At a recent lunch hosted by Glamour Magazine: The Girl Project, presented at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2015, Genevieve Roth, Senior Director of Special Projects, presented this wonderful program. Malala Yousafzai perhaps said it best: “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.” Glamour Magazine ( A Conde Nast publication) celebrated its annual Women of the Year event, honoring Malala, who truly stole the show. Malala is an example of a world renowned girl who became famous, ironically, because she was shot in the head, and miraculously survived, only to go forward and win a most deserved Nobel Peace Prize. She is from Pakistan, where women are treated horribly. Her very symbolic presence at the Glamour awards event is significant, as girls in 3rd world countries, such as Nigeria, are being kidnapped, raped, and ravaged, simply for their gender. Her bravery and stamina was one catalyst for The Girl Project. She has become an iconic leader in positively empowering young women for change, to make their lives and futures bright.
In a one on one interview, following the lunch, Genevieve Roth explained how this project is a philanthropic endeavor of “breaking down the barriers, to take action…One in 8 Americans will interact with Glamour Magazine each month, and our readers responded to Malala’s message.” The amazing thing about Malala, is, that while most people when facing extreme adversity, would quickly recede into a protective shell, she chose to take the difficult road less taken, and conquer the very forces that tried to destroy her.
As most millennials today seem too removed from the harsh realities facing girls in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the 3rd world in general, the Girl Project is an excellent way for them to become involved, whether online through social media, charitable giving, or by following stories (Twitter), share efforts with friends (Facebook), or learning how to crowd fund to help girls world wide. `One special guest at the Women of the Year project was Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. The Girl Project has partnered with Plan International USA; Girls Inc.; Care; and Communities in Schools; and is currently working in partnership with Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a fiscal sponsor that provides thousands of individuals, families, and communities with simple, effective ways to give locally and globally. The Girl Project focuses on literacy, responding to the alarming statistics that * in the U.S. almost 1 in 4 girls will not finish high school, and if this dropout rate continues, 13 million more students will drop out by 2022, at a national cost of $3 trillion. *In the developing world, a woman’ s earnings will be 10-20 percent higher for every year of school completed; and some countries lose more than $1 billion per year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys. This project is at the forefront of donating and investing money in these girls, and future generations of girls, who otherwise would never be allowed to advance themselves through education and career. States Roth, “When we first honored and launched the program, First Lady Michelle Obama, wrote a personal letter to each girl being honored, praising their amazing accomplishments.” The 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference, based on exploring and resolving economic disparities throughout the world, brought further recognition and awareness of The Girl Project , addressing this major problem, in order to pursue avenues of achieving justice and success.