The Girls Empowerment Network (GEN) is currently accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Board! To learn more, download the membership description and the application here. Interested young women should apply by June 22, 2015.



GEN puts girls and young women at the center of the organization. The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is an important component of this practice. YAB members are young women ages 15-24 who give feedback about GEN’s programs and ensure their relevance to girls in grades 3 – 12 through directly contributing to projects and volunteerism. Each YAB member has previous experience with GEN’s programming, ranging from participating in clubGEN when they were in middle school to serving as a high school mentor.



If you would like to learn more about GEN’s YAB, please contact the staff liaison Brittany Yelverton through




2015 Membership

VictoriaVictoria Volker, President

Victoria is a junior at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA where she is majoring in American Studies with a minor in Teacher Education. Victoria has both volunteered as a clubGEN high school volunteer and worked as a AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate for GEN. She is excited to be a part of a team that contributes to dialogues about the issues that young girls face today and the ways in which GEN can support girls throughout their teenage years. Victoria is passionate about education, and is inspired by the work of John Dewey. “The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think—rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.” ~ John Dewey





Georgia Hernandez, Vice PresidentGeorgia

Georgia is a senior at Ann Richards, a girl empowerment and leadership based school. She is a member of the City of Austin Youth Council and serves as the Student Body V.P. at Ann Richards. Georgia is also the Colorguard Captain, a member of the Foundation of Education for Young Women, and an active member of her church. She has been involved in GEN since 6th grade when she was in clubGEN and in high school she began volunteering. In particular, Georgia was the emcee of the 2014 We Are Girls Conference.






Garima SinghGarima, Historian

Garima is 16 and a junior at Westwood High School. She has been interested in helping girls be the best they can be since she was very little. When she heard about GEN, she signed up to volunteer immediately! Garima also started a Girls Who Code Club at her school, sponsored by Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that works to reduce the gender gap in technology fields. As a member of the GEN Youth Advisory Board, Garima hopes to continue her efforts to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields and help girls realize their voice and grow into the strong young women they are. Aside from empowering girls, Garima is fatally obsessed with Harry Potter, British TV (mostly Doctor Who and Sherlock), and old Bollywood movies. She loves to read absolutely anything and will join Westwood’s dance team, the Sundancers, next year.





Arlette Flores, Secretary arlette

Arlette is a currently a junior at & Founding Member of East Austin College Prep. She is the President of the Youth Advisory Board there and is very thankful for her school and the many opportunities it has provided. Arlette loves to travel and her education is the top priority in her life. After high school, she plans to study Architecture and Photo Communications in college. Arlette also enjoys volunteering, volleyball, writing, and creating photography/digital art. She is very close with her grandparents, and says they are the reason behind her hard work, so one day she can be able to provide for them and herself. Arlette has been involved GEN ever since she was introduced by a service learning teacher years ago. She has attended workshops and the conference with GEN, as well as volunteered in the office. She feels that women and girls need to ditch the gender stereotypes and create their own world of freedom and happiness. As once Mary Shelley said  “I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”




alinaAlina Tonu, Member

Alina studies East Asian media and culture at the University of Texas at Austin where she is a Sophomore. Between classes and adventuring with friends, Alina can happily spend hours wandering around the city. On and off-campus, she has the privilege of learning from visionaries with feet to their passion. Books, food, and music sustain her sanity.  Any person who shares these three things with others is a friend to her. For two years, Alina has volunteered as the on-site photographer for GEN’s We Are Girls Conference, capturing all the special moments of the event.








Ari Tolany, Member

Ari Tolany is a junior at the Liberal Arts and Science High School. Literature and drama have been among her life time passions—she is an active member of the Alley Cat Players, her school’s theatre troop, and her writing has been showcased in the Austin International Poetry Festival anthology for the past four years, receiving first place in youth poetry in 2013. She also plays soccer, participates in NHS and Model United Nations. She hopes to combine her love of international relations and agitating for women and girls’ issues by pursuing a career in the political sciences. With GEN, Ari has volunteered with both clubGEN and the We Are Girls Conference.





Victoria Mendoza, Member

Victoria is currently a senior at John B. Connally High School. She is involved with many clubs and has some leadership positions as well, one of them being Vice President of Student Council. Victoria believes in being an active of member of her community and was delighted to hear about GEN working to empower young girls. She will be volunteering with the clubGEN program. As a member of the GEN Youth Advisory Board, Victoria hopes to serve as a role model and help better programs that will inspire the younger generations to be whatever they want to be. Education is the top priority in Victoria’s life. After high school, she plans on attending college to study Finance and Entrepreneurship. Her hobbies include baking, cooking, blogging, and reading. She feels that all women are amazingly unique and would like to empower them to be the key to their own happiness.




Other members:

Lamar Nava

Edith Silva

Estefanie Flores