Girls Empowered helping girls reach their potential

VOLUME 1: Fall 2016

Welcome to the first issue of Girls Empowered! Our purpose and goal of writing these articles is to empower girls who face challenges to be successful through hard work, persistence, and putting a lot of effort into whatever they do!

Table of Contents

  • Worrying Vs. Prep by Juliana Pulci
  • Embarrassed? Get Over It! by Nevin Makohon
  • Don't Tell Me I Can't by Joan Reichert
  • Girls in Sports: Shannon Miller by Rylee Billings
  • Ladies First by Emily Carpenter
  • Pretty or Smart by Jakob Babitch
  • Herstory: Helen Keller by Emma Bouwens
  • Mean Boys by Tegan Hetzler
  • Girl Power by Riley Strussenberg
  • Annabelle's Shopping Spree by Lizzy Hassett
  • The Choice: Makeup or No? by Jordyn Arena

WORRYING VS PREP by Juliana Pulci

I am Juliana and I do gymnastics for a competition team. Even though I’ve done gymnastics since I was 2 years old (and now I am 10 years old), this is the first year that I am on a competition team. I am very happy that I am on this high level, but it also comes with a lot of work and responsibility.

I have a competition coming up. I am worried about it, even though I know that worrying doesn’t help. So, that is what I am going to be talking about - worrying versus preparation!

Here are some reasons why I would be worried. First, I would be scared of messing up on an event. The events I would be most worried about are vault and beam. Vault is my weakest event and with the beam, I worry about falling off in middle of my routine.

Outside of gymnastics, I also worry. I’m always thinking, “What will other people think about me?” I have a hard time choosing what to wear or how to style my hair because I want to give a good impression. I am beginning to learn, however, that it doesn’t matter what other people think. You just have to be yourself.

The main way to avoid worrying is to prepare. The more you prepare, the better you feel. Some ways that I could prepare (so that I won’t worry so much!) are warming up properly before the meet. I also attend practices for three hours, two times a week. If I don’t practice, how can I get better? All of my practices I have gone to are worth it. At every single practice I go to, not only do I work hard but it’s also important for me to pay attention to my coach. The coach can point out what I need to fix so that I can get better.

Finally, I can practice positive self-talk. That means that you don’t say bad things bad things to yourself like, “Oh, I’m going to mess up!” You have confidence in yourself and tell yourself “I’m going to try my hardest and have fun. I can do it!”

So that brings me to the title of this article: Worrying Versus Preparation! So keep this in your mind: You should never care what other people think about you! The only opinion that matters is your own. If you prepare, things will get better -- so what do you have to worry about?

Juliana Pulci is in 4th grade and she is 10 years old.She has one sister and one brother she is the oldest. One of her favorite things to do is have sleepovers with her family and friends.

Embarrassed? Get over it! by Nevin Makohon

Everybody in their life has been embarrassed. Sometimes when you’re embarrassed your face turns red and your palms get sweaty. Some people feel like they are going to cry when they are embarrassed.

Jacob B says he has spilled soup on his shirt and he spent half an hour to clean it up. He was blushing and he was afraid that people would think that he was a pig, and that he was very messy. Juliana P says she was at a competition and she kept missing the springboard and her face turned red and she felt like she wanted to hide.

To get over your embarrassment you should take some deep breaths. Also, you could try laughing at yourself. One of the best ways to get over being embarrassed is to put yourself in the situation. For example, I was embarrassed and worried that I would strikeout in my first baseball game. But now, I have more confidence and now I can hit a baseball no problem, because I practiced.

Let’s see if being embarrassed and making mistakes have connections. So making mistakes means that you did something wrong or not doing the task in the right order. But, you can learn from your mistakes and see if you could do better the next time. According to Google dictionary, embarrassed mean to feel self-conscious, or feel awkward. Embarrassed and making mistakes kind of have a connection because embarrassed means to feel awkward, and when you make mistakes you feel awkward. Look on the bright side, being embarrassed is actually good because you’re trying and making mistakes, which means you’re learning and growing.

Nevin is a 9 year old that loves dogs and is in 4th grade. He enjoys writing and playing sports.

Don’t Tell Me I Can’t! by Joan Reichert

Inspiration makes girls motivated to do what they want to do, I went around and asked a bunch of girls in my class and some teachers what inspires you the most. Next my second question was has there ever been a situation where a boy told you, you can’t do something because you're a girl.

First, I asked Mirina, a girl in my class who’s a cheerleader, “What inspires you the most?” What she said was, “Older cheerleaders inspire me because I look up to them.” This makes sense because older cheerleaders have more experience in cheerleading.

Next, I asked Addie, another girl in my class who likes to write books. She said, “What inspires me is other people’s books. They inspire me to write my own books.”

Then I asked Mrs.Fabrizio, a very successful women who is passionate about what she does. Mrs.Fabrizio is a musician and a band director. She said “What inspires me is music because it can impact us in different ways. She also said her students desire to get better inspire her too.

Last but not least, I asked my Mom. My mom is a librarian and a teacher. She said her students inspire her to try new things and to learn new things.

Question two (2) is, “Has there ever been a situation where a boy told you, you can't do something because you’re a girl?”

Addie said she was playing with legos and her little cousin came up to her, who's a boy, and said “You can't play with legos because you are not boy.” Addie said she told on her cousin because what he said made Addie angry. I totally agree with Addie I would be angry too.

Next, I asked Savanna. She said her brother told her she can't wrestle because she s a girl. When her brother told her that she said that made her want to wrestle even more. Then Savanna said the next day she beat her brother in a wrestling match. I bet Savanna felt awesome when she showed her brother that she can wrestle.

Another story is Riley wanted to play basketball with her brothers and they said, “You can't play basketball because you’re a girl and you are always caught up on your looks, and you’re always emotional too. Riley said she was livid when she heard that so she beat her brothers in a basketball game because it made her want to kick their butts even more. I said good for Riley. She had the ability to stand up her brothers!

Author: Joan Reichert is a 5th grader she loves to write and enjoys sewing and playing with her 5 cats.

Girls in Sports: Shannon Miller By: Rylee Billings

Reaching for the stars! Shannon Miller was an American gymnast born in Oklahoma. She went to the Olympics. She won 7 medals from the Olympics. She was the smallest athlete in any sport. She had more medals than any other American in 1992. Shannon was also a straight A student who won service awards and scholarships. She is a two-time world champion. Her focus was beam.

Early life

Shannon was named after a baseball player named Mike Shannon. Her birthday is March 10, 1977. She has a brother and a sister. She was born in Oklahoma. Shannon was the youngest person to be on the senior team in 1990 at age 13. When she went to the Olympics she was part of the magnificent seven!


Shannon had lots of struggles, but a lot of comebacks, too. When she was younger they found out her leg was not growing properly. She also had elbow surgery. She also had a rare type of cancer! After she was cured she worked hard to get back up to the top. After her elbow surgery she went to a meet and scored a 9.912. She had to practice a lot to make the Olympic team!

As an adult

Shannon Miller married John Falconetti in 2008 and had a son named Rocco. Shannon was diagnosed with a cancer in 2011. Then in 2011 she was healthy again. A few years later they had a daughter named Sterling. In 2015 Shannon joined a new business and also is fighting to help childhood obesity.


Now we all know that Shannon Miller ( the most decorated gymnast in U.S history) was a huge inspiration to many people, especially girls! A message to girls: Never give up and try hard, even if someone tells you that you can't do it!!

Rylee is a 11 year old 5th grader and plays soccer and runs. She enjoys doing Girl Scouts and tuba!!

Ladies First by Emily Carpenter

Have you ever wondered about who was the first woman to be on the presidential ballot? Or the first woman in space? These historical figures I will share with you today have paved the road of success for women and have empowered girls everywhere.

One amazing role model for women everywhere is Belva Ann Lockwood. You may not have heard of her but, she was very inspiring to women because she was the first woman on the presidential ballot and one of the first female lawyers. She definitely inspires me to pursue my dreams! She was on the presidential ballot before women were even allowed to vote.

Another awesome role model is Lucille Ball, who was the first woman television executive. Without her we may not have other inspiring people like Oprah. She was on many talk shows and comedies that inspired many shows today.

Next, we have the first woman in space, Sally Ride. She continues to inspire many astronauts every day and she is important because she believed in herself enough to get to space.

Fourth, is Marie Curie who was the first woman recipient of the Nobel prize. She received this honor because she worked hard on her discoveries as a scientist. She was an inquirer because she had to ask herself many questions in an order to make her discoveries in science.

Last is Grace Hopper, who invented the compiler. The compiler is a program that translates computer language (a language that communicates to give orders to electronics, mostly computers) to machine code that can be read by a processor. If you are reading this article, thank Grace Hopper!

Personally, I found each and every one of these women inspiring and empowering to girls. Now get up and go make a difference!

Emily Carpenter is eleven years old and loves writing, playing guitar, and traveling. She has two dogs named Maggie and Hannah. She also enjoys spending time with her family and eating pizza. She has really loved working on the Girls Empowered magazine!

Pretty or Smart? By Jakob Babitch

Hi, I`m Jakob Babitch and I’m interviewing some random girls just like you, asking them, “Would you rather be pretty or smart? And why?” I wanted to use this question because I want to see if people think beauty or wits matters the most! Let’s get started!

Kira, a fourth grader, answered “Both, because sometimes it is good to be both.” What do you think?

My opinion, as a boy, is, I’d rather be smart than handsome. I say that because, pretty is something you see with your eyes. And “pretty” is just someone’s opinion. I rather have a smart brain than have opinions of how I look. Looks are what other people think, not anything about the real you. The real you is how kind or smart you are. A body is like a shell that will break when you die. Your soul is what counts. And for all the girls who wear makeup, that just means you are hiding your face or adding unnecessary “stuff” to your face. So all I`m saying is, be yourself.

Next we have AvaMay. She says she would rather be smart because that way, you will get a college degree.

Then, I actually asked Mrs. Yando, and she wisely said: “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” And what I believe it means is, that if just because someone is not that good-looking, but they are very smart, then you can’t just say “She’s weird looking, so I bet she’s not very smart either.” Just like a book, you can’t say you don’t like it just by looking at the front cover and not even reading one single chapter of the book to see if it’s good or not.

Next, my friend, Juliana, answered “smart” because, “pretty is just someone else’s opinion. Smart is challenging and helps your brain grow. Now, let`s have a boy`s opinion on this.

So our next friend is Nevin M. His answer was, “Smart. I would rather be smart, because it doesn’t matter how you look. It matters how smart you are, and smart means you’ll be able to pass college.’’ says Nevin.

To finish up, I believe that, from looking over what I’ve wrote, most people said smart over pretty. If I were a guest being interviewed, I would say smart too.

So, to finish up, it doesn’t matter how you look, but how you think. Your personality is what matters.

Jakob is a ten year old boy who lives with his dog and mom. His favorite show is “Teen Titans Go!” He enjoys eating BBQ chips and playing with his dog.

Herstory: Helen Keller by Emma Bouwens

Helen Keller was a blind and deaf girl, but that did not stop her. Helen was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880. She was a pretty baby. She was happy and smart. When Helen was 6 months old, She had a high fever. The parents and doctors were afraid she would die. Soon are later the sickness was gone. But because she got sick she turned blind and deaf. She would run over chairs and break things.

The Kellers went to Washington D.C to see Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, also know as Dr.Bell. He was a famous inventor of the telephone. He had spent many years working to help deaf people. Dr. Bell told the Kellers to go to this school for blind children. He said, ”You must write to Dr. Anagnos at the Perkins School.” When she was 8, her mom said, “She needed to be taught.”

That teacher’s name was Anne Sullivan. Helen couldn’t hear or see at all when she was in school. But Anne made it work. She could not hear, so it was a struggle. Anne was with her for the rest of her life it seem. Anna taught her some words. They would go over her house and learn.Helen didn’t know words, but when she learned one word, “water,” she wanted to learn more. Helen wanted to be a part of a conversation. She focus more on learning and continued to learn all of her life.

Helen got into college and in 1904 and received her diploma.

On eightieth birthday, in 1960, the American Foundation for Overseas Blind announce the Helen Keller International Award. Helen Keller was now a huge writer and hero to all girls around the world. At 75 she traveled thousands of miles around the world. She made many speeches and met many friends.

“Teacher and that was all.

It will be my answer

In the dark

When death calls.”

Emma Bouwens loves to sing,dance,and playing sports. She hates when boys say she can’t do something. She loves pets and has 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 fish, and 1 turtle.

Confused Boys by Tegan Hetzler

So many boys say girls can’t do sports just because we’re girls. Well don’t listen to them. My friend Riley’s brothers told her she couldn’t do basketball because she was a girl. But after practicing she was better than both of them combined. She went to basketball practice and basketball games. Just to prove that they were wrong. Her brothers were amazed. Her brothers never made fun of her again about basketball,

My brother told me I couldn’t do horseback riding just because I’m a girl. I said in my head, “Nonsense!” After years of sweat and hard work training I finally was able to prove him wrong. When he went to my horseback riding private lesson, he was so amazed his jaw dropped down to the floor. I kept on doing horseback riding for the next two years. He was too busy at his dad’s to come to any more of my lessons. Teresa the owner told me “Tegan… Would you like to be in a horse show?” “Of course!!!” was my response. I told my brother about it. He ignored me. I told the rest of my family and they were amazed. I told my friends they said “that’s really cool’’.

Has something like this ever happened to you ? If it did what did you do about it? I just ignored them and walk away. Keep on working hard and prove them wrong. And try your hardest, That’s your best revenge.

Tegan is a fourth grader who likes to horseback ride and likes to take long walks with her dogs.

Girl Power by Riley Strussenberg


Girls and women have the right to be a cop, or a doctor, or a professional athlete because we are strong. When my cousin was in 4th grade she wanted to play football, but the football coach said “No.” So when she was in 6th grade she asked again and he said “I’ll give you one shot. If you mess up, you’re out. Off the team.” She said ok. So to this day she is still playing football with the boys and she has 0 mess ups and only 5 games that they lost, since she has been on the team.

Now let me tell you a story about me. Okay, so when I was 6, I wanted to play b-ball and my brothers said no, you can’t play b-ball. You are just a girl. Well, months went on and when I was about 7½, I was as good as Dylan, my older brother. Then I was better than Zach, my middle brother, and now I’m better than my dad.

For all you girls out there, tell those boys that they need to buzz off! You are better than what they say and you can do whatever you want to do. A girl in my class, (I’m not saying who), but a girl in my class had some trouble with boys telling her that she can’t do something because she is a girl and she was in a lot of pain for a long time. Not like breaking bones kind of pain, but hurting her feeling, because she thought the boys were right. But I told her that she can do whatever she wants to do. Don’t let a guy define who you can be or what you should look like or even act like.

So yeah, I’m just saying boys should not tell girls we can’t do something because they think we do not like to get our hands dirty or fix a car, okay? So just let a girl be who she wants to be and do what she wants to do. So don't let anybody tell you what you can and cannot be. Only you can set those limits -- and who says there has to be limits?

Riley Strussenberg is a 5th grader. She has 34 snakes, 23 chickens, 1 cat, 3 dogs, and 10 lizards. She also loves proving people wrong about girls. She also loves lemons.

The Valentine by Lizzy Hassett

(a work of fiction)

In my class today we are passing out valentines to all of our class. This year I decided to make them all by myself. They were very special that everyone got one, I made exactly 19 for everyone in our class. It’s 2:00, and our party is at 2:05. Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s time, it’s exactly 2:05. Mrs. Estle is getting out the food and drinks. Everything looks scrumptious. She told us to all go get our valentines to pass out to the class. Oh, no! I just realized since Emma, (the new girl), came to our class, there are 20 people in our class! “Who will I not give one to?” I thought. I know, I won’t give one to Sally because we just got in a big fight. No, she is still my best friend. I have to talk to Mrs. Estle.

I talked to her and she reminded me that we shouldn’t exclude anyone and she also told me that she knew it was an honest mistake. So, I talked to Gina because I know she would’ve understood, you know we have been best friends since kindergarten. I really wanted to give her one, but she reminded me that our friendship is enough, friendship is a good enough Valentine’s day gift for her. After I talked to her I learned that in a true friendship you don’t have to give each other gifts all the time. What matters is the fact that you’re friends. I know that I will always remember this Valentine’s day.

Lizzy Hassett is an 11 year old fifth grader that loves to sing. She also plays the piano and the french horn.

The Choice: Makeup or No? by Jordyn Arena

I don’t know why girls wear makeup. I see them wearing it and it is really big and bold, and I think that it is just too much. Even when they have to go to the grocery store, some women have to put on makeup.

Many girls say that they really need makeup to look pretty but they don’t. They should know that they look pretty without all of that makeup on their face. They have their own choice about what they want to do. But, in my opinion, all of them look pretty without all that makeup on their face. Also, it takes them a really long time to get ready in the morning. Not to mention all of the money they spend buying the makeup and beauty products.

Next, makeup takes up a lot of space in their room, or, if they have a small room like me, there is no place to put it. If they want a desk and they want it for work to do homework on it and they are a really big makeup person, they will not have a lot of room for their homework. I guess, if they are older, like 18 or more, they won’t need room for homework, but they might need the space for other work. But if they are around the age of 13 they will need to get a big desk. But either way they shouldn’t need makeup.

So, STOP wearing makeup because it’s not worth it. It takes up too much space, it is too much money, and you look pretty without it.

I hope some of you girls will take some my advice.

Yeah, no makeup is best!

Author Jordyn Arena is 9 years old. She loves to do gymnastics and she also has a dog named Dasher.


Created with images by tpsdave - "female woman sports" • tpsdave - "gymnastics gymnast sports" • Erin Costa - "StephShannon" • Rick McCharles - "day 3 HPTC 2012"

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