Swing for Power Like a Girl: Women Creating Community Through Sports

By: Julia Carpent

Teams are the heart of all accomplishments. Whenever we succeed, there’s always someone we owe at least part of our success to. Any shared identity creates a team. Families are teams. Staffs are teams. Women are a team. So perhaps team sports are a reflection of all the ways sharing an experience with others brings us joy. But most importantly, they offer a sense of belonging and hope.


Finding Your People: Key Steps to Cultivating Positive Communities

By: Angela Hugunin

Some of us may be familiar with the Jim Rohn quote: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” To some, this may be an alarming idea. Others may find it thrilling. Some of us may be somewhere in between.

Since moving from my hometown to a new city this past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship and community. It was really tempting for me to enter that new place with a closed mindset. I had great friends back home already; how was I supposed to find new ones that I actually connected with?


A Job With Training Wheels: Interning at a Startup

By: Sylvia Deyo


If there is one day of work that I feel best captures my internship with Find Your Power it would be one of the last days I was at work before taking a month off for summer break. Ivy (the Founder), another intern named Katie, and I were meeting to discuss the upcoming Poetry Jam event and ended up on the topic of our upcoming movie showing of Embrace. We had been dealing with a very frustrating company for the rights to show and the provision of the film and had recently been told contradicting statements from them. We were scrambling to keepthe showing going but weren’t hearing back from the company. Finally, one of us floated the idea of showing it on our own, without the middleman. We had less than a week to make this happen. Katie was able to get the school she worked at to host the event in their cafeteria. Ivy got to work contacting all the people who had purchased tickets to the event in order to update them on the new plan. Meanwhile, I worked on getting the ticketing to work. This involved using the donation platform I had set the organization up with early in my internship and putting the tickets up on the FYP website. I ended up on the phone with the customer service line for both the website and the donation platform, both ofwhom I had been in constant contact with over the course of the two months of interning. But eventually, we pulled it together, in under 3 hours no less! The showing was a success and helped to get our mission out to potential advocates. I had no idea that the work I did researching and signing up with a donation platform within my first week of work would be useful for event planning and outreach, but that’s what it was like working with FYP.


Poetry Jam!

By Abby Koshollek


As we reflect on 2017, we have much to be thankful for and proud of. One of the things we are most proud of is the great success of our first annual Poetry Jam and Silent Auction at the Urban Growler in Minneapolis in November! We had over 100 people in attendance, hosted 10 amazing artists, and raised just under $2000 throughout the night! We absolutely could not have done it without our team of amazing volunteers, our fearless leader Ivy, and all of those who attended and supported us. We are so excited to see where this event goes in the future and to grow with our amazing partners, artists, and supporters.


Brazilian Beach Bod

Finding confidence amongst the most beautiful women in the world

Abby Koshollek


Confidence is something I think about a lot. Probably way too much. I know right away when other people have it and I am envious in comparison that I don’t. My default reaction to another woman’s fearless aura is to wish I was more like her. It took me almost four years in college to not get nervous or overthink speaking up in class even when I knew I had the right answer. I like to think that I am more sure of myself now, but still I find I have to pump myself up by blasting my Lady Power playlist before a meeting or event or even walking to class in the morning. I often psych myself out by internally saying that I am unprepared for a situation and everyone else around me instinctively knows what to do, how to act, and what to say.

Of course, this thought that everyone is in on some confidence secret that I don’t have isn’t true. In my mind I know this. I tell myself this before starting a new job or experience and I still get nervous. I’ve had conversations with countless friends and mentors that prove to me everyone is shaky in their confidence. Everyone views themselves as out of place at one point or another.


The Lives of the Party

By Lydia Sather

I don’t really like parties. I’ve had a pleasant experience or two at a soiree with close friends or ringing in the New Year, but for the most part, they are terrible and I hate them. For my birthday as a young child, a girl that was invited by my mother would tell me what my present was before I opened it. Every year.


Changing the Chains: Anti-Trafficking Through Economic Empowerment

Trapped. Scared. Hurt. Desolate. Grim. Undesirable. Brandished with shame. Figuratively, and perhaps literally, in bondage. The subject of affliction. Robbed of dignity. These are all emotions or states that women around the globe are tormented by each waking moment as they are trafficked or forced to engage in prostitution in order to survive. When the choice is for you and your family to go hungry or sell the body that is the only marketable “good” you have access to, there is no choice involved. WIthout access to education, skills, or supplies, sex and child labor are frequently what women and families must resort to make ends meet. While prostitution is often called the oldest profession, in reality it is the oldest form of oppression.


At a Crossroads in Rural Madagascar: Tech Access Equals Opportunity


FYP’s Grant Writing Intern Laura Leeson served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a small rural town in Madagascar from 2013-2016. Madagascar, although one of the poorest countries in the world, is most notable for its rich biodiversity and welcoming people, the Malagasy.


Those who harvest the most pumpkins are the ones who lack the pots to cook them. – Zimbabwean proverb


Why is it that the brightest children are so often born in places where there are the fewest resources and opportunities for them?


South African Inspiration – The Seeds of Find Your Power

By:Ivy Kaminsky

Imagine you are at the edge of the Wild Coast of rural South Africa, in a region called the Transkei, which is two hours by the worst roads imaginable to the nearest doctor. The view is stunning. From the rolling hilltop, you can see the mouth of a small river flowing into the Indian Ocean, with trees deeply rooted in the sand, growing up a steep hillside to the right and a colorful village of Rondavels (traditional round dwellings with cone shaped thatched roofs) dotting the landscape to the left. I am with two fellow masters students and we have traveled a full day and two flat tires to get here. This is Bulungula Eco Lodge. After a much needed night’s sleep, we wake excited for our ‘Women Power’ Tour.

Our guide Kululwa comes to gather us. She is a young vibrant woman with bright brown eyes and a smile that covers her whole face. She asks if we’re ready and we embark on our way through a winding foot path into the colorful village. Kululwa takes us to her rondavel, and first paints our faces with a traditional Xhosa mud/water mixture that is a perfect natural sunscreen. Then we go to gather firewood and carry it back like Xhosa women have forever, on our heads. This was not nearly as difficult as our next task. At least with the firewood, the varied lengths helped with balance. Fetching water was our next task, and we had small buckets, compared with Kululwa’s larger one. We also couldn’t fill it up to the top or we would spill, it was quite comical to see our inadequacy. When we made it back to the hut, Kululwa showed us how she would build a small fire under a metal tripod. She then scraped the skin off of a giant squash, showed us how to grind maize meal for ‘pap’, a traditional staple food, and made us all lunch. Throughout the day Kululwa told us about her life and we asked her lots of questions. Through questions and prompting, she told us that she was not married, which is pretty rare for a 25 year old village woman. She admitted to us that she did not want to marry and instead did these tours so that she was able pay her parents the ‘lobola’ or bride price they would have received when she married. I was surprised by her admission, and extremely touched by her bravery. I have thought of her many times and how hard it must have been for her to carry out her decision in such a small, traditional village.



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