UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign Celebrates 100th Girl Up Club

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Teens in the United States are Changing the World, One Girl At a Time

“Girl Up Clubs are leading the growing grassroots movement of teens across the country who want to make the world a better place for girls everywhere,” said Gina Reiss-Wilchins, Director of Girl Up.

This week the Girl Up campaign reached a milestone moment – students in Madera, CA formed the 100th Girl Up Club, doubling the number of clubs in just the first three months of 2012. There are clubs in 25 states and 11 countries around the world, and the nearly 2,000 club members raise awareness and funds through innovative events and projects.

“Many of the girls in my school knew about the major issues that girls face worldwide, but none of them thought that they could make an impact while still in high school,” said Ariana Tsapralis, founder of the Girl Up Club at the Peddie School in New Jersey. “Creating a Girl Up club at my school allowed them to realize that every girl has an untapped potential to make a difference in the world, before even turning 18 years old."

In just six months, American teens have organized 34 club events, raising thousands of dollars for United Nations programs that serve adolescent girls in developing countries. Their activities have galvanized more than 7,000 people to take action to empower girls around the world. From California to Alabama, Cyprus to Nigeria, Girl Up Clubs have been holding school assemblies, pep rallies, awareness-raising events and more. Just last month, 25 club officers from across the United States attended the Girl Up Leadership Summit, developing the skills needed to raise funds and awareness, advocate for policy changes, and lead the Girl Up movement in their communities.

“Girl Up Clubs are leading the growing grassroots movement of teens across the country who want to make the world a better place for girls everywhere,” said Gina Reiss-Wilchins, Director of Girl Up. “Club members are organizing, mobilizing, and driving change, and in doing so are becoming the next generation of global leaders.”

One example is the Garfield High School Club in East Los Angeles, which has become a recognized force on its school campus. The club hosted a Girl Up pep rally in their school gymnasium last fall to educate fellow students about the key issues facing adolescent girls through speakers and interactive activities. The Garfield club has planned fundraisers and lunchtime activities in the school’s courtyard to make it easy for any student to give back to Girl Up. Garfield club members even created a video for Girl Up on how boys can be part of the solution for empowering girls, too.

Another club, the Girl Up Club at Wagner High School in Staten Island, has become the largest student-led organization on their campus with more than 80 club members. The club hosted a school-wide advocacy project on the issue of violence against women. Club members made daily announcements over the school’s PA system, went classroom to classroom giving informational talks, and collected signatures for a large petition now displayed in the school’s main lobby. This spring, the club will host an event in which boys will take the “walk in her shoes ” challenge to understand the difficulties that girls face around the world.

Girl Up Clubs are made up of girls AND boys who have joined together with the common commitment to change the lives of adolescent girls in developing countries and to empower the people around them to take action. As an officially recognized club, all meetings and activities align with Girl Up’s mission. To learn more about Girl Up Clubs, visit: http://www.girlup.org/clubs.

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About Girl Up
Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, gives American girls ages 13-18 the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Through Girl Up’s support, girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. Founding campaign partners include GirlsUp, Viacom, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, Women’s National Basketball Association, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, Girls Inc., and 10x10. Go to GirlUp.org to learn more.

About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit http://www.unfoundation.org.

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Andrea Austin
United Nations Foundation
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