In celebration of Women’s History Month, Messenger Kids is introducing a sticker pack to help empower girls to express themselves and tell their own stories. Each camera sticker is easy to add to a photo or video recording, and features a girl connecting to her passion, from math and science, to art and literature, to sports and leadership.
As a woman in tech and a mom to two daughters, creating product experiences that empower and inspire girls is incredibly important to me. Growing up, math and art were my favorite subjects. I was lucky to have a great role model in my dad; he encouraged me to enter a programming competition in the seventh grade, which sparked my interest in computer science. But not everyone was so supportive; people told me that “being clever isn’t cool.” When I arrived at university, I discovered that I was the only woman in my class. I still remember how challenging – and isolating – it felt to not see anybody else like myself in the room. It took a leap of faith and a lot of courage to pursue my studies in the U.S. If I could, I would tell my younger self – don’t worry about what people say; have courage and conviction to follow your dreams and the rest will work itself out.
Research shows that kids with role models are more likely to pursue their goals and feel hopeful about their future. As girls on Messenger Kids grow into young women, I hope these stickers can help kickstart supportive conversations and encourage them to follow their dreams to become the next generation of leaders, artists, scientists, athletes and more.
We asked our friends at Khan Academy and Girls Leadership – two inspirational women and community role models – to share the sticker they would send to their younger self and what they would say to encourage them to embrace their passion. Here are their stories; hope it inspires you to pick a sticker and tell yours.
Caroline Hu Flexer, Co-Founder of Duck Duck Moose and Khan Academy Kids
Your curiosity will lead you to learn at every step and take you to places you never would have imagined. At one point in my career, I made a big leap from architecture to business and product management. I didn’t see the connections at the time and it felt like starting over, but over time the learnings from both areas have defined how I create products. Trust in yourself, your interests, and the journey.
Takai Tyler, Co-CEO, Girls Leadership
Your voice is your superpower. Use it to express your feelings, stand up for what you believe in, and create change. In third grade, I was helping my best friend – whose first language was Spanish – learn to read. My teacher, a middle-aged white woman, told me I was wasting my time: “She’s never going to amount to anything, and you’ll be lucky if you graduate high school.” I wish I would’ve had the courage to speak up at the time; to push back and say that my friend was worth my time and investment. The good news: we both finished high school, obtained college degrees, and are creating brighter futures for ourselves and our communities.
Girls Leadership is celebrating Women’s History Month with a free Power of Voice event on March 10, where they will honor five women who are using the power of their voice to change our world. Each of these honorees will thank the person who helped them step into their power. Learn more here.
How to access this Messenger Kids sticker pack: Just open the app to take a photo or record a video using the Messenger Kids camera, then tap the sticker icon at the bottom of your screen to add a camera sticker.