Hello, I’m Sarah Gordon! I’m a 17-year-old junior at Riverdale High School in Portland, Oregon, and a part-time student at Portland State University.
My love of learning and my travel experience have contributed to my passion for working to create a better world for girls. I’ve traveled to 20 countries on five continents, in many of which I’ve witnessed extreme poverty, especially affecting girls. This inspired me to do everything that I could to make a difference and led me to start the Girl Up Oregon Coalition!
In 2013, I had the honor of being named a winner of the United States Institute of Peace National Peace Essay Contest, writing on the role of gender in peace-building.
This past year has been equally exciting for me as I was named one of Radio Disney’s 30 “Heroes for Change” and one of Build-A-Bear Workshop’s 10 “Huggable Heroes” internationally. I am honored beyond belief that my work with Girl Up has earned me these distinctions!
I plan to use the grant money from these awards to plan and lead the first ever Girl Up credit-earning course, as my high school has given me the opportunity to do. In this class, I will educate and motivate my peers through curriculum and event-planning to raise awareness and funds for Girl Up daily.
I have spent the past two years raising money for the Ponheary Ly Foundation in Cambodia. This past summer, I had the life-changing experience of being granted a volunteer position with the Foundation for a month and a half, which involved planning curriculum, working with Cambodian girls on English, Science and Art, and learning from them how to love and respect others in ways that filled me with optimism and joy.
In my spare time, I love to enjoy the wonderful city of Portland, participate on my school’s Mock Trial team, represent my class on my school district’s Site Council, listen to good music, drink good coffee, and make memories with my friends and family.
I am thrilled and honored to be able to continue working with Girl Up, get to know the INCREDIBLE Teen Advisors, and grow as a person this year.