Junior Carpinterian of the Year 2012 Karina Jougla has a message for young girls and boys in her home town: “I’d love for young girls and boys in our community and beyond to know that they have a voice and it matters, and I hope that they won’t let anyone hold them back—not fear of what anyone thinks of them, not structural systems in society that restrict who has access to these platforms.”
Jougla, an alumna of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria and 2011 Girls Inc. National Scholar, will give the keynote speech at Girls Inc.’s annual “Women of Inspiration” luncheon. Jougla credits her time at Girls Inc. with providing her with the confidence and opportunities that have led to her success, including a degree from Columbia University and a rising career as a marketing associate for Doctors Without Borders.
“One of the most invaluable gifts that Girls Inc. gives to girls in our community,” said Jougla, “is the ability to learn social and emotional skills to solve an argument or to advocate for your goals and dreams whether with a teacher, a friend, a congressional representative or an industry leader.”
Jougla joined Girls Inc. at five-years-old, and she draws a line for the direction of her life from that point. She was deeply influenced by her Girls Inc. drama camp teacher and mentor, Asa Olssen, this years’ Carpinterian of the Year. Olssen took Jougla to Girls Inc. events in Los Angeles with film industry professionals, where Jougla and her “sisters” would advocate for works that were produced by girls, for girls, and it was there that she found her voice, developed confidence and became an advocate.
“We are thrilled to hear from one of our own this year,” said Victoria Juarez, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. Each year, the Women of Inspiration luncheon selects a speaker who sets an example in empowered female leadership. Jougla recalls, “I remember being so inspired by the speakers when I attended the luncheon in high school. I am excited and honored to return to the same stage where I developed my public speaking skills and to follow in the footsteps of the women who motivated me.”
Jougla’s worldview was informed by Carpinteria’s culture of stewardship for oneself, one’s community and one’s environment. “Carpinteria really is a little paradise in a way. I’m so grateful to have grown up there,” said Jougla who now resides in New York City. “ I think it took moving away to fully appreciate that I’m a Californian at heart.”
“Women of Inspiration” will be held on Monday, April 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Girls Inc. campus, 5315 Foothill Rd. The event is currently at capacity. For more information, contact Ericka Loza-Lopez at 684-6364 or email@example.com or visit girlsinc-carp.org/.