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YOU GEAUX, GIRL! Teenager works with magazine to empower young women

LAPLACE — Rising St. Charles Catholic senior Mylah Tracy uses the power of the pen to inspire others and remind girls going through difficult situations that they are never alone.

Tracy has been a teen correspondent for Geaux Girl! Magazine since its premiere Spring 2018 issue.

Geaux Girl! seeks to build a sense of community among New Orleans-area girls and women while celebrating individuality and diversity. Tracy embraces the Geaux Girl! mission of informing, inspiring, engaging and empowering girls who are finding their place in the world.

Before becoming a teen correspondent for Geaux Girl!, Tracy was part of PINK House Inc. of New Orleans. The nonprofit organization taught her about social responsibility and effective leadership, and it was through that group that she had a chance to interview New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell shortly after her 2017 election.

“We asked her how it feels to be the first African American female to be mayor,” Tracy said. “How was she going to handle that position, and what would she do to make the city of New Orleans better, especially for children?”

Recognizing Tracy’s passion for writing, PINK House Inc. founder April Scott introduced her to Heide Winston, executive director of Geaux Girl! Tracy’s story on Mayor Cantrell appeared in the first issue.

Winston, originally from Germany, was inspired to create a teen magazine like the one she grew up with. She was concerned about the lack of sex education in New Orleans and wanted to give adolescent girls in the area a trusted source for reproductive health information.

The magazine has gained a print and online presence and currently includes arts, culture and fun DIY activities in addition to health information. Fifteen girls comprise the Teen Advisory Council to drive the editorial focus of the magazine and ensure it connects with its intended audience. Adult experts from the New Orleans community contribute to the magazine, which also features “sheroes” that girls can look up to.

Tracy enjoys the lifestyle aspects of the magazine.

“The magazine talks about places around New Orleans, good hangout spots, events that are happening like festivals and concerts, good music to listen to and good shows to watch. It talks about menstrual cycles and things that some girls might be confused about or scared to talk about,” Tracy said.

She added that the magazine provides a platform for girls to share their creativity with the world. Artwork, photography, poems and short stories are welcomed.

Tracy also enjoys reading the Geaux Girl! astrology columns and tasty dessert recipes. One of most recent issues taught her how to make her own vision board.

“My responsibility with the magazine is talking about what can be added to the next issues and what can be taken out. We try to get more young people in our area involved by letting them share their artwork and writing,” Tracy said. “I’ve been interested in writing since I was in eighth grade. I like to write about stuff I go through, and I just want it to be shared with others so that if they are going through that same situation, they know they are not alone. Other people are going through the same thing, too.”

At St. Charles Catholic, Tracy is part of the creative writing club, Beta club and National Honor Society. During her junior year, she won a Catholicity Essay award.

After high school, Tracy sees herself becoming a pediatric nurse and pursuing a minor in writing.

St. Charles Catholic English teacher Carly Flynn said Tracy shines in the classroom.

“Mylah is a wonderful student with whom I’ve always been impressed. Her writing ability has always been apparent, and she’s been an active member of the creative writing club on campus called The Scribbler,” Flynn said. “Her work has appeared in St. Charles Catholic’s creative arts journal, PULSE, so we’re thrilled to see that she’s continuing to use her gifts and find success! We’re very proud of her here at SCC.”

Tracy’s friends and family know she is loving, mild-mannered and easy to get along with.

“My family inspires me and keeps me going every day,” Tracy said. “They remind me that I can do whatever I want with my life. If I want to do something to change the world or make people feel better in their lives, I can do it.”