GEN puts girls and young women at the center of the organization. The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is an important component of this practice. YAB members are young women ages 15-24 who give feedback about GEN’s programs and ensure their relevance to girls in grades 3 – 12 through directly contributing to projects and volunteerism. Each YAB member has previous experience with GEN’s programming, ranging from participating in clubGEN when they were in middle school to serving as a high school mentor.

 

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If you would like to learn more about GEN’s YAB, please contact the staff liaison Brittany Yelverton through brittany@girlsempowermentnetwork.org.

 

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2016-2017 Membership


  Hannah Steffan, President

  Hannah is a senior at St. Edward’s University where she is majoring in Psychology. After   receiving her undergraduate degree she plans to go on to earn her Masters of Social   Work. Hannah first became involved with Girls Empowerment Network as a High School   clubGEN Leader when she was a junior at McCallum High School and continued as a   club leader through her senior year of high school. Throughout college she has   maintained involvement with Girls Empowerment Network by volunteering at clubGEN,   the We Are Girls Conference, and helping out in the office. This year she is also serving   as a direct service intern with GEN. Her involvement with Girls Empowerment Network,   combined with her own personal struggles as an adolescent, have resulted in her   becoming passionate about issues regarding girls and women, especially body image,   eating disorders, and how the media plays a role in those issues. Hannah does her best   to make her voice heard on these issues by using social media to empower other women. Other than female empowerment, Hannah is a lover of cats, sunflowers, and 1950s culture. She also loves children and enjoys her jobs as a nanny, babysitter, and Nursery Coordinator at a local church. She is excited about being a member of the Youth Advisory Board for her second year in a row, interning with GEN, and working alongside other strong young women who are passionate about improving the lives of girls and women.

 

Rose Miller, Vice President

Georgia is a senior at Ann Richards, a girl empowerment and leadership based school. She is a member of the City of Austin Youth Council and serves as the Student Body V.P. at Ann Richards. Georgia is also the Colorguard Captain, a member of the Foundation of Education for Young Women, and an active member of her church. She has been involved in GEN since 6th grade when she was in clubGEN and in high school she began volunteering. In particular, Georgia was the emcee of the 2014 We Are Girls Conference.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 Bridget Kelly, Secretary

 Bridget is currently a senior at Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School. At  her school she is the Vice President of the Women in Computer Science club and  an officer of German Club. She has had a passion for activism since she was in  middle school, and she is involved with her church to advocate for LGBT  rights and  rights for people of color. She also volunteered with campGEN as a camp counselor  last summer, loved the experience of working with young, and can’t wait to do more!

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
Alina Tonu, Historianalina

Alina studies East Asian media and culture at the University of Texas at Austin where she is a Sophomore. Between classes and adventuring with friends, Alina can happily spend hours wandering around the city. On and off-campus, she has the privilege of learning from visionaries with feet to their passion. Books, food, and music sustain her sanity.  Any person who shares these three things with others is a friend to her. For two years, Alina has volunteered as the on-site photographer for GEN’s We Are Girls Conference, capturing all the special moments of the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 Garima SinghGarima, Historian

Garima is a freshman at Yale. She has been interested in helping girls be the  best they can be since she was very little. When she heard about GEN, she signed up to volunteer  immediately! Garima also started a Girls Who Code Club at her school, sponsored by Girls Who Code,  a nonprofit that works to reduce the gender gap in technology fields. As a member of the GEN Youth  Advisory Board, Garima hopes to continue her efforts to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields and help  girls realize their voice and grow into the strong young women they are. Aside from empowering girls,  Garima is fatally obsessed with Harry Potter, British TV (mostly Doctor Who and Sherlock), and old  Bollywood movies. She loves to read absolutely anything and will join Westwood’s dance team, the  Sundancers, next year.

 

 
 

 
 

Jennifer Gray, Member 

My name is Jennifer, and I am a junior at St. Edward’s University where I am double  majoring in biology and behavioral neuroscience. I am the president of the St. Edward’s Association of Pre-Physician Assistants, and I just became a certified EMT this summer! As a proud feminist and a lover of science, I am extremely passionate about empowering younger girls to always strive to do their best in every  aspect of life, even in the face of adversity. I became involved with GEN last year, where I helped out at the We Are Girl’s conference and loved it so much I decided to be a mentor at Metz Elementary’s ClubGEN (which I hope to do again this year as well)! Some people describe me as competitive, super goofy, and adventurous. I love travelling, hiking, cooking, reading…anything outdoorsy! A few fun facts about me: I tap dance, I am a certified SCUBA diver, and I have hiked the entire Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I am so incredibly honored to be part of the YAB and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish this year! 

 

 

 Grace Yu, Member 

 Grace is a senior at Westwood High School. She loves working with children and has been a  regular
 volunteer for her church’s AWANA and VBS programs. She takes advantage of most of her long
 breaks to travel and photograph, because different cultures and perspectives inspire her. Having  traveled to more than twenty different countries, she had seen with her own eyes the stark contrast in  roles women play all over the world. During her free time, she enjoys reading fiction, watching  dramas, and swimming. After high school, Grace plans to study social entrepreneurship (business  with a social impact) and work to address gender and ethnic stereotypes. With GEN, she hopes to  help young women learn to love themselves and realize their full potential!

 

 
 

Zoe Kimura, Member

Hello! My name’s Zoe Kimura and I’m a rising senior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy. My experiences and the environment in which I was raised have both led me to be an active advocate for women’s rights and empowerment. I believe strongly that youth are the future and if you have a voice- use it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 Rithi Mulgaonker, Member

 Rithi Mulgaonker is enjoying her senior at Liberal Arts and Science Academy and is  thrilled to be part of YAB this year. First introduced to the GENaustin community in  middle school through her mom during the attendance of GEN’s most popular  event, We Are Girls conference, she was mesmerized by the magical impact it had  in various aspects of her life. Last summer, she attended the Pathfinder Leadership  Summit at GENaustin and made memorable connections with other high school  girls in the community as they together expanded on their leadership abilities and  made many self-discoveries. Rithi is excited to be working alongside with other talented leaders in our community to help young ladies discover their potential through GENaustin, just as she did! Being the only girl among two boys, girl power comes second nature to her! In her spare time, Rithi attempts to juggle college applications, family, writing and school work!

 

 

Yunuen Alvarado, Member

Yunuen is a first year at Texas State University studying digital media journalism and political communication. Yunuen has volunteered with GENaustin for about two (2) years and has graduated from the Pathfinder Program; this is Yunuen’s second year on  the advisory board. Currently, Yunuen serves as a freshman council for the Texas State Student Government and hopes to run for Student Government Senator once she reaches sophomore standing in the Spring of 2017. Yunuen is excited to continue serving GENaustin and working on giving young girls the confidence she wished she had when she was younger. As of recently, Yunuen has really become active in the social justice community, fighting for the rights of her immigrant political family, the erasure of Afro-Latinx people and intersectionality within the immigrant community. She  currently works with the University Leadership Initiative (ULI) at the University of Texas at Austin as a Communications Team Lead, Deferred Action Co-Lead, and Education Co-Lead, as well as serving as part of the Executive Board. 

 

 

 Kubra Babaturk, Member

Kubra is a senior at UT Austin, majoring in International Relations and Global Studies with  minors in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. She is also a Brumley Next-Generation Scholar  with the Strauss Center and an editor with the Texas Undergraduate Law Review. She is very  interested in intersectional and Third World feminism, and loves to examine the different ways in  which women express their womanhood.

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
Carla Aldrete, Member 
Carla is currently a senior at The University of Texas at El Paso where she is pursuing a double major in Sociology and Communication Studies. She plans on continuing her education and pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work after which she hopes to work with middle school and high school age girls in the area of mental health counseling. She currently volunteers with the North Texas Chapter of Make-A-Wish and co-mentors a group of middle school girls at her church, Vino Nuevo El Paso. As a member of this year’s Youth Advisory Board, Carla hopes to contribute to GEN in a way that continues to positively impacting the lives of young girls in the Central Texas area as well as girls everywhere.

 

 
Youth Advisory Board members not pictured:

Hasie Sherman

Clara Sherman

Brooke Mickle

Rene Perez