GENaustin’s We Are Girls Conference on November 12th is a day-long event that educates & encourages girls to help them better navigate the unique challenges they face every day.
In fact, GENaustin believes the Conference is so relevant and important in the lives of girls that we will be providing 50% of the girls who attend the conference scholarships so they can attend without worrying about cost. In addition, every girl who attends ClubGEN during the school year will also receive a scholarship to attend.
Tatiana Dalmu is one of those ClubGEN girls.
A bright, mature 8th grader, Tatiana knows first hand the challenges girls face with bullying and body image. She generously agreed to talk to GENaustin about the Conference, standing up to bullies, and the challenges girls face every day.
Having heard about the speakers & sessions, what do you think about the We Are Girls Conference?
I think it will be really cool.
Are there sessions you think would specifically be helpful to you?
I think one that focuses on self-esteem and bullying. I was really afraid that I was going to get bullied yesterday because I cut my hair. But it was okay. I got made fun of by a few people, but some of the time my friends stood up for me, or I stood up for myself.
What did you say to them to stand up for yourself?
I told them I feel sorry for them because they feel the need to pick on me to make themselves feel better. Or I say, “Who are you to tell me something about me is not right or not pretty, because I’m perfect the way I am. We all are.”
Do your friends go through a lot of bullying?
My friends all have something about them that is different, and they get made fun of it for it, but I admire them for it. Why can’t everyone understand we’re all the same inside? Why do people have such a hard time not being mean?
Last year in ClubGEN we talked about confidence & that you’re perfect the way you are. Kind of like what I said before, that we all look different, but you look past the differences and see we’re all the same on the inside. And if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.
Why do you want to go to We Are Girls?
Usually you go to things where you just have a bunch of people lecturing you, and you don’t have any choice about what you’re learning about. But I think having options like We Are Girls gives you is really cool because you get to explore more and you get to expand your thinking, and have the option to try something you’re really interested in and want to learn more about.
Any advice you would give to another girl who is having a hard time?
My friend has a friend who gets bullied. This girl gets picked on, something to do with her religion, and she has really long dark hair she wears back the same every day, and my friend said, “I don’t know what to tell her to help her.” And I told her, “You should tell her, she doesn’t have to change herself, because she has a certain way she wants to look, because of her heritage, and she should be proud of that, instead of being ashamed. And if she doesn’t change who she is, that says a lot about her character.”
Tatiana is like hundreds of other girls who want to attend the We Are Girls Conference to talk to experts about the issues they are facing. Yet so many girls can’t afford the $30 ticket.