Fighting for Feminism: Celebrating Women with Maria Herne


Women’s History Month in America is dedicated to highlighting the many contributions of women towards American and world history. However, for many like senior Maria-Noelia Herne, women’s history month signifies so much more.

  Throughout her high school experience, Maria engrossed herself with various female empowering and STEM resources, including Equality in Our Hands, Kode With Klossy, and PPCHS’s Girl Power. Kode With Klossy is a nonprofit organization dedicated towards “empowering young women to explore their passions in a tech driven world.” “Our scholars enter camp thinking ‘I can’t’, and leave knowing ‘I can,’ ” according to Maria.

  According to Maria, Women’s History Month is “being aware of the constant obstacles to equality and celebrating women for their beautiful, complex, inspiring selves. Celebrating cis and trans women, as well as women-identifying non-binary. Feeling the emotions, the outrage, the excitement behind the fight for equality is a key element of women’s history month.” 

  As a woman in STEM, immersed in a predominantly male community, Maria knows that representation is a major struggle for women. “Overall, there’s a struggle for women to be heard and listened to.” Aware of the millions of silenced voices around the world, Maria is not only determined to help the change, but to be the change. And now, as a senior, she’s focused on making her dreams become reality. 

  Furthermore, she collaborated with her fellow schoolmate Aitana Arvelo, as well as guidance director Ms. Moses, for the implementation of HIP to ensure 9th graders are “equipped and educated on consent, sexual harassment, and to ensure school accountability with sexual harrassment reports.”

Although Maria has already exceeded expectations towards playing her part on behalf of all women, her future holds more in store. As a major contributor towards Girl Power, she reveals that the Muslim Student Association is collaborating with Girl Power to host a meeting on the misconceptions about Muslim women and showing their strength. “Our social media director, Natalie, creates posts for ‘woman of the week’ because last year, we felt that education needed to continue past women’s history month into the rest of the year!” 

  However, the sudden strike of COVID has limited in-person awareness opportunities, and Maria has fought to overcome this barrier through the use of social media, online Zoom meetings, and writing for blogs. Fortunately, she still dreams on and plans ahead for whatever comes her way after COVID. “I would love to host a Women’s Empowerment Fair in the courtyard for the Pembroke Pines community.”

  One day, Maria wishes for the celebration of women to not be restricted within a singular month, but for women to be appreciated at all times as a whole. “This month also means listening to women’s experiences and for me at least, feeling connected. Taking the time to read stories from a wide range of female authors, listen to new artists, and appreciate new pieces of art is never to be underestimated!” For all the women at our school — never stop dreaming and realizing those dreams!