THIS LITTLE GIRL grew up in a bilingual (Armenian/ English), multi-generation, single parent home in the suburbs of Rhode Island, USA. She and her twin brother spoke only Armenian when they started pre-school at age 3. While she had a similar lifestyle as her church friends, it was foreign to her neighborhood and school friends. She was embarrassed when her family didn’t speak English in public and that her family members spoke with accents. The rules in her house were strict and regimented. She wasn’t allowed to leave the house on Saturdays until all the housework was completed and the lunch dishes were done. She dreaded Sundays, family day, where they seemingly spent all day going to church and the rest of the day preparing, eating, and cleaning up after a full Armenian feast. It was anything but a day of rest for her. She came back from sleepover camp with excitement of eating “delicious American foods” never served at her home: meatloaf, casserole, and sloppy joes. Although she enjoyed making friends, reading, and dancing like many little girls, she often felt weird and didn’t know how to fit in.
THIS LITTLE GIRL grew into a confident and independent teenager and young adult. She was incredulous in her college dorm that not everyone made her bed in the morning and knew how to dust, vac and clean the bathroom. She was not expecting to be perceived as being smart and naturally talented in business because of the stereotyped reputation of Armenians. She started to wonder if what made her weird growing up was what made her successful grown up.
THIS LITTLE GIRL had a successful career in business & banking, empowering women leaders, and became the CEO of a non-profit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. She feels a connection of herself in the girls and encourages them to look in the mirror to say and believe “you are enough”.
THIS LITTLE GIRL is fulfilling her dream of writing a historic fiction novel about the strong role that women played in surviving the Armenian Genocide and building a prosperous life in America.
THIS LITTLE GIRL IS ME
(Photo Age 10)
Why am I telling you this? Because 70% of girls feel more confident about their future after hearing from women role models.