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Growing Up Powerful: Ep 14. Right In Our Own Backyard

Asha and Jestine share stories as a way to celebrate who and where we are in the world.

This is episode 14 of our Growing Up Powerful miniseries! These are stories about dealing with big feelings, growing up, and connecting to the world around you. And just so you know, some of these themes may be mature for our younger Rebels. We encourage listening with your grown up.

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. It’s based on the book Rebel Girls: Growing Up Powerful. This series was produced by Joy Smith, Deborah Goldstein, and Haley Dapkus, with sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Fact-checking by Joe Rhatigan and sensitivity read by Schuyler Swenson. Narration by Margaret Ying Drake as Asha and Imani Parks as Jestine. Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi. Our executive producers were Joy Smith and Jes Wolfe. Thank you to the whole Rebel Girls team who make this podcast possible. Stay rebel!


ASHA: boop badoop badoop boop badoop badoop boop badoop badoop baaaa!

JESTINE: Welcome to the Growing up Powerful Rebel News Flash with your hosts –

ASHA: Asha

JESTINE: and Jestine! Your two best friends trying to figure out this thing called life!

ASHA: Today in Rebel News…Jestine successfully made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.

JESTINE: I did! And Asha got her personal record on the 100 yard dash in track!

ASHA: True story. The earth kept spinning around the sun at about 67,000 miles per hour.

JESTINE: And I bet there’s a new rebel being born right NOW!

ASHA: Yes!

JESTINE: Isn’t it wild to think of all the things happening in this one day all around the world?

ASHA: Well, the world’s a big place. Fun fact — did you know that it takes two hundred twenty six million, three hundred seventy two thousand, seven hundred twenty seven point three bananas to measure the circumference of the earth?

JESTINE: I did not know that. Are we talking plantains or…?

ASHA: Also, eight hundred forty billion, four hundred thirty seven million, four hundred seventy one thousand, nine hundred and ten bananas to go from the earth to the sun.

JESTINE: I feel like that one’s hard to factcheck.

ASHA: And of course, fifty three sextillion, four hundred forty two quintillion, forty eight quadrillion, eight hundred eighteen trillion, one hundred eighty one billion, eight hundred sixteen million bananas to cover the entire milky way.

JESTINE: Of course. Well that one everybody knows. (to listeners) What?

ASHA: Which is all to say, the universe is a mighty big place.

JESTINE: True. And yet, we all live under the same sky. The same sun, moon, and stars.

ASHA: Sure.

JESTINE: I feel like there are more and more ways that we can affect each other and make this world a better place.

ASHA: I totally agree.

JESTINE: At the same time, I hear about people like Malala and Greta, and I’m like, whoa, I wish I could be as courageous as they are.

ASHA: Definitely. So, my personal opinion is that Malala and Greta are super amazing, but we’re super amazing too.


ASHA: We can still make a big impact even if we’re not starting a global movement or speaking in front of the United Nations – yet!

JESTINE: Yes, true. Even the smallest act of kindness can ripple out to help so many people.

ASHA: Exactly. So for this episode, we’re going to share stories about people creating positive change right in their own backyards.

JESTINE: Or by the shore. Maybe even in their own homes….

ASHA: Sssh! Don’t give it away.

JESTINE: Oops. Okay, let’s go!
Opening music for RG story?
ASHA: Once upon a time there was a girl who loved the ocean.

JESTINE: Swimming in the salty seafoam, digging for the smoothest shells, burying her toes in the warm sand…

ASHA: She only really got to visit the shore during the summer, when she visited her cousins, but it was always her favorite week out of the whole year…chasing hermit crabs and racing to the ice cream truck every afternoon.

JESTINE: Mmm, I can almost smell that mix of salt and sunscreen.

ASHA: Right? So one day, this girl and her cousins were climbing on these rocks by the shoreline and there were these clouds of thick algae that kept getting closer and closer.


ASHA: And then, they noticed there were a lot of ice cream wrappers and hair ties that were washing up with the tide too.


ASHA: So, I was – I mean, this girl was just like, why don’t we grab a big garbage bag and take a beach walk and pick up whatever trash we find?


ASHA: Yeah, and then one of the cousins made it into a contest to see who could pick up the most trash and we found so much stuff — hair ties, wrappers, deflated balloons. Once we even found a pillow. It became this yearly thing that we do. And now everybody gets their own garbage bag and tries to collect the most stuff. We wear gloves of course.— Oops! I mean, they…not we…

JESTINE: That’s so fun. And…is this rebel you, Asha?

ASHA: Ummm, yes?

JESTINE: I love it!

ASHA: Okay, your turn!

*RG music

JESTINE: Okay, once upon a time, there was a young rebel who…was scared of old people.

ASHA: (laughing) oh dear.

JESTINE: Okay, maybe not scared, but just, kinda ooked out?

ASHA: No judgment.

JESTINE: But unfortunately…her mom worked at a nursing home.

ASHA: Oh wow.

JESTINE: Yeah. So, when it was bring your kid to work day, this rebel was like no way, no how, no thank you.

ASHA: Okay, understandable.

JESTINE: But then, one summer, when her best friend was at the shore with cousins ahem

ASHA: Oh, so this is my fault?

JESTINE: This young rebel had nothing to do and her mom was like, you’re coming with me to work and you can help me stuff envelopes and we’ll get Italian ices and Nicky’s pizzeria afterwards.

ASHA: This is actually a really great deal.

JESTINE: Yeah. So this rebel was not that psyched, but she didn’t really have another choice because she was nine years old at the time and lots of people were away or at camp and she couldn’t stay home by herself. But whatever. She was kind of shaking and sweating the whole way to the nursing home and the first thing she saw when she walked in was an old lady kind of moaning and talking to herself in the lobby.

ASHA: Oh wow.

JESTINE: And then the lady took her walker and followed this rebel down the hallway, saying things like “so tall…like a lamppost…I was never that tall was I?”

ASHA: Oh my goodness. Was this rebel freaking out?

JESTINE: Definitely. But you know what? This rebel took some deep breaths and said hello to the lady, and they wound up becoming really good friends.

ASHA: No way. Ferreals?

JESTINE: Yeah. Her name was Ursula Lechter and we actually became pen pals after that day.

ASHA: Oh that’s awesome!

JESTINE: She was originally from Estonia I think? She used to write me stories about her childhood and I would just tell her whatever was going on at school. It was really fun. When she turned 93 years old, I remember at her birthday she had two huge pieces of chocolate cake and made us sing showtunes.

ASHA: Okay, she’s now my favorite person ever. Besides you, of course.

JESTINE: Thanks. It maybe wasn’t the most rebel thing to do –

ASHA: It totally was! Facing your fears and connecting with people. Giving someone friendship and support? I definitely call that rebel.

JESTINE: Yeah ok. I do too.

ASHA: So rebels, we want to invite you to create your own rebel story.

JESTINE: Yes! We hope you see how inspiring and confident you can become.

ASHA: Seriously. Whether it’s helping out a friend or speaking up for something you believe in…

JESTINE: Giving it your all at track practice even when everything hurts –

ASHA: Thank you very much. Or inviting your monsters in for tea –

JESTINE: Ah yes.

ASHA: We appreciate you and believe in you.

JESTINE: So please, share your story. Whether you write it down, say it out loud, or just acknowledge it in your heart.

ASHA: You’ve come so far!

ASHA: (sniff) Sad but true, this is our last episode for the first season of Growing Up Powerful.

JESTINE: (a bit sad) I knowwww! We had such a blast making it and sharing it with you.

JESTINE: Yeah, whether you’ve listened to the whole Growing Up Powerful series or hopped around, we hope it was silly fun and maybe even helpful.

ASHA: For sure. Thank you for joining us Rebels.

JESTINE: Yes, thank you. And until next time, keep aiming high…

ASHA: Keep dreaming big…

J&A: And staaaaaaay rebel!

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls.

This episode was narrated by ME! Imani Parks as Jestine, and Margaret Ying Drake as Asha. It was produced and directed by Joy Smith, with Deborah Goldstein and Haley Dapkus. Sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written by and edited by Abby Sher. Fact checking by Joe Rhatigan, and Sensitivity Read by Schuyler Swenson. Our executive producers are Jes Wolfe and Joy Smith.

Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi.

A special thanks to the whole Rebel Girls team, who make this podcast possible!

Until next time, staaaay rebel!

If you like what you heard here and want to learn more, check out the newest book from Rebel Girls! Growing Up Powerful: A Guide to keeping confident when your body is changing, your mind is racing, and the world is…complicated. With stories from rebels all over the world and guidance from some brilliant experts, this book is our newest bff. Order your copy of Growing up Powerful today on Amazon or anywhere you purchase books!