Hi, everyone! My name is Aria Yang. I’m 18 years old and a rising senior at Lancaster Catholic High School in Pennsylvania. I grew up in Shanghai, China and moved to Pennsylvania when I was 16. Growing up, I’ve seen and experienced many ridiculous gender inequality issues in Asian countries as well as here in US. I have been a passionate advocate for gender equality ever since 14. I am absolutely thrilled to serve as a Teen Advisor this year and bring changes to the world!
I first discovered Girl Up when I had an idea of starting a gender equality club in my school in sophomore year. I was amazed by what Girl Up is doing and I knew at the moment that this awesome movement will for sure change the world. After becoming a Girl Up club leader in the United States, I wanted to bring the message of Girl Up to my homeland, China, too. Using the impact of social media, I started a Girl Up online community in China. It now has a following of hundreds of teenagers from all around the country.
Besides Girl Up, I am also involved in the International Thespian Society, Mock Trial Team, Broadcasting Team, National Honor Society, etc. I enjoy being under the spotlights or in front of a camera, trying to comprehend arts, and exchanging ideas with different people. I always view myself as a “global citizen” and try to look at things from an unbiased, open-minded perspective. I aspire to be a journalist in the future and to be the voice of the less privileged.
Gender equality to me means empowerment. Young girls and boys around the world should realize that they own the power to be whoever they want to be. Gender expectations should not restrain us. It breaks my heart to see that millions of girls in the world today are still being treated unfairly and denied basic human dignity. But through Girl Up, we can change that. When all girls are united to change the world, we are UNSTOPPABLE.