- Posted October 13, 2012 by
Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands (USA)
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Do the math: Girls + Education
Statement by 2012 Miss International U.S. Virgin Islands
2012 Miss International Pageant
October 13, 2012
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” As I look around the room, I am thrilled to be surrounded by 69 beautiful, talented, articulate, poised, and benevolent young women from all over the world; women who are the pride of our respective countries, collectively representing the goals, dreams, and ideals of millions of girls and women upon which our ambitions lie. We, the young women delegates of the 2012 Miss International Beauty Pageant, are our countries’ greatest exports; ambassadors of peace and beauty here to be the change we want to see in the world.
How fitting that during this past week, on October 11, 2012, as we were gathered here, the world celebrated the first annual International Day of the Girl Child sponsored by the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative. The Day of the Girl Child is a global celebration highlighting the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment throughout the world. The challenges we face are diverse and vary from country to country, region to region, continent to continent, however, they are challenges with which we are intimately familiar, encompassing significant economic, educational, and empowerment gaps for a population that is estimated by the United Nations to be a majority 51% of the world’s population.
Noting the disparity between the total number of women versus the number of men with tertiary education internationally, I am a champion for advancing educational opportunities for girls and women. I strove to pursue higher education to help bridge this gap and received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from the Inter-American University in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I wholeheartedly believe that Girls + Education = Change. I am the change I want to see in the world.
After our time has passed here and we return home, let us not forget the ambitions and challenges of our girls and women that look to us as role models. Let us strive to mitigate these challenges through our own ambitions. Let us remember our own childhood dreams and continue to serve our girls and women by assisting them to reach theirs.
Let us be the change we want to see in the world.