Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni supports Girl Up

More than 400 girls and (and some boys) from all over LA joined gathered at the Marlborough School in Hancock Park a few weeks ago to support the United Nations Girl Up campaign and learn about the lives of girls in Malawi, Liberia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia.

No matter where they live in the world, girls are bright, talented, and full of dreams. But too many girls growing up in developing countries aren’t able to fulfill those dreams because their chances to go to school, stay healthy, and live free from violence are out of reach. The Girl Up is a campaign for girls, by girls.

Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan joined the Girl Up pep rally providing truly inspirational remarks highlighting the difficulties girls around the world face.  Queen Rania praised the energy and compassion of American girls to draw attention to the adversity their counterparts face and she empowered all the attendees to bring about global change.  Queen Rania is seriously the coolest!

Along with Her Majesty Queen Rania, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa helped kick off the pep rally —enthusiastically thanking Girl Up for making LA a stop on their nation-wide tour and encouraging everyone to learn five facts about girls in developing countries and take action.

After the speeches, there was a passport challenge in which girls visited information stations for Guatemala, Ethiopia, Liberia, and Malawi to learn facts about what life is like for girls in those countries. In between the countries, girls also got to stop at Girl Up photo booths and give a “High Five” on camera!

So many supporters and celebrity guests came out to support Girl Up — including American Idol finalist and Girl Up friend David Archuleta. The entire Girl Up team, including Girl Up head Jennifer Kim Field; Girl Up Champion Rebecca Soni and BFFs Amber Heard and Monique Coleman took to the stage to lead the group in a reading the Girlafesto. It was beautiful to hear hundreds of daughters and moms, dads and sons  say in unison, “We are strong. But together we are stronger!” Monique, actress and Special Envoy to the United Nations International Year of Youth, reminded the crowd that they have the power to support girls around the world.

Rebecca just won Athlete of the Year at the annual Golden Goggle Awards (congrats Rebecca). Go here for an overview of this year’s event and nominees and watch the video below to learn more about the USC grad, Olympic gold medalist and Girl Up champion.

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