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(EM)POWER HOUR: Sonya Ulibarri, Girls Inc. of Metro Denver President & CEO

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As part of the Denver Broncos' Empowerment Summit Digital Learning Series — a key pillar in the club's Inspire Change program — the team announced a series of $5,000 donations to female-serving foundations and social enterprises in the Denver Metro Area in honor of International Women's Day (March 8). The selected organizations are dedicated to serving girls and women in the community while emphasizing entrepreneurship, social enterprise, cultural and historical education, and the advancement of economic security for women of color.

Girls Inc. of Metro Denver was one of the selected nonprofits, and President & CEO Sonya Ulibarri shared more about the work she and her organization are doing to serve girls and women in our community.

Could you please provide a brief overview of what your organization does to serve women in our community?

Girls Inc. of Denver's mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold, and our vision is a world in which every girl values her whole self, discovers her inner strengths and achieves her goals. At Girls Inc., we accomplish this mission by developing and delivering year-round programs that equip girls with the knowledge and skills to grow up healthy, educated and independent. We also advocate for rights and opportunities for all girls and women in Colorado and address systematic barriers that limit their success.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

International Women's Day is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions that girls and women make across the globe, and throughout Women's History Month, we recognize that these achievements are not new but have been made by women throughout history. IWD is also a call to action to continue the work toward gender equity, highlight the challenges that women and girls face locally and globally, and progress toward a more just and safe world for women and girls.

What happens when we lift up women in our community and why is it so important to dedicate resources to women?

Lifting women is seeing women. When we lift up women, we lift up whole families and communities. It's important to recognize the innate power and influence women have and understand that our society benefit greatly when women's voices, perspectives, lived experiences and brilliance are fully represented and equally valued.

What would your advice be to the young women participating in the Empowerment Summit Digital Learning Series?

My advice to young women is this: know your worth, recognize your power, and use your voice now and in the future. Leadership is not something that is limited to adulthood. You can be a leader in your life, school, and community today — and you are more capable than you may realize. Leadership is not a title, it's a way of moving through the world. This journey is not perfect, there will be challenges and failures along the way, but don't let that stop you from moving forward.

To learn more about Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, please visit:www.girlsincdenver.org.

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