Hi everyone! My name is Sydney Baumgardt and I am 16 years old. I live in beautiful Evergreen, Colorado with my family and I’m gearing up to start my junior year at Phillips Academy Andover, just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
I am proud to admit I am an absolute Harry Potter fanatic and love books in general. That being said, if you can’t find me in the library, I will probably be in the gym, playing basketball or volleyball—two more of my many (many) passions! A few years ago I was introduced into the world of black and white film photography, and the darkroom has quickly become one of my favorite hideouts.
Last summer, I spent three weeks in a rural town in Peru, helping the locals build a primary school. There I met three-year old Machi. She is smart, funny, and a little social butterfly, but the challenges she’ll face as she grows up were clear. For the girls in her town, education was a luxury, not a priority. Without a solid education, she will remain dependent on others and limited in her ability to choose her own future. As soon as I got home, I started a Girl Up Club at my high school in Colorado after learning about the program online. I instantly fell in love with the mission, particularly its emphasis on ensuring educational opportunities for all girls. Education has been such an important part of my life – in fueling a love for learning and providing a way for me to chart my own path. Girls everywhere deserve those opportunities.
This summer, I had the opportunity to join the Girls’ Leadership Council with the Women’s Foundation of Colorado where we learned about how much of a difference education can make over a woman’s lifetime. At the end of the program, we granted $20,000 to two organizations in Colorado helping to decrease girls’ dropout rates and increase women’s participation in STEM fields.
I am honored and excited to work with my fellow Teen Advisors to empower girls everywhere to achieve their dreams and change the world.