Senior Meghan Kaschner Wins Prestigious Girls Inc. Scholarship
Women's History In The Making
Strong. Smart. Bold. Those are the qualities that Girls Inc. hopes to instill in its young participants through its pro-girl environment and research-based programming. In late February, Country Day Senior Meghan Kaschner (‘21) was recognized as the embodiment of these virtues when she received Girls Inc.’s top scholarship.
The Lucile Miller Wright scholarship awards $5,000-$20,000 for its lucky winners to apply toward college. Meghan was selected from a field of nine top finalists in the United States to receive its $20,000 award.
Meghan began participating in Girls Inc. at the Santa Fe affiliate, where she used to live, when she was 4 ¾ years old (but it’s easier to just say 5). She’s been volunteering ever since and with more than 12 years with the organization, she has been involved in everything from STEM programs to volunteer clean up days.
Last year, she joined Girls Inc. of Santa Fe’s Teen Leadership Council (TLC) and has been participating in weekly meetings virtually from California. Recently, the TLC took their cause to the New Mexico Legislature to advocate for a bill that would make affirmative consent education part of the health curriculum for 7th and 11th graders in the state. The bill goes to the New Mexico House of Representatives on March 1, taking one step closer to approval.
While advocating for the bill, Meghan met directly with legislators, coordinated with student groups, and helped create talking points and other materials because she says it is important that all individuals understand consent and feel safe reporting sexual trauma. Affirmative consent focuses on “yes means yes,” which is intended to prevent misunderstanding and ambiguity.
“My experiences with Girls Inc. of Santa Fe — summer, spring, and winter break camps, afterschool, mid-school-year teen backpacking trips, and the TLC — allowed me to develop close relationships with my peers and mentors, and develop leadership skills in STEM and advocacy I wouldn’t have otherwise,” says Meghan. “I am thankful for the research and communication skills I acquired at Girls Inc., and, above all else, my incredible support system of family, friends, teachers, and mentors. Participating in study abroad, to conduct marine biology and policy research internationally, is well within my reach now, thanks to the LMW scholarship.”
Congratulations, Meghan! We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see what you will do next.