a video series
111 teenage Girls,
She is the Universe is a global platform designed to amplify the voices of teenage girls from around the world.
We look to inspire, empower and offer girls the support they need to stand in their own stories and to pursue their dreams, through storytelling, mentorship and community.
During the first phase of this project we are producing a video series of 111 short videos, giving girls aged between 13 and 19 from 15+ countries around the world, of all shapes, sizes, colors, languages and cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, a platform, so they can use their voice and tell their life stories.
Founded by storyteller Laura Peña, this project is taking her on a once in a lifetime adventure around the globe. So far, she has filmed 51 interviews with girls in 21 cities and 10 countries. Including the United States, (her home for the past 14 years), The Dominican Republic (her country of origin), Colombia, Peru, Iceland, The UK, The Netherlands, Denmark, Spain and Portugal.
Some of these interviews made up the collection of 6 stories released for Season One last year, and will feature in Season Two, to be released on October 11, 2019, International Day of the Girl.
Where to next? Laura is set to travel to Australia, Thailand and Vietnam later this year. And in 2020 (and beyond) the project will reach countries such as China, South Africa, Kenya, Cuba, Haiti, and South Korea.
The quest is to travel 6 continents, interviewing these girls, document their stories and give us all a window into their hearts and souls.
Why? We are exploring the question of what it means to be a girl in today’s age. We discuss their passions and dreams, hopes, fears, beliefs, struggles and their stories of success, defeat and opportunities. All of these things are unique to their life and their different cultures, but at the same time universal, which is powerful to learn and share with the rest of the world.
As Laura travels the globe, shooting, editing and writing, she is also sharing her own journey of following her passion and bringing this vision and mission to life.
We are also hosting screenings and Q & A’s in cities that Laura visits, which is great opportunity to come together and learn more about the project.
The purpose of this platform is to support in building these girls’ confidence by allowing them to be seen and heard. One girl's confidence can build another girl’s confidence, that can build another girl’s confidence and so on.
This all started with a question; what do these women-in-the-making need from all of us, to fulfil their potential? We are traveling far and wide with a camera in hand and curious minds, to ask them ourselves.
We invite you to join us on this adventure and follow the journey here.
REFLECTIONS from Laura Peña:
“It’s been amazing for me to hear the stories these girls have to share with the world. Stories where we get to witness things about girls and their lives that we wouldn’t get to see otherwise. From 10 year old Lilly, from The Netherlands, who inspired by 16 year-old Greta Thunberg, has been striking from school for climate change for over 32 weeks, and who is dreaming about a future without plastic; to Alexa in Portland, who is a WDSer and is planning on creating an organization to help kids of immigrant parents navigate the US education system.
These girls have shown me that they truly are the future.
At the end of each interview I ask the girls what they originally thought about the project and how do they feel now after the interview. Their answers are pretty unanimous. They can see why this is so needed. Some of these girls have never told anyone some of the things they tell me, some of them didn’t even realize they had so much to say and contribute, they feel energized, full of confidence and ready to take on the world.
In everything I do, I make sure I am always serving the girls first.”