What Is Girl Up? 5 Things Katherine McNamara Wants You To Know About The Coolest Organization For Girls

A few weeks ago, I got the chance to meet with the amazing Katherine McNamara, who you might also know as Sonya from the Maze Runner or Lilith from R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: The Cabinet of Souls!

I was really excited to sit down with her and have a quick chat about her new role as Clary Fray in Freeform’s new series, Shadowhunters. I learned quite a lot, like the fact that her cast mates are more like her family and that they love to play pranks on her. She said: “They found out I was easily startled very early on, and so they decided it was very funny to try and scare me at every opportunity. There are so many outtakes of the guys just hiding and jumping out. We have so many videos of me screaming!”


But while it was fun to discuss her role on Shadowhunters, Katherine practically beamed at the opportunity to talk about her involvement with Girl Up, which is a United Nations Foundation campaign that empowers young girls to take action and change the world. Katherine is actually an ambassador for this movement, and she emphasized that girls all over the world have the potential to make a big difference. So to raise awareness, Girl Up recently teamed up with Donate A Photo to help raise funds for young girls in developing countries. Isn’t that inspiring?

If you’re curious to learn more about this amazing campaign for girls, you should check out these five important things that Katherine McNamara wants you to know about Girl Up.

1. Being involved with Girl Up means you’re helping other girls achieve their dreams.


When I asked her what inspired her to become a part of Girl Up, she told me: “I’ve always been a huge proponent for education, and Girl Up has so many campaigns that actually make a difference, and with the school cycle campaign. It provides girls the opportunity to have the independence and the opportunity to continue their education. So many girls all over the world have a drive and the spirit of ambition and the willingness to follow their dreams and their passions. And I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have had the opportunity to follow my dream and to follow my passion for living, and if I can spend some of my time and some of my energy promoting that and providing other girls with that opportunity, that’s priceless to me.”


2. Girl Up inspires girls to help others.


Katherine highlighted one of her favorite things about the Girl Up campaign. She said: “What I love about Girl Up is they choose goals that directly impact girls throughout the world and inspire girls to help other girls. So it kind of creates this synergy in this universal girl power that I just love and think is so important.”


3. Girl Up helps those around the globe who don’t have access to education.


When I asked her to tell me one thing about her that fans probably don’t know, I was shocked to learn that she graduated from college really early. It’s another reason why she supports Girl Up so much. She said: “I graduated college at 17, which is something a lot of people don’t know. I graduated high school at 14 and went on to college and graduated with may bachelor’s degree at 17. I’m currently pursuing my master’s in economics, but that’s why I love working with Girl Up, and that’s why I’m such a proponent for education. Because even these girls in these countries that don’t have an opportunity, if they have the opportunity to get an education, that’s something that can never be taken away from them, and something that they’ll always have with them throughout their lives and will benefit their lives and give them the independence, the freedom, the opportunity, and the knowledge to reinvest in their community and create something for themselves.”


4. Girl Up is the perfect platform for girls who want to make a difference, but don’t know how.


Katherine made it clear that being involved with Girl Up would mean that you’re a part of something that’s bigger that you. She said: “One thing that’s so important to remember about giving back is that there’s so many causes in the world that we want to make a difference on, and they seem so much bigger than each of us, but it always takes that one voice to stand up, it takes one person to be the first person to stand up and to make the decision to speak out and make a difference. And Girl Up provides that opportunity. I know as a young girl I always wanted to make a difference but I didn’t necessarily know how. And Girl Up provides that platform and an opportunity for girls to take a program to their school, or start a drive with their friends, or do a charity ride, or do something even on their own. Just be that first voice and that first step in making a difference.”


5. Girl Up will inspire you to be brave and take the first step.


When I asked her what advice she’d give to young girls who want to make a difference, she said: “My advice to girls would be to be brave enough, be passionate enough, be inspired enough to take that first step. Speak out, make a difference, find a cause that you’re passionate about, go to GirlUp.org, get information, find a program that they love, and go for it. Take the leap, take the jump.”

Are you a big fan of Katherine McNamara? What do you think of the Girl Up campaign? Tell us in the comments below!

You can follow the author, Nakeisha Campbell, on Twitter and Instagram.

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