How has GLI impacted PVHS?

Members of GLI have a meeting in Aimee Peters’ room on March 30, 2021.

Emmie Peters

Members of GLI have a meeting in Aimee Peters’ room on March 30, 2021.

Sid Sharma, Feature Editor

Girls Learn International (GLI) is a club at PVHS in which students have meaningful discussions on humanitarian issues around the globe as well as hold fundraisers for charities around the world.

GLI has given PVHS students a voice on issues that are important to them such as current humanitarian crises and human rights violations. They meet every couple of weeks on Wednesdays after school at 3:30 p.m.. In their recent meetings, they have had deep conversations about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China and sexual violence against women around the world.

Senior Emmie Peters is on the executive board of the club, and her job consists of planning presentations and driving group discussions. She believes their conversations have benefited young people in being aware of global issues.

“The impact on young people is truly amazing to see — people come to GLI in their freshman year not knowing what they are getting into, but as I see them come to more and more meetings, their discussion skills and empathy have developed,” she said. “I think GLI is a great place for these skills to grow before we leave high school and head into the real world.”

Sophomore Sumika Thapa is a newer member of GLI and believes everyone has a right to weigh in on issues. “I think that GLI has impacted PV by giving everyone a place to talk about issues which are relevant in the world today. I think it impacts young people by helping them stay informed,” she believes.

The club also holds annual t-shirt fundraisers in which the proceeds go to a charity the members vote on collectively. In the past they have donated to organizations in India and Kenya regarding education and women’s health. They have also held bake sales to buy Christmas presents for low-income families of the Quad Cities and participated in volunteer events to serve their community.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the club went a different route in their sweatshirt sales. The pandemic has negatively impacted the U.S. economy because of business closures and unemployment. This year, their proceeds went to local coronavirus relief.

GLI has had to accommodate to the hybrid schedule in the fall and winter by having meetings over google meets. With the return to 100 percent in-person schooling they have returned to having in-person meetings in advisor Aimee Peters’ art room with the option to attend meetings over Google Meets.

Being an executive of GLI, Peters has developed her understanding of the different perspectives of her peers through the discussions they have on a monthly basis. “My position as a GLI [executive] has helped me develop my own opinions and values while also helping to educate others in their journey of becoming informed and just citizens,” she stated.

Being a young member of GLI, Thapa believes the club can grow and reach out to more people to get more perspectives. “I think GLI [should have] more than just one meeting per month and should host more fundraising events. I also believe more young males should attend meetings,” she voiced.

Girls Learn International has impacted PVHS students by giving them a voice, and their conversations have developed students into critical thinkers.