By Caroline Pierce
Charlotte is a freshman here at SMU who strives to empower girls through her non-profit organization It’s a Girl’s Life. She has started a podcast through this organization where she speaks to college-age girls about finding balance and purpose in their lives. I sat down with Charlotte to learn more about her podcast’s history and her passion for helping girls!
CP: What inspired you to start It’s a Girl’s Life?
CW: “When I was in middle school I started a blog for teen girls because I was having some social and academic troubles. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and start something that would inspire other people. As I got older, I started reading self-help books which got me interested in personal development. From this, I had the realization that I was interested in helping girls realize they can overcome difficult moments. I decided to contact this organization in California that was helping teen girls learn about grit and resilience. I worked with them to do an event where we went to middle schools and high schools in my hometown and spoke to girls about empowerment. We ended up working together for the next three years and created three different events with amazing guest speakers for Clevland, Ohio teens. Listening to these inspirational stories made me realize that I wanted to keep talking to people about their lives.”
CP: When you first started your podcast what did you find challenging about the industry?
CW: “I was really intimidated because not a lot of people my age listen to podcasts. However, it’s becoming more popular now because you have the Emma Chamberlain’s of the world and famous Youtubers starting podcasts. I’m not famous though so when I tell people my age I have a podcast they sometimes do not know how to react. But I think I have always done things that are kind of different, like having a blog in middle school. One of the most challenging things for me was being confident about what I was putting out into the world. I like knowing though that whether people share it with me or not, I am changing people in a positive way. It is also fun to show myself that I can do something hard and different.”
CP: How have you seen yourself grow through pursuing It’s a Girl’s Life?
CW: “It has given me massive confidence by helping me realize what I stand for and value. A lesson I have found really important in my own life is girls uplifting other girls is super powerful. Through the podcast, I have shown myself that you can create things that weren’t there before and inspire people along the way.”
CP: What motivates you to produce content?
CW: “My younger self motivates me because she was worried about what everyone thought of her. Sometimes I still get worried about what others think of me, but I know that is just human. When I face self-doubt I remind myself that you just have to push through it all and you will end up better on the other side. When you decide to take action, you can do things you never imagined possible. Another thing that motivates me is the thought of any younger girl needing to hear this right now. I want her to know that everything is going to be okay and that she will find good people to surround herself with. In the end, it’s all about trusting the process.”
CP: How do you choose the women you interview on the show?
CW: “I love interviewing women who have really inspirational stories. A lot of the previous people I interviewed were female entrepreneurs because they all had some sort of challenge they overcame when starting their businesses. One cool interview we did was with the founder of Dormify, she was so nice and I really enjoyed hearing her story. But now as I have gotten older, I have been interested in topics that are relevant to college-age girls. So when I got to college I decided that instead of doing inspirational interviews, I wanted to focus on topics that college girls struggle with.”
CP: What is the best advice you have received?
CW: “You will not know what is possible until you try. Sometimes it gets scary to think that things won’t work out, but you have to remember that it could work and be amazing. You just have to take the first step into the unknown.”
CP: How has your view on women empowerment evolved as you came to college?
CW: “I have started to realize how your support system changes over time and you become more dependent on friends. When I was in high school I had a really close relationship with my parents. So if I was stressed out I would go straight to them. But in college, I have realized that the people around you are going to get you through those day-to-day setbacks. Back in middle school, I had some friend issues which made me scared to trust people my age. I always thought that since my parents had gone through many years of life, they could help me with my problems more. But I have realized that people my age are all going through the same things, and we can depend on each other more than we think. It has been really important for me to be able to open up and be vulnerable to people.”
CP: What is one thing you could say to your younger self?
CW: “Whenever you have doubts about something know that nothing is impossible and if something takes more time it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. I feel like moments like this show you what is important in life. No one really knows what’s going on in life and we are all trying to get through it. So, being kind to yourself is very important.”
CP: What is the one thing you hope listeners will take away from your podcast?
CW: “You are your best self when you don’t put pressure on yourself to be one thing or act a certain way. People want to surround themselves with friends who exude confidence and not make decisions to please other people. It can be hard to find people you connect with, but it makes it impossible to connect if you are not true to yourself.”