Blog Feed

Molly Schweim

Bullying

SPECIFIC MEMORIES OF BEING BULLIED? “I’ve done some bullying myself. I was insecure in who I was and was very hungry for attention. So I found that if I picked on someone else people would laugh more. I remember one time I picked on my best friend. I said something about that she had frizzy hair and she was devasted and it didnt even dawn on that what I said was even remontely hurtful.”

“In 8th grade I had a kid come up to me and tell me that a guy who I had a huge crush on wanted to “f” me but only if I had a bag over my head , or I had guys tell me take my skirt off because at that young age I had a decent body I was curvier. I didn’t really understand the comments because I was so naive and sheltered. I remember this kid, on of the popular kids said that I was a cool kid trapped in a nerdy body. But it was a complement, but really didn’t sound like one.”

High School

HOW WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL? “Very awkward in my own skin, very awkward in my identity. I was very desperate for attention.”

WHEN YOU THINK OF HIGH SCHOOL? “Anxiety, oh god I hate school. When you are in school you think it’s going to be like that forever, last forever. I’m 35 and still processing emotions from high school. I was at a public high school till 9th grade then I went to a private school for the last three years. Honestly it was the same as normal high school more things hidden behind religion. More secretive. At least at normal high school people were more honest.”

Photography

HOW’D YOU START? ” I’ll tell you the real story. I’ve always been drawn to photos, and my dad was into photos even though he kind of hid it. He got me a camera and I just used it, snapped pictures all the time with it. People would get annoyed (insert giggle here)

Someone later on asked me if I’d shoot their wedding , So I did. It wasn’t till I was like I can’t do this anymore, I don’t have the passion for it in the wedding accepts of it. So I started thinking about what I was that I wanted to shoot. I started thinking about how I used to go out and Shoot my girl friends.”

STARTING IN BOUDOIR : ” I dove into boudoir photography and I am glad I did. It’s probably the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. , the best feeling ever. So rewarding. Being able to provide a safe place for women to take everything off physically and emotionally.

BEST BOUDOIR STORY? “I was photographing a beautiful woman who just had a baby, she was sitting on the floor and the sun just hit her perfectly. I said “you are stunning” and showed her. She started crying. It was really personal. I think when that happens it really means more.”

Role Models

DID YOU HAVE A FEMALE ROLE MODEL? “No”

DO YOU THINK THAT AFFECTED YOU GROWING UP? ” Yes, my family really isolated me. I think even growing up in the church I wish there were more female role models. There was a lot more judgement. No even talked about anything. Not sexuality , real life issues, not how it is today. Now you can find anyone who will talk about mental health. I remember one time I went up for prayer for my depression and someone leaned over to my dad and said I was doing it for attention. Just like the culture of it you are struggling in any shape or form there is something wrong with you. For females leadership or looking up to there wasn’t anyone. No one, I think that was probably one of the biggest things that made me sad while growing up. That I didn’t really have anyone to talk to or look up to.”

Hawwaa Ibrahim

Bio

Hawwaa Ibrahim is a young fashion designer who is currently attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC for fashion design. When She was just 12 years old, she began sewing by watching numerous tutorials on YouTube. Hawwaa always thought that the idea of making your own clothes was amazing and it soon become something she wanted to do for a living. Growing up in a small town in Minnesota sparked her creativity .Hawwaa used old Hijabs her mother owned to create poorly sewing circle skirts, but eventually, she moved on to better things. Hawwaa started writing blogs at the age of 14 in order to showcase her work to the world. She would create DIY accessories and crocheting tutorials to share with others on the internet . After years of practicing and blogging her designs on her website, Hawwaa signed up for Project Runway Junior Season Two and from there she took off. She has shown at five different runway shows including two during New York Fashion Week and has been featured in numerous magazines for her unique look and her openness to more free kind of thinking. She began to use her art and designs to inspire girls and even boys, that no matter who you are, what you believe in, or where you come from, you can be anything you set your mind to. Hawwaa advocates for equality for all no matter your religion, gender, or sexual orientation. For her future goals, Hawwaa hopes to create a brand thats all includes women, men and those who consider themselves non-binary. She wants to make sure everyone feels included. No one should have to face the world on their own.

Q&A

FAVORITE QUOTE/ PERSONAL SLOGAN: “Stay Weird”

YOUR ADIVCE TO YOUNG WOMEN: “No matter where you come from, your gender, or your beliefs, you have the ability to change the world and spread positivity if you try hard enough.”

PERSONAL BLOG: http://www.hellohawwaa.com

Sesamae Riquelme

Bio

At the age of 16, Sesamae saw that young women needed hope and support. She could not sit around and do nothing. She added her voice to the millions of other women and created her Sheofstrength.com Website. It is a resource for young women to feel connected and for older women to know their role in the next generation. Her website was her starting point. She also give speeches and presentations on various topics. She wants to use her influence to impact change and be a champion for those who are not ready to talk.

Sesamae started her leadership path at the age of 13. At the time she used her personal experience and saw a need in her community. She took the lead and created a program for children to learn the life-skill of empathy called Santa’s Little Helpers . She feels that developing this characteristic in children at a young age will make a better society. She spearheaded this program for 4 years before handing it off to a local organization.

Sesamae is an actress who appeared in several films and commercials. She has a passion for Politics. she was the Youth Commissioner for Region Nine from 2017 to 2019. She was the youngest recipient for the YWCA Young Women of Distinction 2017. She also received the Spirit of Youth Award and the Kohl’s Cares award.

What people are saying

“Inspires, empowers and gives hope to girls, women and this world in which we all (guys too!) live. We are in awe of this dynamo and what she brings by the sharing of her past experiences, and visions for the future.”

Eileen Madsen Editor of RiverValley Women Magazine

“I got the chance to see her speak at the YWCA Women’s Leadership Conference this past fall and it was amazing. The poise, openness and maturity in this teen are inspiring! Her willingness to share her story of bullying and mental illness is like nothing I have seen in a young women that age.”

Jordan Greer-Friesz Editor/ Artistic Director for Kid-Oh Magazine

“Through her Activism and public speaking, Sesamae is raising awareness of unique challenges facing women and inviting women of all ages to support each other and combat justice.”

Erin Kragh YWCA Women’s Leadership Program Manager

Q&A

WHAT DO YOU WANT ALL YOUNG WOMEN TO KNOW?

“I want all young women to know that they can literally do anything they want. I want young women to know that they do not have to worry about making people comfortable with their silence and that they can raise their voice. You are put here in life to change the world and to also to live. Do not hold yourself back. ”

WHO IS A WOMAN WHO INSPIRES YOU?

“Super easy my mother. I would not be here without her. She’s my rock. Every idea I have my mom makes it better. For every new thing I want to try my mom pushes me to try it. My mom inspires me everyday.”