Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Good morning. My name is Shakira Hansley, and on behalf of all the girls and young women in Philadelphia under the age of 24, I would like to thank you, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, as well as your staff for your ongoing support of all girls and young women.

We would also like to express our gratitude for the City Council recognizing the need and support of all girls and young women in Philadelphia by authorizing public hearings when we can make our face and voice heard.

Thank you to the Girls Justice League and the Coalition on the Status of Girls and Young Women in Philadelphia, for you have and we know you will continue to tirelessly work to help us and support us as we are researchers, documentators, advocates, and co-facilitators to ensure that the data collected truly expresses our current situation and what we need to be great.

I was born and raised in Philadelphia. After being abandoned at birth by my biological mother, I was placed in foster care. However, I was adopted at 15 months by a loving and caring single mother. She instilled in me values and morals that are still within me today, and even as a teenager, when everything she said to me went in one ear and straight out the other, she placed me in teen mentoring groups that were filled of other successful young women who helped me to know that it is a cool thing to be educated and a positive contributing member of society.

Of course, I went on to high school, graduated, went to college, and I'm working on my first career. However, when I turn on the TV, when I talk to another girl in school or when I even read the statistics, the horrible reality hits me that being a successful 24-year-old woman in Philadelphia today makes me the minority. It is because of this that I stand here today, and my desire to advocate for girls will continue.

All of these women standing behind me today will not stop our efforts until the success of the minority becomes the success of the majority.

The passage of this resolution today is what was needed as a vehicle to alert the public, but to also help organizations representing girls empower us to live prosperous lives. These women and girls that you are empowering today will be the force in Philadelphia that will help us with forward mobility.

On behalf of the Girls Justice League and the Coalition, I would like to thank you, but I also want to ensure you that your vote will not be in vain.

Thank you.

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