Patrick McBride

LYDIA KOLNESS

Patrick McBride
LYDIA KOLNESS

LYDIA KOLNESS

Maple Grove, MN

Photos by: Jan Vokal

Living in a suburban town in Minnesota, it’s hard to imagine that there are women in this world who struggle every day to eat, drink water, and even learn. Through my passion of learning the injustices in the world have become blatantly clear to me. Rather than simply hoping those women get a better future, I’ve been acting upon that dream. One way is by helping launch a club at my high school called Girl Up (IG: @mggirlup). I'm currently the Co-President.

Girl Up at my school was started in 2017, and is the local part of the Girl Up campaign which was started in 2010 by the United Nations Foundation. The message of Girl Up is to empower women all over the world, and to fight for gender equality which is long overdue! My main goal, with Girl Up and my personal life, is to help the fight for gender equality in my country as well as those when women are far more restricted with their actions and voices. This past year we did a whole array of activities, for fundraising we created laptop and water bottle stickers, and handmade hair scrunchies! Other activities included visiting the Minnesota State Capitol, meeting with our local female representatives, and going to a local elementary school to teach the kids about Women’s History Month. At my high school anyone can be involved, and I think it’s awesome because even a couple of boys have joined the club! I am so gracious that Girl Up has come into my life and want to encourage anyone else to join their local club or become the founder of their local Girl Up club because we can make gender equality a reality for generations to come.

My passions in life are learning (about everything!), social justice, service work, and the more goofy side of me is my huge passion for 80s music. In this world I try to be a beacon of light for those around me. When I was younger I was always told by friends and family that my smile could light up a room, and I always thought that was such a ridiculous thing for people to say. However, as I’ve found my confidence I have realized the difference that a smile can make in someone’s life. And have used not only my smile, but my positivity to support those around me. As I move into the next stage of my life I intend to pursue a double major in psychology and biology. Since having a secret love for Grey’s Anatomy, and McDreamy, I have always wanted to be more in the medical field. Most importantly with my future I want to find a way to continue empowering women, it has been one of the biggest parts of my life for the past couple years and I’m proud to say that Girl Up is only the start for me.

Instagram: Lydia_kolness