News and Happenings

Girls Inc. Team #StrongSmartBold on fearlessness, rappelling and girl empowerment

Next Saturday, July 15, a team of brave girls are hoping to launch themselves off the side of a building – and they want YOU to help them do it! Mia, Tatiana and Pootnavi are fundraising for Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest’s second annual Rappel for Her event, which encourages the community to sponsor participants in rappelling down a 24-story building in downtown Portland – no simple feat!

The girls have been hard at work fundraising for their team, Team #StrongSmartBold; they’ve reached their initial goal of $1,250 each and inspired two more girls, Grace and Eleanie, to join the team and raise the total goal to $6,250, all to benefit the mission and efforts of Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest. (You can donate and show your support on their team page here!)

Who exactly are these trailblazers? Mia and Pootnavi are part of the Girls Council, the girls’ leadership body for Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest. Girls Council is a yearly-selected group of girls ages 8-18 who collaborate on special projects to increase opportunities for girls everywhere, participate in community activism and flex their creative, innovative and leadership skills. All three girls are excited to share their experience with Girls Inc. and talk about their role models, aspirations and boldness.



What do you want to be when you grow up?

Tatiana: When I grow up I want to be a Cardio-thoracic Surgeon, which is a heart surgeon.

Pootnavi: I have 3 options: archeologist, marine biologist or chemist.

Mia: Someone who works in international affairs, like a diplomat for the state department [or an aid worker] with organizations like Doctors without Borders or the Peace Corps, or maybe I’ll work with the UN to help create more effective international law with actual consequences regarding reserving human rights.


Who is your role model, and why do you look up to them?

Tatiana: My role model is my teacher, Ms. Thiel. She is passionate, successful, smart, really good at time management and not scared to try new things to help in the long run.

Pootnavi: My role model is Amelia Earhart. I look up to her because she was one of the first women to be a pilot. She crossed the stereotypical lines and achieved her goal or passion. Even though many people said women should not fly airplanes, she did it anyway and succeeded.



What makes you BOLD?

Tatiana: I go for new things head on and I’m not scared to fail.

Pootnavi: The way I tend to go above and beyond sometimes makes me bold. If we have a project in school sometimes I try to do a little bit more than the actual activity.

Mia: My willingness to continue as well as stubbornness to make things turn out well makes me bold. This school year was very difficult for me with mounting amounts of work and the SATs somehow coordinating with my mental health to coincide with the times I was feeling the least motivated and most worried about my future. And in these circumstances, I was told that either my grades must fall through or I would, but I decided I wasn’t satisfied with either option, so I fortified my attempts at making the solutions work out and made it through. In this way, my persistence makes me bold.


What is something you learned from Girls Inc.?

Tatiana: You should never give up or give in.  If you want something, go for it; never stop trying.  Also if someone is trying to make you give up and not stay on your path, fight their temptations and never give in.

Pootnavi: I learned about leadership and about helping others. Those are two very important subjects that can be helpful when it comes to certain situations.


Support the girls:

1. Donate to Team #StrongSmartBold to help them meet their goal!
2. Sign up to fundraise and rappel yourself! (Even if you’re not able to meet the $1,250 minimum by the day of the event, you can still rappel and have 30 days post-event to fundraise.)
3. Show up at 1000 SW Broadway on Saturday, July 15 from 9am-5pm and cheer them on!


Interested in Girls Council?

Maybe you know a girl who would be perfect for this unique leadership and growth opportunity. Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest is accepting applications for Girls Council for the 2017-2018 school year! The application begins with a series of short essay questions about her interest in serving on the council, experiences facing and overcoming challenges and ideas on how she wants to help girls, then follows with phone interviews to select the new year’s council. Contact Special Lovincey at special [at] to apply.



About Karel Chan

Karel landed in Portland from the NJ/NYC area in 2008 and fell in love instantly. Since joining the NW Kids team in 2010 she has worn many hats, including client services and ad design, before becoming editor. She digs the small-town big-city Portland community, its many local businesses and the endless possibilities for adventure just outside your door! In addition to seeking out fun and play for kidlets, she runs a therapy private practice helping people through heartbreak, dating and relationships.