community mobilization, and trainings in advocacy, public speaking, and fundraising. As a result of these efforts, Girl Up has created a generation of current and future girl leaders who have helped raise millions of dollars for United Nations programs; successfully lobbied members of the U.S. Congress to help stop child marriage globally and help ensure that girls around the world are registered at birth; and shown their schools, friends and communities the true power of girls.
“Receiving the opportunity to serve as a 2015-2016 Teen Advisor provided me with an incredible support system, and the ability to foster and channel my passion for female empowerment into substantial change,” said Vaannila Annadurai, Girl Up Teen Advisor Co-Chair (2016-2017). “I can’t wait to continue my journey as a co-chair this year, and discovering the impact we can have as a group of motivated and compassionate young girls.”
The Teen Advisors are young women who apply and are selected on an annual basis to serve for an academic year. When Teen Advisors graduate from the program they continue to lead local efforts that drive global change.
The 2016-2017 class of Teen Advisors includes:
Allie Zehner 16 years old – Park City, UT
Annabelle Lee 16 years old – Chicago, IL
Becca Bean 17 years old – Arlington, VA
Ellie Yeo 15 years old – Chevy Chase, MD
Faatimah Solomon 16 years-old – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Feria Morisset Noe 15 years old – Brooklyn, NY
Grace Rabinowitz 16 years old – Cresskill, NJ
Kathy Kong 16 years old – Murrieta, CA
Katrina Sousounis 15 years old – Acton, MA
Kyung Mi Lee* 17 years old – Honolulu, HI
Lavanya Singh 16 years old – Fremont, CA
Leah Adelman 17 years old – Andover, MA
Lee Schwartz 15 years old – Chevy Chase, MD
Maria Aldana 16 years old – Menasha, WI
Meg Schwartz 17 years old – Leawood, KS
Rachel Auslander 16 years old – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sarina Divan 16 years old – Amherst, NY
Sarra Alayyan 16 years old – Surrey, United Kingdom
Shayla Zamora 15 years old – West Palm Beach, FL
Sophia Danielpour 15 years old – Los Angeles, CA
Vaannila Annadurai* 17 years old – Louisville, KY
Visit the Girl Up website to see the bios and videos of the 2016-2017 Teen Advisors.
*Denotes Teen Advisor Co-Chair
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