Dear Dr. Jen:
My life pretty much revolves around girls. I have five nieces, possibly a sixth any day now, and I’m the CEO of an empowerment organization for girls called Severson Sisters.
Severson Sisters is headquartered here in Arizona. Our mission is to inspire girls live as their awesome, authentic, super selves. When I saw the Arizona Cardinals news break this morning about your addition to the coaching staff, I screamed with joy. And truth be told, I jammed around my living room for a few beats!
Our organization works with girls from all backgrounds all across the country. We’ve met outgoing girls, shy girls, happy girls and sad girls. We’ve worked with girls who love arts and crafts, girls who love to write and share and girls who’d rather be on a court or field somewhere.
We do our best with the curriculum we create to reach and support all girls, regardless of their hobbies.
Let me tell you about my niece, Meah. She’s a natural athlete. She came to visit one holiday season a few years back. My sister and I decided we wanted to spend time with each niece instead of buy them gifts. When it came time for Meah and I to spend a day together, she asked to go hiking. I packed a lunch and the two of us sat on the “saddle” of Camelback Mountain after an hour of hiking and talked about her school year.
I asked her about her friends and what she likes to do during recess. She played four square and flipped around on the monkey bars. What she really wanted to do through was play football. She couldn’t because the boys wouldn’t let her practice.
That infuriated me.
“What position to you want to play, babe?” I asked, Meah.
“Kicker,” Meah said.
“Do you have a football at home?”
“Yes, dad bought me one. I need a helmet though to practice.”
After our hike and lunch, I drove over to Target. I figured there had to be a football helmet there that would fit her. We walked all over Target and didn’t see anything. Finally, on the second to bottom shelf of a clearance rack, Meah spotted a helmet. It was a catcher’s helmet. She picked it up and looked at me.
“It looks like a football helmet except for all these baseball tags,” Meah said.
“We can take these things off,” Meah said.
“Try it on, babe.”
She did. It fit. She loved it.
“Do you want it?” I asked her.
“Can I get it?”
“Yes! You carry it to the front. Let’s go pay for it.” I said.
Meah carried that catcher’s helmet like it was a gold medal. She held it out in front of her and marched with pride to the checkout counter. I could see her excitement in her eyes. She was practically floating.
As we walked to the front of the store, I noticed shoppers questionably look over at Meah and the helmet. As we moved passed each stare, I pulled Meah closer to me.
“She wants to be a kicker on a football team,” I finally said to one woman staring at Meah.
The woman smiled.
“She wanted a helmet to practice kicking a football,” I said to another woman watching Meah.
She smiled too.
I said it over and over again as we passed people.
After I paid for the helmet, I ripped off the baseball tags and stickers and Meah put on the helmet. She marched out to the parking lot with that thing on her head.
“What?” I said to people staring at her. “She wants to be a football player.”
Dr. Jen, your journey is so important. The example you’re setting for girls, of all ages, is beautiful and I’m so happy it’s happening from Arizona.
On behalf of Super Girls like Meah who live all over the place, thank you for breaking through this ceiling.
Go get ‘em!
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Carrie Severson is an entrepreneur and storyteller trainer who teaches leaders how to step into their stories and share their lessons. She writes about love, health, burnout, harmony and purpose for national media outlets. She can often times be found on a stage sharing stories. You can always find [...]