Some of the strong women MEDIAGIRLS love most!

An important part of the MEDIAGIRLS curriculum is not only to teach girls how to recognize the messages in media that they receive, but to also recognize the strong women in their life and in media. By teaching participants that their core selves is what makes them special, they can recognize the strong women in their life who inspire them and emulate courage and power. Over the past week, participants at the Trotter School in Dorchester and the Edwards School in Charlestown were asked to reflect on a woman who inspires them. Many chose women in their life such as their mom, cousin, or friend. Queen from Trotter, for example, wrote about her mother,”Mama taught me the importance of loving who I am and feeling beautiful.” Here’s what others had to say.
The Trotter School 


I admire Zendaya because she believes she is beautiful, and no matter if someone says otherwise. She likes to express her spunky personality by experimenting with her fashion choices–something that has been personally inspiring. My favorite thing about Zendaya  is that she’s fearless, confident and true to herself. She doesn’t care what other people think of her. In fact, she can go out with a banana on her head or a trash bag. If she feels confident in it, she will wear it. I also appreciate that she is very understanding of the younger generation and how it’s hard to be confident when people are constantly trying to bring you down because of stupid things like what you wear or what you look like.  But Zendaya recognizes that these are the things that make you, you and that make you beautiful. It seems like she’s always looking for a way to help boost someone’s confidence. I love how she is a strong, and uniquely woman and how she leads by example to help make people more confident like her. That’s what make Zendaya different from other pop stars, I believe. She has even given multiple seminars on how to be confident and I felt motivated to feel more comfortable being myself and inspired to not be afraid of being who I want to be. Even though Zendaya gets hate from people who might not understand her message, she still stays positive and looks on the bright side. Her motto is, “kill ‘em with kindness,” and that’s why I love and admire Zendaya.      

— Audrianna, 13                                            ​


I admire Dove Cameron because she does it all. She is creative, funny, and a good singer, as well as being a talented actress actress. Many people may not know this, but Dove Cameron makes clothes and hats in her spare time. It’s awesome that she finds the time to do what she loves even though she has a busy schedule. I believe it spreads a positive message of reminding us to relax, even though we may be under pressure. She also loves to dress up with her friend Ryan McCartan, something that I do as well. I love that she makes time for her friends even though she is famous, I doubt that many celebrities are this down to earth. Dove Cameron can be very funny in her vines she makes–I love to watch them. Her vines inspire me to be more carefree and care less about what people think. She also plays two different characters in one show, Liv and Maddie, that I think proves how talented and driven she is as an actress. She also finds the time to make music that contain fun-loving lyrics. She even likes to be silly in her music videos, inspiring me to be more confident and carefree in my own life.

— Deja, 13


I believe Marilyn Monroe is an inspiring, often-times misunderstood, role model. However, I believe it is important to find admiring qualities in occasionally “unlikable” women. She was both a talented actress and a singer, but I noticed that she doesn’t really get noticed for these qualities or the good aspects about her life. She only seems to get recognized for the bad things she did. She is often labeled as a “partyer” or only recognized as a Playboy model. However, I think she is much deeper than that– I think she is inspiring even. One of the quotes I like that she said was, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” It shows us that we shouldn’t really be afraid to be ourselves, even if some might find us a little crazy or “unlikable.” Women shouldn’t be afraid to have originality or to go outside of the box. We shouldn’t put too much importance in what society thinks about us. “Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she’ll conquer the world,” she said, as well. I think this means that any girl, regardless of her situation, can accomplish anything. Women, like Monroe, can be put down by society because they don’t fit into what many people see as acceptable. This can really destroy a woman’s confidence because they are constantly being judged. They don’t really know what it means to “be yourself” because they are socially pressured into being something that they’re not, and that’s all they really know how to do. Marilyn, however, was different, she “walked in her shoes.” Hopefully the rest of us can follow.

— Dnira, 13


I admire Dutch Rebelle, a local Boston rapper who I recently saw speak at a conference for women, because she is strong and motivated. She was born in Haiti, many miles away, but she traveled all the way to Boston to pursue her career. Her mother pushed her to go to law school but Dutch held firm in what she wanted to do and told her mother that she didn’t want to go to law school, she wanted to be in music. Her mother and father wanted the best for her and didn’t believe that music would be very good for her, but she was interested in music since she was a little girl and knew she wanted to pursue a career in it. She persevered, however, and now she is becoming more and more  successful. Her ambition and dedication to her dreams is a good lesson for all. She put in hard work along the way. In fact, she came out with a teaser track right out of graduation. She realized a dream that her parents weren’t so sure about, but now they are very proud of their child. I hope her life gives inspiration to other young girls and women like it did for me.

— Jahbria, 13

Mama loved me, but growing up she held her distance, and walked out of my life due to struggles in hers. Mama let her demons take control and pushed her strength and the things that were most important to the side: her family, her friends, and most importantly, me. She could take the burden anymore and turn to things and people that she tough would take it away, little did she know it would destroy her, destroy us. Today mama is strong. She’s back and has her life together and is welcome back into mine. Mama taught me the importance of loving who I am and feeling beautiful. She also taught me how to be strong and face the dreadful challenges in life. Thanks, Ma.

–Queen, 13
The Edwards School 


Someone who really inspires me right now is my mom because of the fact that she is so kind, strong and brave, and I really admire her for that.  My mom is kind because when I feel sad, she makes me feel happy.  My mom is strong because through hard times, she keeps it positive.  My mom is brave because she’s not afraid to try something new.  One example of how much she loves me is the way she cares. When I see her, I feel grateful, and it makes me want to tell her how much I love her.  For example, the next time I’m afraid to try something new, I am going to remember the first time my mom was learning how to drive.  I am going to remember that when I try something new.
— Jhasmiley, 12

Someone who really inspires me right now is my cousin because of the fact that she is so passionate kind, strong, and brave.  I really admire her for that.  One example of my cousin being brave is the way she helps others.  When I see her do that, I feel proud of her, and she makes me want to do something nice for her in return.  For example, the next time I am afraid to lose, I am going to remember how brave my cousin had to be when she changed and used that as a source of inspiration.  It is important because other people want to know about them and show their feelings or behavior.  For example, if I was at school and changed my behavior or feelings, it can bring down my grades.

— Keylin  


Someone who inspires me is my friend Jennifer because she is smart and she is a fighter she gets what she wants with effort.  One example of how she loves me is the way she talks to me.  The thing that inspires me the most about her is that she went to college and she graduated from college and she got the job she wanted.  Her effort changes my thinking about school.  She changes the way I see life and now I want to go to college and graduate myself!  I appreciate her support for I can also go out and be a big success.

— Dayana, 12

Someone who really inspires me right now is my mom because of the fact that she is so strong, and I really admire her for that.  One example of how strong my mom is, is the way she always thinks of the bright side.  When I see her do that, I feel confident and able to do everything, and it makes me want to change my attitude.  When I’m afraid to be strong, I am going to remember how brave my mom had to be when our house caught on fire and use this as a source of inspiration.

— Hilal, 12  

Someone who really inspires me right now is my mom because of the fact the she is so strong, and I admire her for that. One example of how my mom was brave is the way she wanted to have me in the world. When I think about her doing that, I feel like she is in pain and it makes me want to help her take out the pain forever. For example, The next time I am afraid to help, I am going to remember how brave my mom had to be when she had me and use that as a source of inspiration. :3 

–Yennifer, 12

Someone who really inspires me right now is my mom because of the fact that she is so helpful [ example:kind,strong,brave] and I really admire her for that. I think media girls helps young woman learn that they are fine how they are. I think my mom helps me because she wants me to help other people like she helped me.

 –Jhoana, 13 
This person makes me happy and wants me to follow my dreams. She makes me glow. She’s talented, and keeps me safe. And I don’t know how she does it with four kids but she makes time and loves each and every one of us with care, love, and safety. This person is my mom.I remember this one time where she was at the hospital because she had to give birth, and I cried the whole night until I saw her the next day. I saw her and I ran to her and she gave me a kiss and a big hug. That’s when I knew my mom was the best mom in the whole world.

​–Leslie, 12

I admire my mom because she is confident. She always says there is no such thing as fear. She says I should never let anyone bring me down or in other words, I should stand up for myself.  She never fears anyone. She will stand up for herself no matter what. This changes the way I feel or am because it makes me want to be brave. Last time they sent the wrong food order, she called to tell them and the lady was being rude on the phone and my mom was like “Don’t be rude to me!” and the lady hung up. Then she called every single restaurant to find the manager.

–Melissa, 12

My mom, inspires me to be kind and not be mean my mom also shows me to be cool when it come to people that are not doing the right thing. She also is happy and makes me happy, too. She inspires me a lot. For example, there was this one day where I was being mean to my brother and other people because I was not in a nice mood and then my mom showed me that I should not be mean and that I should be kind and she said that unless I am nice, I will never get anywhere in life. Another example is that my mom also showed me to be cool and calm when it comes to something really bad and that shows when people are being mean and are not being nice to people that you should not follow what they do. Another example is that when I’m not happy and I’m really mad, my mom inspires me to be happy and not mad or sad and that if anything bothers me, I should express myself. My mom shows me a lot of stuff and she teaches me a lot of things. My step sister inspires me by showing how to cook and how to take care of a baby. For example, one day I didn’t know how to cook, so than my sister asked me if I wanted to learn and I said, “Yes, I want to.” Then, she showed me how to cook. Another example is that they asked me to take care of a baby and I didn’t know how, my sister taught me how to change and take care of the baby. My sister was very kind to teach me lot of things.

–Thalisha, 13