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Hi, my name is Robin Brody. I attended SSEP because since a young age I have been very clear that I wanted to be a doctor. When asked why, I have always had the same simple response: “I want to help people and save lives.” I have been fortunate to grow up in a very supportive family and community who have been very supportive of my dream. I was born and raised in Boulder Colorado. In eighth grade I came across the staggering statistic that every day 8,800 innocent lives are taken by a disease that is 100 percent preventable. HIV/Aids. That is at least eight times the number of people most of us know. I could hardly comprehend this and I instantly wanted to do something to change this as well as help and save the innocent mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and children that had already been infected. In August I am going to Haiti to work in a hospital that (as well as helping the earthquake victims) does a lot of work with HIV/Aids patients. This is why I chose to research the HIV/Aids epidemic. 

Hi~Everyone~My name is Yue Wang. I come from China. I am studying in Stoneleigh-Burnham High School in Greenfield. I joined SSEP community, for I loved science. I had a wonderful experience with everyone in SSEP, and I learned a lot from them. 

Be passionate to learn. Be confident to talk. Be creative to think. Be motivative to live. Be sincere to love. I enjoyed this program so much.

Hey! I’m Mariah Williams – Sanchez.  Born And Raised In Springfield, Massachusetts. I’m 13 And I’m Going To Be A Freshman In High School. I Love To Have Fun With My Loved Ones. I Came To Ssep Because I Had Came To Smith Before For A Week And I Loved It So I Decided To Come Again! I’m Ecstatic My First Time Being Away From My Family For A Month Was At Smith College.
The Reason Why I’m Writing About STI’s:
At My Middle School I Recently Graduated From, Sex Education Was Not Taught. The Only Education I Received That Was Even Close To Sex Ed Was A Video In Fifth Grade About My Period. I Think Sex Education Is Very Important, Considering The Fact That Many Teens And/ Or Young Adults Are Having Sex And Do Not Know What They Are Putting Themselves At Risk For. I Am Writing This To Be A Peer Educator And Help, Maybe Even Save A Teen’s Life.

Hello everyone! My name is Evangelina Medellin although I don’t mind being called Eva. I was born and raised in Manhattan, New York, the city that never sleeps. I attend The Young Women’s Leadership School in East Harlem and I am a rising senior. I am currently 16 years old and will be 17 in October 26. I come from a Mexican background and I have 2 brothers. I love to read when I have free time and I randomly write what I feel like writing.

During the course of the summer I decided to do something exciting and new. The thought of being away from my parents for a whole month to attend a summer program seemed like a new experience and I thought to give it a try. The courses that were offered at SSEP seemed interesting and fun to do. While being here at SSEP I was able to attend a rigorous writing course for the first two weeks. Although every night I had an essay to write, the topics were fun and interesting and I truly enjoyed it. For the last two weeks, I am currently taking a course called By Girls, For Girls which is a course created and taken by girls. Throughout the last few weeks I have been learning about women and women’s health. It has been very informative and very interesting.

If by any chance you decide to apply for SSEP I highly recommend the writing course and By Girls For Girls and I hope you have as much fun as I did. [:


Joanne Cho
Warren Township High school
Interests: Photography, playing piano, listening to music, traveling, watching movies, running or jogging
As a woman, I wanted to know how my body works and some of the issues that women face in today’s society. To remain healthy and safe throughout my life, I thought this class would be a perfect fit to teach me about ways to maintain my health and safety.

Dear Reader,
I am Brenda Diaz- Gutierrez.
I am a rising Junior in Arroyo High School.
I live in Oakland, California
I like to try new things but I can be really cautionous.
I like to dance and listen to music. Any type.
I am also a chocoholic.
I enjoy science.
And I can be funny and very social.
Hello, my name is Ja'Keena and I'm from Chattanooga, TN. I have three sisters and one brother. I also have a dog-named Akita (even though she is a Rottweiler) and love her very much. I am currently sixteen years old and am about to enter my junior in high school. I have many hobbies, some which include playing the clarinet, making hair bow/ hair bands, gong to Art Club, reading, hanging out with my friends, going to church, and volunteering at the Tennessee Aquarium. In school, I also take part in many activities such as being drum major of my high marching band, Art Club president, a member of the language club, and also go to Encounter (an after school bible study) group at my school. Yet, out of all the activities I participate in, I would have to say my favorite is going to church and being with my youth group. Being able to go to a place where you’re surrounded by friends and love, while still learning/ growing more in God, is amazing. It’s something I look forward to every week and is a very important part of my life.
 Hello, my name is Tajmina Akter. I am 15 years old. I live in New York City and I'm starting my sophomore year at TYWLS in September. I'm the kind of girl that chases after her dreams. I would kill and be killed for Geetanjali. She is my absolute life line. I live life like it's a party and laugh like there's no tomorrow.
      I chose to be in By Girls for Girls because I had similar class in the summer of seventh grade, and I liked it so much that I wanted to join the class again. Also, the professor was just phenomenal! I want to study within the medical field about women's health, and what better place to start than in this program. Not only this, but in class we learned how teenage girls can be healthy and safe. I chose to write about the topic of LGBT acceptance because I go to a single-sex school and it is hard for people to open up. Most likely all my friends are bisexual. I was curious about this topic and wanted to learn more about the risks of LGBT teens getting rejected. I also would like people to read this and change their minds. In the future, I want people to accept everyone's sexual orientation so we don’t have to go through all these risks, and we're all safe and healthy.
Hi my name is Brittany Tsai, and I am from Chino Hills, California. Currently I am fourteen years old, and I love spending time with my family and friends—they are my inspiration and I would never have gotten this far without them. During my spare time, I like watching Crime Scene Investigation on television and practice my piano. Ever since I was five years old, I have always dreamed of becoming a pediatrician. It all started with my pediatrician being extremely nice and caring, and gave me stickers. Then, I thought to myself how much I wanted to be just like her! I signed up for Smith’s Science and Engineering Program to expand my knowledge about the science and medical field. By Girls, For Girls has truly taught me a tremendous deal of how much a woman’s health is important and the many ways to protect oneself. 
Greetings. My name is Jessica Ortega. I am from Oakland, California. I am a rising junior, (class of 2012!) at Oakland Unity High School. I am a proud Mexican-American. Living in Oakland, California is the best thing ever, even if other people have negative opinion towards Oakland. There I live with my lovely family of 6, including me. I am very attached to my family and friends, they are a big part of my life. At my high school I maintain a GPA of 4.00 and I love it there. I tend to do many extra curriculum activities after school; I am very involved. Being a first generation college student can be frighting but yet I feel proud that I'm a role model to my smaller sibling and my younger cousins. In the future I would like to do something in science. Some carriers I am interested in are being a computer science engineer, registered nutritionist, pediatristian, or a premedical assistant. Aside from school I like to do many similar things like any other teen. I love shopping, listening to music, taking pictures, and having fun.
My name is Brenda Uribe
I'm from Round Lake, Illinois
I'm a senior
I enjoy spending time with my friends
and shopping.
I also do sports that include: Boxing, tennis, and soccer
I signed up for the class By girls, For girls because I thought it would be a good
experience for me personally to be able to learn of deeper topics that
us as girls go through in our lifetimes topics that in my High School
we would briefly discuss. I enjoyed the class very much because of the
connections that I made with friends and the valuable information
that I learned.

Name: Geetanjali G.
Age: 15
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Favorite Color: Pink and Purple
Favorite Singers: Taylor Swift, Jonas Brothers and anything Disney

Who I am: At first I may seem like the quiet nerd who is always so good, but once you get to know me you see that I am far from that. Don’t get me wrong I am most definitely a nerd, but I am willing to take the risk if it is something I believe in. Living in the Bronx, I have been protected my whole life. My older brother of six years has always felt the need to protect his baby sister, which is why he is my first best friend. Growing up I was always a tomboy, so you would never see me hanging out with my girl cousins. Anytime you found me I was with my two best guy cousins; we were never apart. Despite being a tomboy I will always be my daddy’s little girl and mommy’s princess. Now that I am in High school I spend most of my time with my best friend, Tajmina. We’ve been friends for 5 years and seem to do every school activity together. My favorite food is fried chicken and my favorite dessert is anything chocolate. My favorite sport is badminton, but I can be pretty lazy. So yea, that is pretty much who I am. Oh yea and I am confused on whether to be a writer, businesswoman or doctor.

Why I Chose By Girls, for Girls: I joined Step Up 2 years ago for a one week program that provided one hour sessions with Dr. Jaffe. Since then I became more curious about the lives of other girls around me, so I anticipated coming back just to take this course. Going to an all girls school allows me to be more open with whom I am as a teenage girl. Taking this class allowed me to explore more of whom I am as well as whom other girls are. Learning to feel what other girls feel is an ability that I have lacked, but since coming here I can see hat every girl has her own perspective based on religion, culture and family values. What might seem completely out of the norm to me is something other girls are comfortable with because they have done it their whole life. This class teaches you to embrace who other people are as well as learn who you really are as a teenage girl. There are many choices in life, but the choice is yours and there are consequences that come with that choice. By Girls, for Girls is the type of class I wish I had back at home.

Why I Chose The Media/Teenage Girls: Being a curvy, it isn’t always easy seeing skinny girls call themselves fat. The media for too long has affected me to the point where enough was enough. There isn’t an exact image of what “perfect” should be. I am not a size 2, but I smile everyday and learn to live life with happiness. In my eyes I see myself as smart, kind and beautiful. I don’t need to be a size 2 to be those things and neither do any other teenage girls. T is perfectly fine to have boobs, a waist and some thighs. What is shown to be perfect may not even exist and that’s what girls need to realize.




Copyright © 2010 By Girls, For Girls  |  Northampton, MA 01063   |  Last updated July 30, 2010

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