No, this has nothing to do with Romeo and Juliet. Contrary to what Romeo thinks, there is a lot to a name. How we choose to identify ourselves is a reflection of ourselves. Every grade level at MAIA Impact School is split into two mentorship groups. Each year while rising seventh graders are in Escuela Estrellita, our four-month preparatory program for incoming students, they are given the opportunity to name their group after a woman who has had a significant impact on her community.
Choosing a name is done in a democratic manner. It is important that the Girl Pioneers identify in some way with their namesake. The mentors research impactful women from different communities, women who uphold MAIA’s competencies and values. The list is presented to the girls, and they learn about each woman’s life story, the challenges they faced, and the impact they have created in the world. The Girl Pioneers then vote on which woman they want to represent their group.
This year, joining the ranks of Malala Yousafazi, Ana Sofia Gomez, Sara Curruchich, and Rigoberta Menchu are Rosa Parks and Anne Frank. Rosa Parks, an American civil rights activist, was chosen because she fought for equality, demonstrated resilience, and used her voice to confront racism and segregation. Anne Frank, a Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim, also demonstrated values and competencies such as resilience and perseverance and was chosen because she never stopped dreaming despite the difficult situation her country was in.
In order to better understand why these names were chosen, we asked the Girl Pioneers what they have in common with these powerful women. We invite you to get to know some of our newest students and read their responses below.
“Anne controlled her emotions when she was around others, and I control my emotions at home and with the people in my surroundings. Many people criticize my family; however, we keep a positive attitude and control our emotional states.” - Zady Mireya
“[Like Anne Frank] I like to write poems and express my feelings through writing.” - Brenda Melissa
“I accept my classmates’ opinions, respect others, and I try not to offend anyone.” - Joselin Verónica
“I don’t make fun of other people, and I fight for equality.” - Mileydi Fabiola
“I don’t discriminate against others. I fight for what I want
to achieve and I’m honest with myself
and others” - Yesica Virginia