The ONLY Newspaper Devoted to Selinsgrove (and wherever else I travel)! VANDALISM ON YOUR BLOCK? THE OSN WILL INVESTIGATE! Please email news tips to Hildelysiak@gmail.com
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
When I first started the Orange Street News three years ago I never intended to be a role model to other girls. The truth is, I just wanted to be a reporter. All I cared about was getting the news to the people.
But it wasn’t long before I became a role model, whether I wanted to be or not. Every day I get messages from girls from all around the world who have heard about my work.
Many even say they are inspired by me. That is very flattering.
A lot of them first heard about the OSN after I was first to break the story on a murder in my hometown of Selinsgrove. After my reporting (which was much better than the competing newspaper who didn’t even get to the scene until more than two hours later) many people in my town were angry and told me girls should be “playing with dolls” and having “tea parties,” instead of reporting the news.
I think that a lot of girls heard about that and saw my story and it made them think about some of the unfair ways people have treated them in their own lives. A lot of people ask me how I deal with it and if I get upset.
Yes, I get upset. But only for a minute or two.
See, I know that sometimes people treat me differently because I am young and I am a girl, but I am not a victim. I’ve never been a victim. I never will be a victim. I don’t think these kind of people really matter.People who want to judge me because I’m a girl can’t stop me. And they certainly can’t hurt me. These people have no powers over me. All they do is make themselves look small and stupid.
I know there are times when I still get treated differently because I am a girl. Recently, after exclusively breaking a story about allegations of corruption at a local fire station, haters came out and told me I should be “playing with dolls” (how original, right?) Even the local District Attorney tried to push me around. But that didn’t work either.
But I know that I am very lucky to live in America. In other countries girls are not as lucky as I am.
On July 28th, I met Malala Yousafzai. It was amazing getting to meet her! She used to live in a place where people thought girls can’t be educated. But she stood up to the government and got her education, anyway. One day, when she was on the way home from school, she was shot. After that, she moved to the U.K. and has not been able to go back to her home in Pakistan since.
Malala spoke about how in so many countries around the world girls don’t have the same chances to follow their dreams that I do.
Hearing those words broke my heart.
It made me think about all the young girls around the world and all the amazing things they could have created that we will never see because the people in power are trying to prevent them from showing their strength.
Are they afraid to see their strength? I don’t know.
I know so many of them are fighting very hard to be heard. I hope they keep fighting. I hope they never give up. I believe there will be a day when all girls have the same freedom that I have. I just hope that day comes soon.
Until then, they will continue to be my inspiration.