Girls make a powerful noise

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, 10 underserved high school girls from Los Angeles attended a VIP screening of the documentary “A Powerful Noise” as part of our Purple Acts of Kindness program, which aims to surprise and delight our local communities with random acts of generosity. These freshly empowered girls then had the chance to become filmmakers themselves. Here’s a recap through the eyes of one of the mentors who accompanied them:

Limousines arrived at Gertz-Ressler High School to pick up 10 teens. They were heading out for an evening of film and female empowerment, along with mentors from the Step Up Women's Network. The girls couldn’t have been more excited and were certainly the envy of their peers! The girls thought the limousine would be the biggest surprise of the night – little did they know what was to come.

After a scrumptious dinner, we presented the girls with a Yahoo! backpack, and they couldn’t believe what was inside. Licetz, the girl I was paired with for the evening, was dancing in her seat when she saw the Flip video camera that was hers to keep and would empower her to make her own powerful voice be heard.

The evening culminated with a VIP screening of “A Powerful Noise,” a documentary presented by CARE about women changing the world. The girls were completely inspired by the strong role models in the film and felt they could also make a difference in their communities. There was a special buzz in the air the entire evening, as the Step Up girls knew they would also have the chance to make a video, capturing their reaction to “A Powerful Noise.”

The two featured videos below were created by Step Up girls who won an all-expense paid trip from Yahoo! to attend the CARE conference in Washington D.C. in May. This is sure to be a life-changing experience for them.

I’ve found it rewarding to volunteer for Step Up’s program for high school girls. It gives these teens an opportunity to be mentored by many professional women throughout their high school years as they prepare for the next step -- college. As the first person in my family to receive a college degree, I know how important it is to these girls and their families that they go to college.

These girls don’t often have the opportunity to feel special and privileged, and I was so impressed with Yahoo! for giving them this wonderful, first-class experience.

Edie Lynn Ortenberg
President and CEO of The Hollis House
Volunteer for Step Up Women’s Network