By ISABELLA GUERRERO / GUEST COLUMNIST
One day in May was just any other ordinary day for most people, but not for me. I had just been selected to take part in Discovery Girls first-ever Tween Summit.
Honestly, I was shocked they actually picked me to be in the magazine. I was just thinking, "This doesn't happen to girls like me." But I was excited and ready for the hard work and dedication ahead of me.
Participants in the first-ever Discovery Girls Tween Summit spend time getting to know girls from different parts of North America. The summit brought together girls from 34 cities, 18 states and 3 Canadian provinces to brainstorm solutions to universal tween issues, such as bullying and self-esteem. Here, Ontario representatives Cindy Xiong (left) and Vanessa Milton (right), tell Fullerton-local Isabella Guerrero (center) about life in Canada.
COURTESY OF DISCOVERY GIRLS MORE PHOTOS »
Two months later, I was in the car, heading to the hostel where we would be staying. When I got there, I was so happy to be there. Over the course of the day, more girls kept flowing in until all of us were there. We played icebreakers and really got to know each other. As we got to know each other, we realized we were all being ourselves and becoming really close friends, even though we had only known one another for eight hours.
The next few days were a lot more work than I thought it would be. The girls in my issue posed, smiled and answered interview questions to just about everybody who walked up to us. We did countless photo shoots, interviews and activities to make sure we had enough material for the magazine. At the end of every day, all the girls and I were drained and exhausted. It may sound weird, but posing for pictures is really tiring.
Even though it was hard work, we still got to do really fun stuff. We learned a dance, performed skits for one another, stayed up until midnight talking and we even did awards for personality and best skit. I won funniest Discovery Girl!
I learned some very important lessons after being at the summit for four days. I learned that being yourself is the best thing you could be, and you should love yourself and be confident, too. I plan to share these lessons with other girls.
I hope girls from my community feel good knowing that something this big happened to just a normal, regular girl like me. Girls in my community will know that if they set their minds to it, and when they believe in themselves, they can do anything. And they should always remember triumph is achieved when you put some extra oomph into something you try.
– Isabella Guerrero, 12, lives in Fullerton. Discovery Girls is a magazine aimed at tween girls to help them build confidence and a sense of community.