When Girls Rise, We All Rise

Sarah Chimenti, Staff Writer

When girls rise we all rise! In 2018 at Farmingdale High School, a student, Emma Duffy, decided to start the club Girl Up. Mrs. Kathleen Danyko, the club advisor, says, “Duffy applied for club status, asked me to be advisor, and here we are.” This club is called Girl Up because it represents lifting up feminism. “We are a chapter of an organization sponsored by the United Nations,” adds Danyko. 

Student officers of the club, seniors Amanda Treulich, Christina Kuriakose , Alyssa Drozdowski, and Erin Smyth, as well as sophomore Yusra Mir, are all leaders and are empowering others. Club members want students at FHS to become aware of women’s and girls’ issues, both locally and globally. Danyko says, ¨We’re a movement to advance girls’ skills, rights, and opportunities to be leaders. When girls rise we all rise.¨ 

Senior Amanda Treulich wants the club to educate students about feminism. Her goal is “to teach others that ‘feminism’ is not a scary or radical concept. Through our meetings and events we wish to emphasize how feminism does not equate to looking down upon men. Instead, true feminism involves valuing equality for everyone, and ensuring that everyone receives the rights and privileges they deserve. Additionally, I hope to pass on a desire to help others, and encourage the members to research and speak up about issues they are passionate about. Change starts with acknowledgment and advocacy, and although this can seem intimidating, you can always rely on your friends and peers to work with you.” 

Members of this club express feminism outside of the club as well. Christina Kuriakose says she expresses feminism by “being part of this club, but also just staying true to the entire idea of feminism within my own life and character.  Not accepting hateful comments, not excusing sexist jokes, etc. And being kind to all people- men and women included. I think not letting society’s ideas of how I ‘should be’ dictate my life is another element of my feminism.”

Girl Up advocates, raises awareness, and fundraises for girls’ empowerment around the world. The club runs many events throughout the year. Danyko says, ¨We had a movie event on Friday, 12/13 where we watched RBG. We learned about the ways in which Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg worked, using the law, to advance the rights of women in the US.¨ Danyko and members of the club soon plan to work on an initiative to spread body positivity. She says, “We will encourage this mindset in both the high school and middle school.” 

March is Women’s History Month, so be on the lookout for Girl Up club events and activities.

* Image from Girlup.org