Young Heroines.

Zyra's shirt says it all!

Meet Zyra, one of the newest members of the Girls LitClub in Manila (at the Real Life Foundation). At twelve years old, she is poised and well-spoken, a brave voice with all the makings of a heroine protagonist from a novel. Zyra, my new role model.

This past weekend, we did interviews with each other, pairing up two girls to ask questions about life, friendship, and what it means to be a young woman with aspirations. Zyra was my partner, and it was through her that I saw the incredible beauty of a young woman growing into herself, recognizing her potential, and owning her courage.

Girls conducting interviews with each other

She told me of her pride for her country, that even if she could go anywhere in the world, she'd want to stay here, in the Philippines, the homeland we both share, because she believes in this place. She says she knows everyone here wants to escape, but she wants to be here, to help her people, to help them realize how beautiful this country is. I was awed by her insight, a maturity well beyond her years.

She told me that if she could have it her way, she would give the gift of education to every person she meets, because education is the key to a future. In a country of extremely polarized class differences & divisions, Zyra, at twelve years old, recognizes the importance of equality, passionately sharing with me her desire to put up a scholarship program one day, in her attempt to somehow even out the class divide.

Her vision astounded me. Her conviction wrapped my heart with hope. These young women prove that there is something worth fighting for. They are our heroines.

*Submitted by our Girls LitClub Facilitator and LitCorps Ambassador in the Philippines, Ruby Veridiano