ELMS Student Creates Global Partnership to Encourage Positive Self-Image
Published on 3/8/21
District News Expeditionary Learning School
When she was in third grade, Samaia Goodrich founded the Let Our Voice Echo (LOVE) Project as a means of organizing community service events and encouraging her peers to join her in those pursuits. Now in eighth grade at ELMS, Samaia’s initial idea has grown with her, now reaching internationally!
This year, Samaia founded Girls Loving Ourselves Worldwide (GLOW), which she considers an initiative of the LOVE Project. Her intention: to let every girl in the world know that she is valued and valuable.
“I just want to make sure that girls understand that no matter where they come from, what they look like or what people think about them, they are beautiful in their own skin,” Samaia explained, noting that she has been honing her idea for this group for the past two years. “I really want people to understand and see that black and brown girls are beautiful on the inside and outside, and that we are smart, caring human beings who have a lot to offer and help change the world through our gifts and abilities.”
The GLOW initiative is currently seeking applications for members – girls in grades 6-11 – from anywhere in the world. Together, they will embark upon a yearlong virtual program in which they promote self love, sisterhood, and service. They will engage in culturally relevant self-development activities, leadership development, relationship and team building training, and service projects. In addition, they plan to develop media campaigns and materials that promote positive images of Black and brown girls worldwide.
Sanai Gyder, a 7th grader at ELMS, has been involved in every service project the LOVE Project has initiated – since she was eight years old! She now serves as Director of Creativity and Leadership for the GLOW initiative. She said her leadership stems from wanting to help spread positivity and love to others, working together to find solutions that will enable her and her peers to come up with solutions to help their own communities – regardless of where in the world they are located.
“This group is important because it shows that black and brown girls are positive, creative and have a voice,” Sanai explained. “Being able to express our concern for our communities as well as being able to better ourselves and improve our communities will help us as we grow older. That’s really important to me! I hope my role as an artist, a Black girl and a leader will help others by showing them how to spread love, kindness, positivity, how to care for others and find their voice to make the change wherever they live.”
To help contribute to the change locally, Samaia invited ITC graduate and local entrepreneur Tayah Barnes to serve as Director of Image and Development for the GLOW initiative. As the Founder and Owner of Tayah J. Cosmetics, Tayah’s role with GLOW is to help develop the overall image of the brand and individuals on the Executive Team.
“When I learned about the mission and overall vision, I was all in,” Tayah said of joining the team. “This is a great way to give back to my community and my district. I am most excited about helping my ‘little sisters’ achieve their goals and dreams. The girls from the group are so beautiful and brilliant. Their drive has had an impact on my confidence, and on my ability to see deep into the future as to what my contributions will be to ‘girl power’ and to the world in general. I get so motivated when I am around them – they are so fun, caring, hopeful and unstoppable. GLOW will open up doors of opportunity for all of us. I can feel it and see it. It is a really special opportunity and I am blessed and grateful to be a part of something that is going to be really huge and impactful.”
If you know a girl (grades 6-11) who would be interested in applying to the GLOW initiative, please visit www.glownowgirl.life for more information!