Empowerment & Leadership

How Delaney has new habits and hopes because of COVID-19

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A Girls Inc. girl of Upper Canada, Delaney, 17 , is passionate about combating gender stereotypes and getting more and more women involved in political life. Delaney shares what’s going on in her head and in her world at this unprecedented time. ❤️
It starts with thanks…

Delaney is grateful that Girls Inc. continues to support girls during this challenging time. To keep staff and girls connected, her affiliate in Ontario is hosting virtual spirit days, highlighting on social media local SHEROs making a difference during this time, and creating other opportunities for virtual engagement. “These activities have given girls a positive outlet to keep their minds off everything that is going on right now and has allowed them to participate in activities that boost their mental, physical, and emotional health. This helps people to see the positive and is a source of happiness during these dark times,” she says.

Like so many others, Delaney is doing her best to cope with the current conditions. “I have been really struggling with not seeing my friends and extended family recently. It is really hard to not physically be there with them. That being said, I have been trying my best to stay in touch with them over social media and through video calls. I also really miss school and extracurricular activities, as they brought me a sense of joy and fulfillment that I miss in my life. But I have continued to be involved in a lot of these activities through social media and have continued to seek leadership opportunities.”

…and knowing Girls Inc. is there.

Delaney has not let the COVID-19 crisis stop her from being a positive light and making a difference during this time. She has participated in many of the spirit days at her affiliate. One of her favorites was BOLD activity day, where she went around her neighborhood and wrote positive messages in chalk on the sidewalk.

She continues to be involved with Girls Inc. National Teen Advocacy Council through regular Zoom meetings with fellow leaders throughout U.S. and Canada where girls have been able to support and encourage one another. Some of Delaney’s thoughts and reflections were even shared on Girls Inc. social media. “It has been amazing to see the positive comments and how my words inspired others to remain positive during this time.” Delaney and her fellow council members are also helping plan advocacy activities for the network to inspire girls throughout the network to stand up and let their voices be heard.

Over the last few weeks, Delaney has also kept in touch with mentors at Girls Inc., which has made all the difference. She continues to communicate with program facilitators and staff via text and calls, who check in to see how she and her family are doing. “[She] told me to keep in touch and to let her know if my family or I need anything. While this may seem like a small gesture, it truly meant the world to me and brought me a lot of joy on a difficult day.” 

“It is amazing to know that the staff members at Girls. Inc will always be there to support me no matter what. Their kindness truly makes all the difference and their mentorship is something that I will be forever grateful for.”

But most of all, it’s about the right mindset. 

Delaney is choosing to see the positive these days. “While this pandemic has physically separated us, it has connected us more than ever. Everyone, all over the world, is going through the same thing, no matter their age, gender, race, beliefs, or sexual orientation. This has allowed for greater empathy and understanding between people who before had nothing in common,” she said. Reading stories of healthcare workers, first responders, and grocery store workers who are putting their lives at risk to help others at times have shown her we have nothing to fear as long as there is hope.  

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Delaney, 17, is a passionate about combating gender inequality. “It is amazing to know that the staff members at Girls. Inc will always be there to support me no matter what. Their kindness truly makes all the difference and their mentorship is something that I will be forever grateful for.”

She is indeed hopeful. “We need to come together during this time and continue to look out for one another even after life returns to normal. I think this virus is supposed to teach us that we are all connected and that we need to lay down our own selfish desires if we ever hope to ensure a brighter future for all. The only way that we are going to get through this is if we do it together. This is an important lesson to learn and something that I hope will help create positive change around us.” 

We could not be prouder to share and celebrate Delaney’s reflections. She, like so many of our young people, is stepping up and stepping in – showing that wisdom has no age requirement and that, with young people like her leading the way, the future is in good hands no matter what comes.

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