Laura Flores, a member of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, has been named one of 11 girls from Girls Inc. affiliates across the U.S. to serve on the 2020-2021 Girls Inc. National Teen Advocacy Council.
Laura, 17, will be the second member from the Carpinteria affiliate to serve in this national leadership capacity.
The council consists of Girls Inc.’s high school students. They support Girls Inc.’s advocacy efforts through writing blog posts, sharing messages on social media and speaking publicly on behalf of Girls Inc.
“Girls Inc.’s programming, environment, and staff have helped me challenge stereotypes, find my voice, and gain the confidence I needed to thrive,” Laura said in a news release. “I am humbled to build upon my experience through the Teen Advocacy Council, and join this safe space for young women all over the nation to collaborate and discuss important concerns.
“This opportunity provides a platform to learn and grow from one another while representing my community and advocating for the issues we face,” Laura said.
Laura joined Girls Inc. as a sixth-grader, participating in the Teen Center and Eureka! Program. She credits Girls Inc. of Carpinteria for fostering her passion for social justice and advocacy through leadership and community action programming, including a trip to meet lawmakers in Washington, D.C., through Eureka.
She was inspired to take on leadership roles and served as junior class vice president at Carpinteria High School.
“Laura is an outstanding leader in our community and has worked incredibly hard to get here,” said Kenya Rodriguez, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Outreach & Eureka program manager. “We are proud to see her taking this work to the national level through the Teen Advocacy Council and know she will continue to use her voice to create positive social change for young women and girls in our community and beyond.”
Following the death of George Floyd, Laura made a commitment to fighting racial injustice and systemic racism. She attended more than half a dozen Carpinteria Unified School District Board meetings and emailed local representatives this past summer to voice her concerns. She also organized a local protest for civil rights and rallied support for a new multicultural literature class that is now offered at her school.
A first-generation Latina student, Laura is also a leader in the Celebrating Adversity, Diversity and Education club and leads Carpinteria’s Diversify Our Narrative chapter, advancing diversity and inclusion at schools in the Carpinteria district.
Earlier this year, Laura was named a Girls Inc. National Scholar, an award that honors young women for their academic achievements and community service.
Laura plans to attend UCLA and pursue a career in teaching or politics.
For more information, call Girls Inc. of Carpinteria at 805-684-6364 or visit www.girlsinc-carp.org.