Women have outnumbered men on college campuses since 1988 and they earn 50% of doctoral degrees. However, women have not moved up to positions of prominence and power in America at anywhere near the rate that should have logically followed. Despite all of their education and hard work, girls and women continue to get the message that they do not belong: they don’t belong in the lab, in the boardroom, in congress.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
As you walk down the halls of LWGMS, you will see all kinds of girls.
You will see a mix of introverts and extroverts, basketball stars and mock trial champions, robotics programmers and glee club singers -- and they all know that each of them can be any or all of those.
In girls’ middle school years -- important because they could be the years that squash their tenuous adolescent selves -- LWGMS helps students find their own strong voices and connect with a sisterhood of women who believe in the power of working together. LWGMS helps students find a place, in other words, where they belong - where the representation of girls and women allows them to see what they can be and where they learn to go around, over or, through barriers in their path.
L-Dub students come from a wide range of neighborhoods, schools, cultures, family configurations, and socio-economic backgrounds. Indeed, LWGMS is one of the most diverse independent schools in Seattle, and we have been so since we opened our doors in 1998. Our diversity and commitment to social justice mean that every opportunity here is for every girl.
100% of our students have the opportunity to lead. 100% go on outdoor trips, 100% study martial arts, 100% sing, dance, and act in a play, 100% defend their academic research to an expert judge, and 100% speak in front of crowds of hundreds. That’s every L-Dub girl, every year.
Any one of the 268 L-Dub graduates can speak to how they once were ten year olds with potential, who found themselves in a learning community that pushed and nurtured, cared and catalyzed, so that they could grow into people who are poised, intelligent, reflective, articulate, compassionate, confident, and ready to work for the greater good.
During their middle school years, which are incredibly important for identity development and values formation, L-Dub students grow up. They grow into themselves. They become people who see themselves as ones who could and should challenge the status quo. This is no happy accident. This is the work we do.
And why does this matter? Why is it important for LWGMS to be graduating young people who are strong in mind, body, and voice? Because there are people in our communities who need their voices.
It is possible to envision a world where the voices of girls and women are not just present, not just included, but valued. Where girls and women see themselves as people who belong, who can lead, who can make change.