For a few years now, my life goal has been to create and run a non-profit organization called the Chickadoodle Project. Aptly named after my baby sister, whom I nicknamed Chickadoodle, the organization will focus on boosting and maintaining self-esteem in girls and women. There are so many factors in today’s society that contribute to poor self-image in girls– the media probably being the biggest one– and by educating girls on the influence these factors have, I believe that, together with like-minded individuals, we can help younger generations of girls thrive in our society, rather than simply surviving.
I know the importance of cultivating one’s inner beauty; I’ve had to do it since 2012 when my outer beauty was compromised with third-degree burns over 20% of my body– a tough blow for a model. But, now I can focus my attention on the steps I need to take in order to make my dream a reality. I will be enrolling in school this fall to finish my bachelor’s in psychology, and volunteering at Notre Dame University thru AmeriCorps. I also work 35 hours a week, saving up for both tuition and seed money for the Chickadoodle Project.
My experiences have brought me closer to starting the Chickadoodle Project because I now understand how crucial it is to protect our collective self-images. Now I have the tools, and the hard work really begins. Together, not only as a generation of girls but as a society, we can thrive, not just survive.