Hi Girl Up! My name is Sofia Scarlat, I’m a sixteen year old rising senior currently residing in Bucharest, Romania.
I’ve been involved with Girl Up for a little over a year now, but even in this short amount of time I’ve had the honor of watching my chapter – this campaign’s first branch in Romania – grow tremendously and establish itself as the only girl empowerment organization for Romanian teens to date. We’re a diverse team of around 40 high school students who’ve been working tirelessly to organize campaigns and events that have reached hundreds of teens in 5 cities across our country.
We’ve mobilized several Bucharest high schools to work together and raise sanitary product donations for women living in shelters for victims of domestic violence; held conferences meant to empower girls, teach boys how to contribute to the cause, and de-stigmatized the topics our country has not been addressing. We’ve lobbied Romanian MPs, launched an informative mini-series featuring teens explaining the issues we tackle, hosted self-defense classes, and participated in our country’s first ever Women’s Political Forum Girl2Leader campaign, during which I had the opportunity of giving a speech to the European Parliament on the importance of female leadership in Romania. Still, this is barely scratching the surface, and I’m certain we will continue to grow.
While most of my time is dedicated towards this initiative, my hope of amplifying young people’s voices expands outside of Girl Up as well. I’m a student journalist, working as the head editor for my school newspaper and contributing to several magazines including ELLE, where I publish pieces on activism and education. I’m also one of the organizers of a local TEDxYouth event.
This opportunity to participate as a Teen Advisor for the 2019-2020 term is truly an honor and a chance to contribute even more towards a cause that I feel so deeply connected to. I look forward to working with everyone and sharing our results with the world.