Over 1,300 middle school girls gather for Girls Empowerment Day

Over 1,300 middle school girls from LAUSD gathered at Banc of California Stadium for Girls Empowerment Day.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In honor of International Women's Day, YMCA-LA and Ready Set Gold! came together to host a Girls Empowerment Day. Over 1,300 middle school girls from the Los Angeles Unified School District joined up at the Banc of California Stadium to celebrate big dreams and to be encouraged to accomplish them.

"Over the last couple of years, it's definitely been hard for our girls to play sports," said Michaela Reynolds, the director of Ready, Set Gold! "So today we wanted to bring together a lot of girls from local district east of LAUSD and just celebrate them."

The young girls were able to participate in a variety of activities including yoga, hockey and basketball in order to promote participation in physical activities.

"Somebody asked me earlier what's the biggest difference that I see from when I was a teenage girl and these girls here," said Catherine Davila, the head of community for Angel City FC. "And it's the fact that there are women athletes who are everywhere and they're visible, and there's still so much work to be done there, but that's such a huge step."

They also had various panelists including Olympians and Paralympians that spoke to the young girls about life lessons, put an emphasis on a healthy self-esteem and encouraged them to go after their wildest dreams.

"I just want to hear people's story and see what encouraged them to do what they do," said Michelle Perez, an 8th grader attending the event.

"I see all these other athletes, these women, and a lot of them have motivated me," said Victoria, another 8th grader attending the event. "I think to myself, I can do this. If they can do it, I can do it."

This was the first Girls Empowerment Day event hosted by YMCA-LA and Ready, Set, Gold! but organizers said they're hoping to make it an annual event.

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