She’s not waiting for tomorrow

There’s plenty of talk about young people being the leaders of tomorrow. But who wants to wait for tomorrow? Not Sarah! She might be just 13 years old, but she’s changing the world – right now!

This year we had loads of super motivated school students joining our Ambassador program. Grateful for their own education, they couldn’t imagine a life without learning, school friends and the chance to develop their own potential. So when they discovered that so many girls around the world live without those opportunities, they signed up to do something about it.

Six teenage girls sitting side by side at table writing

It’s a big commitment to become an Ambassador – you need to have confidence in yourself and your ability to inspire people. And as we keep discovering – age is absolutely no predictor of having that ability. At just 13 years old, Sarah Costa is one of our youngest Ambassadors, but what she’s achieved is amazing!

Sarah joined the Do It In A Dress campaign with some very impressive runs on the board. Earlier this year she gave up her 13th birthday, inspiring family and friends to donate $2,500 to One Girl instead of giving her presents.

Since then she’s added over $5000, which means that all up she has raised enough to educate 26 girls!! That’s a phenomenal achievement, even without taking into account the ripple effect that will occur as those educated girls pass on the benefits of their education to their families and communities.

Like 11 year-old Phoebe, who we introduced you to last week, Sarah’s superstar achievement is proof that you are never too young to change the world!

While the Do It In A Dress action month of October is over, we know there are still plenty of you out there winding up your campaigns and even kicking on into November and beyond, so we thought it would be inspiring to chat with this amazing young changemaker and find out what motivates her to work so hard for girls’ education.

You recently gave up your 13th birthday for One Girl – and now you’re an Ambassador. What motivates you to be such an incredible supporter for One Girl?

I feel very privileged to have been born into such a loving family and in such a fortunate country as Australia. My Dad, who is currently living in Africa supporting the United Nations, has also been a big inspiration for me to help the poor and suffering.

Close up of printed brochure and iPhone on a desk

Why did you decide to take on the role of Ambassador?

I decided to become a One Girl Ambassador because of the connection I feel with the young girls suffering in Africa. Many of them are the same age as me and they are suffering just because of where they were born. It is not their fault and I have a strong desire to do something to help improve their lives.

You’ve had an incredible fundraising campaign and as a result, you will be making a very significant impact on girls’ lives. Do you think people underestimate how much younger people can achieve? What would you say to them?

Yes, I do. I also believe young people underestimate what they can achieve. The energy and enthusiasm of young people can be a good motivator for adults and with the right support, they can make a big difference. My advice to other young people is to take a chance and be confident. You have nothing to lose, but a huge amount to potentially gain.

What activities are you doing in your dress?

Team photo of 12 school students and their coach, 7 standing, 6 sitting in front

I planned lots of things. I spoke with my Allstar Cheerleading gym to get them involved. Allstar cheerleading is very exciting to watch, filled with dangerous, highflying stunts and extreme flips. Doing these things in our dresses was tricky but a great way to catch people’s eyes and raise their awareness (and donations!) for One Girl. We had lots of fun and really enjoyed it!

Sarah was also the guest speaker at a couple of Melbourne charity events, including the Melbourne Market Lions Club dinner in September, as well as at her local church. And she was delighted to discover how positively people responded to her passion and enthusiasm.

I was very surprised at how willing and enthusiastic these organisations were. I discovered that it doesn’t matter if I am speaking to women or men, I get the same reaction of people wanting to help. I really like the One Girl message about educating and empowering young girls to be able to live better lives, and I’ve loved talking to people about supporting this important work.

words never quit in white on black background

When we asked Sarah if she had any tips for others who want to make a difference in the world, she told us she has a mantra: be bold, be confident – and never quit! You can go a long way with those words guiding you!

Now Do It In A Dress is winding down for another year, it’s extraordinary to stop and contemplate just what an impact Sarah and our other young Ambassadors and Do It In A Dressers have made. Not just because of the money they’ve raised, which of course is vitally important to our work, but also because of the amazing example they’ve set.

They’ve taken on some incredible challenges, spoken in front of large audiences and inspired loads of people to support a cause they feel passionate about. Along the way they’ve discovered they can change lives and help create the kind of world they want to live in. Sarah’s proof of just how much impact you can have – no matter what age you are. We can’t wait to see what you do next!