Local Leader Strives to Empower Girls

Melody Pourmoradi - Cross Legged

image: rachel kasab

Though the creator of the GiRLiFE Empowerment Series—mind and body workshops that help community leaders and mothers build up the next generation of young girlslife and wellness coach Melody Pourmoradi wasn’t always confident. Growing up in Toronto, she struggled with social pressures and gender stereotypes.

“I had no clue how to navigate all the stuff coming at me, let alone how to transform the many challenging phases of girlhood into personal growth,” she said.

Currently living in Great Neck, Pourmoradi launched her series in 2014 and digitally in 2016 in hopes of giving female youth the tools they need to gain confidence, fight through gender inequality and achieve their goals. “I want every young girl to know that there is a safe place inside of her where she can access all of the strength, love and confidence that she needs.”

Pourmoradi, who works with girls locally and around the world, spoke about her mission and offered career advice to women.

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What challenges did you face as a young girl?
There were a lot of comparisons from well-meaning adults. It’s really important for our next generation that we learn how to embrace each other’s uniqueness and differences rather than comparing ourselves to one another. This starts with the adults who set the tone for positive or negative self-talk. When we are taught to play the comparison game at a young age, we all fall short.

Were people telling you that you couldn’t do something because you are a girl?
Growing up I got a lot of messaging from around me that “a good girl wouldn’t do this” or “a good girl wouldn’t do that.” This pertains to what a girl should say, what a girl should wear, how a girl should act; in essence who a girl should be. That kind of messaging made it very difficult for me to feel the freedom to show who I knew myself to be.

How does your series embrace female empowerment?
The series teaches that every young girl is limitless and that her potential is not defined by other people’s ideas of who a girl should be and how she should live her life. It is determined when she uncovers her own gifts and strengths—the ones that encourage her to be the highest expression of herself.

What do your workshops consist of?
The core message of the GiRLiFE Empowerment Series is that the thoughts we chose to feed our minds with are paramount. Each workshop and activity in the series focuses on a particular theme. Thought-provoking dialogue, empowering craft projects and nutritional education all support the various themes of each workshop.

Any common concerns you hear from mothers who send their daughters to your workshops? Or what about from the girls participating?
The most recurring concern of parents sending their daughters is anxiety. It often comes up as a topic of conversation with the girls regardless of the workshop’s theme.

What keeps you motivated?
Although there has been so much forward movement for girls/women’s empowerment in our global community, I am very motivated by how much work there is yet to do. Girls and women are our planet’s most valuable untapped resource. I won’t stop until every young girl is uplifted to know how many superpowers she already has within her.

What more needs to be done?
As women, we need to show up for our girls by being an example of fierceness and strength. They need to learn that everything they need is already inside of them. They just need to learn how to access this.

What is your career advice for girls?
Whatever you choose to do in your life, make sure it comes from a soul-centered place. Creating a career that holds meaning for you can make all the difference in your life. Don’t be afraid to dream big and take necessary action. If things move in a different direction than you had planned, have trust that the detour is all part of the plan. Most importantly, learn how to access and use your intuition in every step of the ride.