Girl Up Reaches Out At Home and Away


Left to right are Emily Kovacsy, Liz Schlaffer, Anna Izeppi, and Phoebe Sessler, who are part of a network of 1800 Girl Up clubs worldwide. (Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Bela Shah).

Elisha Stenger, Staff Reporter

Warren Hills Girl Up Club is making a big impact for women and girls near and far this school year.

They ran a bra drive to help homeless women in our local community, and collected 89 bras and recently presented a library showcase to raise awareness about their mission and the plight of girls in developing countries.

Girl Up was founded in 2010 by the United Nations Foundation, with the mission “to work across a global community of partners to achieve gender equality worldwide.” The Warren Hills Chapter was started in 2016, and is more active than ever this year.

Warren Hills Girl Up President Anna Izzepi said the club aims to provide aid to girls in developing countries.

“We advocate and fundraise to send these girls to school where it’s hardest to be a girl,” she said.

This is Izeppi’s first year as head of the club, and she said it’s definitely a learning experience.

“As vice president, I didn’t really know how things were functioning all the time,” she said. “It’s a little bit more difficult this year because we lost a lot of members, but we’re still getting a lot done and I’m really happy with it.”

Advisor Debra Rokosny agreed with this assessment.

“Anna’s a great leader. She’s a great president, she has a good team,” she said. “I think Anna has done a great deal of work, and I think compared to last year, the year before, I think they’re doing just as well, just as much.”

To increase awareness and club participation, Izeppi had the idea to hold a showcase about Girl Up.

“The showcase was basically just to inform the students what Girl Up is about since it’s relatively new and people don’t really know,” Izeppi said.

Members of Girl Up said they were drawn by the humanitarian mission of the club.

Junior Emily Kovacsy said, “I first saw the clothing drive [last year] and that really interested me. I think that all women should get rights and education, so I wanted to be able to help support that cause.”

Girl Up also recently took action in our local community by partnering with an organization called “I Support the Girls” to collect and distribute new and gently used bras to women and girls in need.

According to the I Support the Girls website, “Donations are collected locally by our affiliates and then distributed locally to our organizational partners. Items donated to specific affiliates are distributed to homeless women and girls in that city through homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, refugee resettlement homes, foster care agencies, LGBTQ agencies, homes for pregnant teens and more.”

At the heart of of Girl Up’s mentality?

Izeppi said, “It’s a way to help girls around the world to bridge the gap between here and there, and make an impact far away.”