Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

UT Girl Up fosters community, empowers women locally, globally

Kennedy Weatherby
Senior civil engineering Cecilia Hwang, junior humanities Kayley Weiner and junior government Kirsten Corrigan stand in front of Mary Gearing Hall on Nov. 7. Hwang and Weiner are co-presidents of Girl Up, while Corrigan is the public relations manager.

With over 6,000 chapters globally, Girl Up focuses on expanding girls’ skills, rights and leadership opportunities. Their UT chapter hosts profit shares and resource drives in addition to partnering with like-minded organizations to empower women in Austin and around the world.

Humanities junior Kayley Weiner served as Girl Up’s co-president this semester. She said UT’s Girl Up chapter maintains the values pertinent to the organization and that it provides an outlet for members to volunteer and get involved with their community.

“Girl Up is a United Nations organization focused on equity for girls and women in spaces particularly where they’re unheard or unrepresented,” Weiner said. “The UT chapter stays true to that ethos. (As) women in college, it’s important to make sure that your voice is heard in the classroom and that you’re getting the most out of your learning opportunities.”

Girl Up regularly collaborates with SAFE, a nonprofit organization that serves survivors of abuse. Additionally, they take part in Texas Girls in STEM Day, which celebrates and fosters girl participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Other volunteering options vary by semester.

Civil engineering senior Cecilia Hwang served as Girl Up’s co-president this semester and said the organization fosters a sense of community for its members while encouraging them to pursue their passions.

“I have met a lot of great people, including my mentor and friends through this org,” Hwang said. “You join for support (of) the cause and (to) actually do (something about it).”

Weiner and Hwang recently attended an event put on by Girls Empowerment Network, a local nonprofit. The fair-like event featured booths and activities that fostered an educational space for girls.

“Various presenters focused on educating girls on various things that affect them on a daily basis, but also on engaging them to take an active role in their learning,” Weiner said. “To be confident, to speak up, to make new friends, to have a good time and not feel shy.”

Government junior Kirsten Corrigan, Girl Up’s service coordinator, said their work proves important and rewarding for members, allowing them to connect with their community.

“Doing the volunteer work yourself and seeing the (gratitude) that people (have) for you is amazing,” Corrigan said. “Seeing that you’re really making an impact is incredible.”

For those interested in joining Girl Up, information is available on their Instagram, @girluputaustin. Students can also contact the organization on HornsLink for more details.

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