MoCo EmpowHer Spotlight
Moco EmpowHer, if you’re a student in Montgomery County, maybe you’ve heard of it before? If not, you’re bound to soon. Moco EmpowHer is a rising youth organization committed to creating a safe space and providing opportunities for young women.
Helena Aytenfisu, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School, and Communications Coordinator for EmpowHer is a passionate leader for this organization. She self admittedly, “wasn’t very confident” or sure of how to get involved, to begin with, but upon encouragement from a friend, she joined. Ultimately, she realized how welcoming of an environment it felt for her. Aytenfisu went to explain how she discovered “such a wonderful community” which helped her “grow into a student leader and also just gain confidence in public speaking.”
Although it may seem like you might need friends in the organization to join and grow from it, EmpowHer welcomes everyone interested, whether you are female-identifying or not. It is an organization that is open to anyone that wants to learn more and grow as a leader. This unique, “strong, tight-knit community” as Aytenfisu believes, is an organization that is ready to go beyond to support each of its members.
MoCo EmpowHer holds monthly career-based events about specific career fields, as well as workshops such as public speaking. Every workshop is designed to articulate each person's interest and allow them to grow in that specific field.
The main goal as said by Communications Coordinator, Helena is to “empower young women and students in MoCo to help make the change they want to see and grow into the people that they want to be.”
Why is an organization like this important? It strives to provide each member with a support system that consistently believes in them. This especially is crucial for females who face societal expectations, prejudices, and many stereotypes that males generally don’t receive.
As Aytenfisu pointed out, commonly “men are the ones that are told that they are leaders, that they are capable.” The same doesn’t necessarily apply to women. Even in politics and positions of leadership, women are “often told that they aren’t enough or qualified” despite being “just as qualified.” This partiality and narrow outlook can deter many women and young girls from gaining confidence and pursuing their interests, especially in male-dominated fields.
Another member of the organization, sophomore at Northwest High School, Maahe Kunvar began to notice gender “disparities in classes, communities, and friends” in fields such as STEM- since seventh grade. EmpowHer’s events introduced her to a community full of “incredibly independent women.” To this day she says her experiences have been essential to her “journey of self-love, appreciation, and advocacy.”
Most importantly, Maahe says the organization has given her a platform and place to “positively influence and empower younger members.” EmpowHer wants people to see the potential in themselves and realize their capability- no matter their ethnicity, gender, or identification.
Aytenfisu agreeably sums up her experiences and opportunities with EmpowHer as “Empowering Her,” which is ultimately the goal of the organization.
If you want to be presented with new opportunities to learn about career paths relating to specific interests and to simply grow as a person, check out MoCo EmpowHer's website and social media to learn more about future events.
Written by Norah D'Cruze
Published by PR Department