BYOU Magazine loves to honor amazing girls doing amazing things! Meet 19-year-old Lauren Marie Galley, founder and president of Girls Above Society, a non-profit organization that empowers teen girls to be confident. Lauren is also an author, writer, actress, model, and college student.
BYOU: Lauren, how did you get interested in giving back?
Lauren: I have been interested in giving back since I was a little girl. My mom was a theater director and we always did charity work, but it wasn’t until my teenage years that I discovered a cause that I was personally passionate about. I was cyberbullied in middle school, and even though it wasn’t the vicious and relentless bullying that I have witnessed others face, it had a huge effect on me. I realized that girl-to-girl drama stems from a lack of self-confidence, and it didn’t seem that there was a peer-peer platform for girls to learn that loving themselves is the first step to becoming confident.
BYOU: What’s the most important thing we can tell a girl with low self-esteem?
Lauren: The most important thing we can tell a girl with low self-esteem is you are not alone. So many girls think they are “strange”or “weird”for disliking themselves, because there is a lack of communication amongst our youth on this subject. It is also very important for girls to find something they love about themselves. Even if it is just one thing, they can expand and improve upon this. Starting with one positive thought about themselves is the first step on the journey to self-acceptance.
BYOU: What advice would you give other girls who want to get more involved in the community?
Lauren: If you would like to get more involved in your community, I would suggest that you reach out to organizations that share a message you are passionate about. I have found that it is truly amazing how many people genuinely wanted to help me get Girls Above Society off the ground. If you want to start your own organization, recognize that you cannot do everything on your own. It is okay, and necessary, to get help from others. The more, the merrier!
BYOU: Can you tell our readers a little about what Girls Above Society does?
Lauren: Girls Above Society is a non-profit organization that promotes self-confidence and leadership skills in young girls. I travel around the U.S. giving my signature “Girl Talks”and empowering girls to realize that they have the powerto do or be anything they dream. By meeting with the girls face-to-face, positive peer-to-peer relationships are made. Girls Above Society also has an online magazine, Girl Power, that teaches girls to value themselves and be THEIR best, not what the media says you should be. GIRL POWER is a 100% positive format with amazing mentors for girls to look up to.
BYOU: Could you share a favorite memory from your work with Girls Above Society?
Lauren: I have had so many inspiring and proud moments but one that comes to mind just happened a couple of weeks ago at Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham, Maine. I was giving Girl Talks there this summer, and while the girls were making their activity during one of the sessions, a camper pulled me aside. She broke down crying and told me that I have made a huge positive difference in her life. She met me last year when I spoke at the same camp, and she said she will never forget the encouraging words I gave them. To hear a girl say that you have changed her life for the better is honestly the best gift in the world. I will never forget her!
BYOU: What are your plans for Girls Above Society in the future?
Lauren: I plan for Girls Above Society’s message to be as globally spread as possible, as a lack of self-confidence is an issue girls are facing all over the world. When I look back on how far we have come in only a couple of years, I am ecstatic to see what happens in the future. My second book, “Kissing Frogs: In Search of Prince Charming,”will be released this fall. It is a collection of personal stories about the trials and tribulations of dating in high school. My stories range from embarrassing and awkward moments, to emotional and poignant ones. Girls will learn from my mistakes before making quite as many of their own! As a bonus, my book will have several amazing mentors that feature a story of their own and an exclusive interview with JK Schaffer, linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals. I felt it was important for young girls to have a glimpse of what a “good guy”looks for in a girl. JK is so genuine and humble. I can’t wait for girls to hear his message.
For more information about Lauren, visit her website at www.girlsabovesociety.org
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