Girls Taking Action in Cambridge


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Reba-Glory's picture

Local teens take on issue of gentrification

Step by step, little by little girls can make a change. They can be empowered to change the wrong doings in the world and help their community. Girls Taking Action is where it counts.

Girls Taking Action also known as GTA is part of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program set up in West Cambridge at the Russell Youth Center. GTA is a summer association that starts on July 6 and ends August 21st. It is a girls group that is set in the summer to bring girls ages 14 through 18 together to work with each other in solving problems and just to get to know each other.

I interviewed the program’s director, Jessica Rivera, and one of the girls participating in GTA, Elena Moore (age 14), to get their take on the program.

“Girls need to be more powerful. Male and female should be equal and media despises that, they favor males,” Elena said.

She said she joined GTA because she realized that GTA can help girls be on the same level as men and make a big impact on the world.

“I thought that I could change the world and influence young adult girls to act more maturely and dress appropriately,” Elena said.

Rivera said she enjoys seeing the girls of GTA growing as individuals from the beginning of the program to the end. She likes learning about the girl’s passions, opinions and dreams for their futures.

“The GTA program is for young women in the city of Cambridge that forces on empowerment, leadership and community services,” Rivera explained. “The way participants benefit from the program is that they learn more about themselves, their community and how to be agents of change”.

From what I’ve seen as a participant in the program, Girls Taking Action is already planning to take action pretty soon. In my group we are trying to fix the problem of gentrification in Cambridge. Gentrification is when higher-income buyers purchase low-income homes to renovate, which displaces low-income people out of their home and onto the street.

GTA is going to make political squares to send to a senator or the mayor of Cambridge. Political squares are little templates that explain an issue and ask people to support it. We are going to Harvard or Central Square this week to get as many people as we can to sign the political squares and contribute to stopping gentrification.

Girls Taking Action is a group of girls trying to bring on change and hopefully by us doing this little act, other girls will step up too.