‘I Am That Girl’ on a mission to empower women

By LIBBEY MILES Lifestyles Reporter

“I Am That Girl,” a national non-profit organization aimed toward shifting women’s culture and how they treat themselves established its first South Dakota chapter in February at South Dakota State.

Sophomore public relations major Maria Hassel started the organization to turn self-doubt into self-love. Club members want to shift how women treat themselves, each other and the community around them. 

I Am That Girl meets at 8 p.m. every Tuesday in The Union in room Dakota C.  

Hassel said the meetings typically last an hour and begin with an empowering song with a “girl power” theme, such as a Beyoncé song. Members then go around the room saying something they did the last week that made them feel empowered. Next, they go on to their topic of the week. Hassel said there is a game or dance party at the end and usually food, too.  

Hassel said the club is important because there isn’t a campus organization meant to cheer women on, lift them up and help them be supportive of each other.  

“We’re basically a group of girls on campus who come together once a week to talk about subjects that are prominent in today’s society that are affecting us as a whole,” said Isabelle Masloski, biology pre-physician assistant major and club vice president. “We’re open about the subjects and make people feel comfortable about what they have to say on the subject.” 

Every week, there’s also an optional off-campus activity like a pizza night, bowling or movie night.  

“I give rides if needed,” Hassel said. “I call myself an Uber.” 

Kate Gillette, freshman pre-pharmacy major, attended a meeting on a movie night.  

“It was fun. There was a lot of girls and talking,” Gillette said. “I liked that it was a big group of girls, just being able to talk about whatever we want, be comfortable with each other and just have fun.” 

The last meeting of the school year is April 25. The organization will start again next academic year, which is when elections are held. A student must attend eight prior meetings to be eligible for a position.  

“We’re in the transition period since it’s new,” Masloski said. “So, we’re working to get our story and name out there. We just want girls to feel welcome and know that everyone is accepted. It’s ladies from a variety groups involved in a bunch of different activities.”  

 Hassel said the meetings are free to attend and girls can just show up. 

“We’re fun; come hang with us,” Hassel said.


Connect with SDSU’s I Am That Girl chapter on Facebook here