Empowered women empower women

Logan Norrid, Writer

Girls United is a new organization at Owatonna High School whose mission is to empower the next generation of women. During the meetings, many activities have taken place such as writing letters to your future self, discussion about body positivity and meeting different professional women in the community. Adviser Ms. Tara Lammers said, “They are looking at doing things such as a pads and tampons drive for Owatonna High School bathrooms and donating to Rachel’s Light.” The Owatonna GU chapter is currently expanding and has over 80 members. Junior Lileigh Nyguen, Co-President of the Owatonna GU chapter said, “We are planning on doing a winter fundraiser and are also planning to do more work educating people at OHS about gender inequality.”

Girls United talking with Owatonna Business Women at the Sep. 21 meeting. (Submitted by Christina Wetmore)

Girls United MN started when some girls from Hopkins, Minnesota experienced inequality in the classroom. It became such a big problem that girls started to come together and meet, where they would have open discussions with one another about gender inequality and host different events such as self defense classes and job fairs. In 2019, the Hopkins chapter announced that they were expanding and starting new chapters around the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. Currently, the Owatonna Girls United chapter is one of 10 chapters including Wayzata High School, Edina High School, St. Louis Park High School, Minnetonka High School, Armstrong High School and three middle schools.

On Sept. 22, 2021 five of the Owatonna Girls United board members presented to Owatonna Business Women about what Girls United is. The GU board members told OBW about the activities and events they’re planning for this school year. OBW also wants to help out Girls United in any way that they can. They plan on coming to meetings and talking to Girls United about their jobs, how they got there and how they handle discrimination in the workplace. OBW also set up a mentorship program with the girls involved in Girls United who are interested in the business field.

During meetings Girls United has open discussions about many topics affecting women and plan different activities every month. The next Girls United meeting will be on Oct. 20 from 1:55 to 2:40 p.m. in room C-311.