Briana's Unique GirlsFLI Experience

By Graceley Todd

Graceley Todd: What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of your experience with GirlsFLI?

Briana Garil: Unique

GT: If there was one moment that defined your experience what was it and describe it.

BG: The day that we presented our project.

GT: How did the project turn out?

BG: I think it went really well! I was amazed at what young high school students could accomplish in such a short amount of time.

GT: Did you face any problems while planning your project and how did you fix them?

BG: Yes (giggles), we had a lot of bumps in the road. But that’s what the GirlsFLI experience is about- giving us that real-world experience of what it is like to implement a service project from beginning to end- on our own! A week before our event we thought we weren’t going to have a location, but luckily that resolved it’s self. And you know we’re high school girls we are bound to have disagreements, which we did but we got over it pretty fast and when we couldn’t solve it ourselves our PA Jordan really acted as a voice of reason.

GT: What was it like working with like-minded girls?

BG: It was awesome to meet a group of girls who were like me that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.

GT: Did you have any hesitations entering GirlsFLI?

BG: It’s definitely intimidating going into a room full of girls you’ve never met before but we all clicked very well very early on.

GT: Do you think you’ll stay in touch?

BG: Yeah we still have our group chat that we text on and Facebook page and I think really great conversations will come from it.

GT: What’s the biggest lesson you learned in GirlsFLI?

BG: I learned that there will always be stressful moments when working on implementing a project, but it always works out in the end.

GT: And what’s something you learned that you didn’t expect to learn?

BG: I was able to learn from my fellow GirlsFLI girls because it was definitely more diverse than my own town so I got to learn about places other than my town. GirlsFLI also really opened my eyes to thing I didn’t know took place on Long Island. We talked about how racially segregated the towns are and I never really thought about Long Island like that.

GT: Lastly, how has GirlsFLI helped you fly?

BG: Well… I always felt that I had the voice but I never had the resources and platform to use it. You know it’s so great to do projects like these but sometimes you’re just not motivated, and GirlsFLI really gives you the support you need to do something great; something on a bigger scale that you would never dream of doing on your own. 

This interview was taken by Graceley Todd, a WFLI intern this summer whose main task was to tell the stories of the GirlsFLI members. Graceley is a student at Portledge High School in Locust Valley. She is a writer for her school paper and literary magazine.