The Magnet Tribune: Olga Ozornia
Girl Up chapter sponsor, members discuss helping others
March 1, 2018
Social Studies instructor Aemie Martinez, who is also the sponsor of VMT’s Girl Up chapter, has brought to the school an organization designed to assist and empower females all over the world.
She explained what the Girl Up organizaiton is.
“Girl Up is an organization that is an extension of the United Nations. It provides American girls with the opportunity to become leaders, and advocate for issues that affect girls all over the world,” Martinez said.
She discusses opportunities she thinks girls will have by being part of the Girl Up chapter.
“For me, it’s an opportunity for girls at VMT to become aware of issues that affect other girls though out the world, and be able to take action to improve not only their own situations but also the situations of girls in other places,” Martinez said.
Martinez discussed how education an help empower girls in the areas of education and health, among others.
“I think it’s important because currently there are a lot of world leaders who are making policies that affect girls in the United States and in other parts of the world. It’s important for girls to be aware of the policies and programs that are being enacted today that have an impact on their lives. They should become involved in shaping those policies and making changes that are positive for girls,” Martinez said.
Martinez discussed plans for VT’s Girl Up chapter
“We want to raise awareness about women issues. We also want to do some community service to bring relief to women in our community who are suffering. We were working on a donation drive for homeless women in Laredo by collecting feminine hygiene products to donate to the Bethany House. That way we would be providing a little something for those women who don’t have the same advantages as we do,” Martinez said.
She offered her views on the roles of boys and girls in society.
“I think it’s relevant to where you live, but definitely there are certain gender expectations. Even here in the United States about the thing girls can do or should do versus what boys can do and should do. And if you move out of the United States it becomes more difficult in other countries for girls to aspire to the same things that boys do. Look at places like Afghanistan or Pakistan where girls don’t have the same opportunities as boys,” Martinez said.
She offered comments on people’s comments towards how she played when she was growing up.
“Growing up, I was a real tomboy. And I always wanted to participate in sports, and I wanted to play with boys. I often encountered comments like ‘girls shouldn’t do that,’ or “wouldn’t you rather do something different?’. So, it’s difficult for girls to do the things that they love sometimes because of society’s expectations,” Martinez said.
Martinez discussed how Girl Up engages girls to stand up for themselves and other girls in developing countries.
“I think Girl Up is a great organization because it allows girls to become leaders and advocate for their own rights and for their place in the world, and also to use their voice to give voice to those in other countries who don’t have the same opportunities as we do,” Martinez said.
She thinks it’s a great opportunity for local girls.
“I haven’t seen anything like it in Laredo. I believe this is the only chapter of Girl Up that exists in Laredo, and I hope that other schools are inspired to start their own chapter of Girl Up,” Martinez said.
She discussed what the quote, “Every girl, no matter where she’s born, deserves to dream. You can make dreams a reality,” means to her.
“What it means to me is that a lot of girls in the United States come from a place of privilege for the most part. We have access to a good education. We have access to well-paying jobs but that’s not the case for every girl in the world. I think it’s something that every girl deserves no matter where they are born. Geography shouldn’t make a difference in how successful, or how happy you are when you grow up,” Martinez said.
Martinez said VMT girls have the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of society.
“We are still taking members. So, if anybody is interested in joining the organization come by an see me in room C126X. I’d be happy to give you more information on the chapter. It’s a great way to do something good for yourself, and for girls all over the world. It looks great on a college application. I think we can really make a difference,” Martinez said.