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Love, Hope, and Sisterhood: The APCH GirlPower Program

Recently we hosted our annual GirlPower! Awards Luncheon, our first event back in person since 2020! The excitement of being together with our APCH family was palpable–felt in the smiles and warm embraces of guests, members, and staff alike. We gathered to celebrate our APCH GirlPower girls, and honor inspirational women who are making a difference: Linda Garcia, CEO & Founder of In Luz We Trust, Diana Pinto, Executive Director of South Central LAMP, and Maria S. Salinas, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Rachel Brown of ABC7 served as event emcee.

2022 GirlPower! Awards Luncheon Host and Honorees (left to right: Maria S. Salinas, Diana Pinto, Rachel Brown, and Linda Garcia)

“The experience was so fun. After having the last two luncheons online because of Covid, I, as a senior, was waiting for the in person one…hoping that it would happen again, which it did! shared GirlPower member Yessica. “It was refreshing to see how many people helped us out, how many people were interested, and to meet the people that have been supporting us.”

Along with heartfelt remarks from our wonderful honorees, APCH staff, and other speakers, the event was punctuated by lively music from our APCH band 29 Live, a stunning dance performance by the APCH dance company, and a moving spoken word piece written and performed by our GirlPower Girls that you can read at the end of this post. If you weren’t able to attend the event or tune in to the livestream, you can check out the full event recording here (trust us, you don’t want to miss out).

“I had a lot of fun and it was a great opportunity. I felt proud of myself and I felt even more confident.” – Valery, GirlPower Member

The APCH GirlPower program provides our young women with a safe space to bond and support each other on their journeys into adulthood; a place to share their successes and to talk openly about their challenges. Together they explore different career paths–meeting women from a variety of industries and professions, they address important topics like self-advocacy, relationship dynamics, and women’s health, and they don’t shy away from asking tough questions and sharing real experiences.

Through GirlPower, our members are empowered to be their authentic selves.  They find their voices, define their identities, and forge their own paths in supportive community.  These words from GirlPower Member Hennessey say it best:

“When we laugh, when we share, when we celebrate our highs it reminds me of just how lucky I am to be with them all. They have opened up to me and shown me what it’s like to have a room of support waiting for you just one door away. Walking through those doors is an atmosphere of hope, that I am not going through anything alone and that I will leave with a lighter heart at the end of the day. To GirlPower, thank you for showing me… love.”

Click here to learn more about GirlPower and all of our programming for teens and young adults.

“We Are” – Written and performed by the 2022 APCH GirlPower Girls

I’m steady strong, standing tall like a sunflower. The flourishing light that rests on my skin. Light that makes me bright, makes me grow, and makes me hot of burning passion.

I am like the humble plant, like a sunflower and honey; I am like the sun on the West Coast, like Neptune blue; like a fishhook barrel cactus, I am a miracle.

I am firm and strong, yet vulnerable and emotional. I am a free spirit who used to flow with the rhythm, but is down to break the barriers.

I come from a childhood full of many strong women who hold their heads up high, even though their knees bleed from all the bending down to scrub, clean, and mop the floors of other peoples’ homes; hands that constantly cramp up from all the sewing and stitching that needs to be done; faces filled with bruises and tears from the men who don’t respect them; eyes filled with tears of the loneliness they feel; from thinking they’ll never be enough and provide enough for their family.

I am a 4’11” woman who always stands tall. I am a woman who speaks the words on her mind. I come from a home where “calladita te miras mas bonita”. I come from a home of high expectations and big goals.

Where I am going is a mystery. A mystery I am willing to solve on my own.

I am going to a place to share joy. I am going to a place to be successful; a place to have a brighter future; a place of powerful women just like me; a place to give peace and love to those who don’t have it, because that’s what I call Girl Power.

I am going to be independent and live my life; to be confident and take care of myself before anyone else. I am going to be my definition of successful and explore the unknown.

I am going to become a successful woman. A person who will prove to all that said I wouldn’t make it.

The sun isn’t the only brightest light waiting for me.

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