Girl Rising Reflection

On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, Allowance for Good began its newest program, Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: A Student Seminar Series. Chicago-area youth are invited to participate in a weekly seminar to learn more about the global philanthropic sector and how they have the power to be philanthropists and agents for change.

Sari reflects on our seventh session. On this day, we invited friends, family, and neighbors to join us for a screening of the film Girl Rising at the Village Crossing Theatre in Skokie, IL.

I normally listen to music whenever I drive in the car, but last Wednesday was different. On my drive home from AfG’s screening of Girl Rising I found myself silencing my radio so I could better tune into my own thoughts. I first became involved with Allowance for Good during the first annual Global Philanthropy Summit in June 2012, and for the last seven weeks I have participated in the new program Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy. With these experiences, I have gained a comprehensive understanding of how important it is to invest in a girl’s education. I know the facts, so what was it about the movie Girl Rising that moved me to drive home with only the sound of my thoughts?

For starters, seeing and hearing the girls' stories put real, raw emotion into the statistics I had been educated with. I try hard to sympathize, but learning that 14 million girls under the age of 18 will be married this year, is a fact that is very difficult for me to comprehend. One of the reasons why Girl Rising made such an impression on me was because it educated us about the issues of girls' rights in the developing world by focusing on one girl at a time. It is a lot easier to understand the severity of one girl’s forced marriage rather than 14 million.

Another reason why Girl Rising moved me was because it showed how education can bring girls out of a plethora of different hardships. We heard stories from girls who were victims of environmental disaster, slavery, sexual abuse, forced marriage, poverty, and more. Allowance for Good taught me about the ripple effect, and in Girl Rising I saw it come to life.

One of the most inspiring things about AfG’s event was the presence of the audience. The theater was packed with people of all ages. Knowing that we were all becoming educated on this topic gave me confidence that we can help girls like these truly rise.

For more information on this amazing film, and to learn how you can host your own screening or find one scheduled near you, visit