The streets were blocked with traffic as men, kids, LGBT allies, and people of different races joined hundreds of women in one of the biggest rallies in history– the Women’s March. Amongst the cacophony of chants and roars, Kelly Melo (12), a firm believer in women’s rights, held her sign up loud and proud.
Helping others has always been a passion for Kelly. As a member of S.H.E, a club that emphasizes sisterhood and women empowerment, Kelly believes that it is important to support other women.
On January 18, 2018, Kelly attended the local Women’s March in Orange County, in Downtown Santa Ana. “My experience at the Women’s March was truly astounding. I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend an event where different people come together to shower one another with nothing but love and support,” Kelly expresses. She wanted to not only march for women everywhere in the world, but also for the influential women in her life: her grandma, mom, and little sister.
To conclude the the event, the mayor of the city and director of the Women’s March bought out different guest speakers to present their experiences and thoughts on equality. “My favorite speech was given by a 14-year-old female student from Santa Ana High School, “ Kelly says. “It proved that everyone, no matter what age they are, has the ability to voice their thoughts and make a difference in the world.”
Kelly owes her thanks to Ms. Laura, the S.H.E advisor, who motivated and inspired Kelly to participate in this event. Ms. Laura’s mission is to create a community of young women because she believes that “it is extremely important for young women to encourage, support, and lift one another up.” Ms. Laura describes Kelly as “caring and compassionate.” She states, “Kelly has such a giving heart, and I am beyond impressed with her desire to give back in whatever way she can.”
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back” is a quote in which Ms. Laura teaches her students. Through this eye-opening experience, Kelly learned that every woman who participated in the march, including herself, can make a difference together. She hopes to attend a similar event in the future; however, instead of marching in the progress towards women’s rights, she hopes to march in celebration of women receiving their rights.