Featured STANDer: Sarah Hesterman
We’re so excited to celebrate an amazing young lady this week…Sarah! Our team actually has the opportunity to meet Sarah TODAY in Washington, D.C. and we’re super pumped about it! We ❤ meeting the STAND community in real life! Back to Sarah…she’s a teen advisor for Girl Up, was listed as one of BBC’s 100 Women of 2014, as well as the U.S. Air Force’s 2015 Child of the Year. Here’s her story…
1. Who are you (in 140 characters or less): I am a seventeen-year-old activist who works to advance the status of adolescent girls in developing countries.
2. What causes are you most passionate about? Why? I am the most passionate about Girl Up, which is a United Nations Foundation campaign that provides education and leadership opportunities to girls in developing countries. Closing the gender gap and promoting female empowerment became an interest of mine whilst living in the Middle East, where I was able to start a Girl Up chapter in Qatar.
3. What do you enjoy the most out of the STAND platform?
I love the idea of people, who are each passionate about different causes, being able to come together and interact on one platform. Creating a space where activists and advocates can collaborate and learn from one another helps advance all of our causes, which I believe is something completely unique to STAND.
4. What’s your favorite STAND you’ve created or supported? Why? My favorite STAND I have created is one which raises awareness about the importance of giving bikes to girls in Guatemala. Many obstacles stand in the way of these girls’ education, such as long distances, unreliable transportation, and poverty. Being able to teach someone something new by making this STAND is extremely important to me.
5. Who inspires you on STAND — and why? I am very inspired by Vivienne Harr! Being a catalyst for change at such a young age makes her an important role model for her peers. Following what she is up to motivates me to work as hard as she does to make a difference. I am also inspired by the STAND team, who give people like me the platform to use our voices and connect with like-minded individuals.
6. Why is it important to you to put your compassion into action? From my travels and experiences, I have witnessed first-hand what happens to girls when they are held back because of their gender. Whether it be girls living in the slums of Delhi, or refugees living on the border of Jordan and Palestine, I have seen too many young women who are unable to pursue an education. Because these girls are entitled to all of the same resources and rights I have, it is important to me that I work in service of them so they can have the opportunity to succeed.
It is easy to care about a cause, but nothing really matters until you translate your thoughts into action, and your interest into change. Using social media platforms to raise awareness and funds for causes that matter is the future of activism, which is why I am proud to be a part of the STAND community.