When Girls Inc. of Alameda County girls Samantha, Vanessa and Kaylianna learned they would have a chance to go with the CloseUp Foundation to the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, they were thrilled. “I was sure when I applied that Hillary was going to win,” says Vanessa. After the election, Girls Inc. staff asked the girls if they still wanted to go. All three girls said yes. “Once the day actually came we had to… be strong and experience this on our own and find ourselves,” says Kaylianna.
The girls packed their bags and headed to Washington D.C. for the first time. They attended the inauguration; met Congresswoman Barbara Lee; and marched in solidarity at the Women’s March. Throughout the trip, the girls let their voices be heard. “We didn’t stay quiet…Girls Inc. really taught us to be open, to voice our opinion and to not be shy,” relates Samantha. “We’re not always going to win our arguments, [but you] have to be strong enough to say that’s okay, I’m not going to give up. Girls Inc. always says to take risks, and on this trip, I did,” says Kaylianna.
Thank you to Samantha, Vanessa and Kaylianna for bringing your strong, smart and bold voices to Washington. And thank you, our supporters, for continuing to make Girls Inc. of Alameda County’s work possible.