Breaking Out Of Her Comfort Zone

By Graceley Todd

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

Erica Bell: Making a difference. Because that’s basically what we as GirlsFLI members do.  We are a group of girls from Suffolk and Nassau and we come together to make a difference. GirlsFLI helps us come up with a plan of action to be changemakers in our community.

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

EB:  It was when I held my event. At the beginning we faced challenges on focusing on the event because we were balancing school and GirlsFLI but on that day it really came together. It ended being a successful event.

GT: Which group were you in?         

EB: I was in the Girls Against Drugs group. We raised awareness about drug abuse on Long Island. We had a police officer come in and present on this topic. We had a cake and a pizza and talked.

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

EB: I think leadership because I am a shy person so I came out of my comfort zone.

GT: Would you say that’s how GirlsFLI changed you?

EB: Yes.

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

EB: (long pause) that’s a good one… I think maybe the power of togetherness because at the beginning all the girls didn’t really know each other but at the end we all became friends.

GT: What did you learn about Long Island that you never knew before?

EB: I learned that Long Island has human trafficking, I never knew that!

GT: I didn’t know that either. What was it like being around like-minded girls?

EB: I liked that that we were all on the same page and we all just wanted to come together and combine our ideas to make a difference.

 GT: Lastly, how has GirlsFLI helped you fly?

EB: GirlsFLI helped me fly because it taught me how to organize an event. I never would have done anything that big before GirlsFLI. I think GirlsFLI has helped me fly because it just really pushed me out of my comfort zone.

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.