“When you’re involved at the community level, you really get to see the difference that you can make,” says Jane Christina Thomas, a senior at Louis S. McGehee School, “It is the first step of activism, and from there one can only expand and reach more people.”
Thomas is a member of Girls Learn International (GLI), a program started by the Feminist Majority Foundation. GLI started as a way for high school students to learn about female issues on a global level. Thomas joined GLI her freshman year, and now she is GLI’s president at McGehee. She has attended regional meetings and even writes for GLI’s blog.
Thomas was given the opportunity to help build a house through Habitat for Humanity and McGehee. Her group spend the entire day in the 9th Ward painting and digging out a driveway for a family that needed a home.
“It was so amazing to work alongside my friends and to actually get our hands dirty and make a huge difference in someone’s life. The day was as fun as it was meaningful and I look forward to working with Habitat for Humanity in the future,” says Thomas.
Caeli Waldron Hogan, the Associate Director of chapter development at GLI, inspired Thomas to become a student activist. When she first joined GLI Hogan spoke passionately at the meetings for women’s and girls’ rights, and how to advocate for them.
Thomas has learned a lot over the past few years by being an activist.
“I’ve learned how to advocate for change and how to get other people involved,” says Thomas, “I’ve learned how to be an effective group leader by leading discussions and making sure everyone has a say in the direction of the group.”
Thomas is looking to attend college at a small, liberal arts college on the East coast or her home state of California. She hopes to continue working with the Feminist Majority Foundation and expand her reach as an activist for women’s right around the world. Thomas’ experience at the United Nations has sparked her interest in working as an activist overseas, but she also wants to work with the growing number of women in STEM.