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Students inspire women through online forum

Maddie Daly | Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Several women at Saint Mary’s have embraced their unique role as women’s college students in spreading the word about women empowerment worldwide by contributing to the Smart Girls Group (SGG).

Sophomore Victoria Wilbraham, who serves as SGG’s vice president and director of communications, said the group is an online community designed to connect, inspire and empower girls on an international level through writings in a daily blog, The Loop, and a monthly magazine, The Smart Girls Guide.  

“Our motto, ‘Be Smart, Share Smarts,’ encourages girls to share their passions with others,” she said.  “We do this through The Loop and The Smart Girls Guide, both of which are fully run by high school and college girls.”

Wilbraham said SGG currently involves 110 girls from 15 colleges and seven different countries in its online empowerment work, but the organization is looking to expand at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and beyond.

“We will be launching a campus program in January,” she said. “The Campus Smart Girls will be a place where girls from different colleges around the country can come and share what is going on at their school.”

Senior Monica Murphy began writing a monthly column for the online magazine, titled “Dear Smart Girl,” after Wilbraham and SGG founder Emily Raleigh, two of her close friends, shared their passion and vision for SGG and its global mission with her.

“I quickly came on board and currently write inspirational columns for the magazine,” Murphy said. “I want girls to embrace all that they were created to be and to understand that they are invaluable.”

Freshman Keeley Frost, who heads the Saint Mary’s Campus Program blog and will be featured on the cover of the magazine’s November issue, said the blog covers happenings at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and South Bend.

Frost said becoming involved with SGG and its emphasis on confidence, strength, courage and power helped her learn about herself as well as the ability of young women to empower each other.

“Girls have great potential to serve the world and make a difference in the lives of all other women around us,” she said. “By joining the Smart Girls Group, I realize the confidence I have in my life and how I can use it to inspire others.

The SGG’s online media offerings serve to inform members of the Saint Mary’s community who may not know about the organization or its mission, Frost said, and all Belles are invited to help strengthen the College’s involvement in the SGG community.   

“The magazine comes out monthly with amazing articles written by other Smart Girls, so this campus chapter is a great way to get the word out about SGG to the Saint Mary’s community,” Frost said.  “I am so excited for it to develop into something extraordinary.”

Murphy said she is proud to be involved with an organization that strives to promote the power of women.

“It is a true blessing to be a part of a ministry offering hope and light,” she said.  “Join us on this incredibly journey as we transform the minds and lives of girls across the world.”

As part of the group’s involvement guarantee, Wilbraham said all girls interested in becoming part of SGG are welcome to do so and can contact her at toriwilbraham@thesmartgirlsgroup.com for more information.

Contact Maddie Daly at mdaly6@nd.edu