A week after my last official day as an intern at GirlForward, I wake up to a phone buzzing with messages:
“I miss you so much.”
“How is school?”
“You need to text me more!”
Their messages brighten up my day. I’m not going to forget them. Although I have only known most of the girls at GirlForward for a matter of weeks, they have become an essential part of my life.
When I first began my internship at GirlForward, I must say that I was nervous. However, just a few days spent with the girls alleviated my tensions. The girls at GirlForward were so quick to accept me as their teacher and friend, and I really can’t imagine having spent my summer any other way!
Sometimes, I feel out of place in social situations; however, the girls have been so open-hearted and welcoming. Whether we are dancing to “Dilbar” in the classroom, singing “Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam” in the bus, working on literature circle activities, or discussing college applications at lunch time, I feel as if we’ve been good friends for years.
When I see these girls– some of the strongest, most dedicated, brightest girls in Austin– it’s hard to understand why anyone would have negative opinions about refugees and immigrants. The girls at GirlForward are leaders. They are future journalists, teachers, doctors, police women, lawyers, and engineers. They are feminists, trailblazers, and activists. I am so incredibly lucky to know them, and I hope more people can receive this opportunity as well.
Five weeks may be a very short time, but when you’re surrounded by the amazing community of women that GirlForward is, it’s hard not to miss them dearly. Fortunately, however, I’m not gone for long. That’s right– here’s an update: I will be continuing to intern at GirlForward throughout this year, and will be supporting GF’s tutoring program! I am really looking forward this opportunity to become even more involved with GirlForward, and I can’t wait to see the girls again!