Young and Empowered: TD Bank Honors Local Latina Heroine
"When I reflect on the terms 'liberty' and 'freedom', I think of how I've learned so much from social media, which I have unlimited access to, and how I became vocal through it. In this country, we have the ability to be vocal. I had the ability to educate people with my voice. And the fact that it was so easy to organize in my school, and that the City government let me rally in front of their buildings... I can do all of those things because of liberty and freedom, but it's also about having the right to fighting for rights being taken away. It's ironic like that." - Olivia Sandom
A sapphire-eyed Lynda Carter, costumed in an emblematic skintight scarlet and gold corset with high-waisted cosmic blue hot pant, steps out with her lasso of truth to the center of the screen. Cue a close-up and the DC Comic super says with all her wondrous might and Amazonian optimism: Women are the wave of the future, and sisterhood is stronger than anything!
Though it's been a few decades since the iconic quips, looks, pop culture icons, and revolutionary breakthroughs of The Second Wave, the spirit of feminism still lives on. Some say that feminism has even improved, making sure that it is as inclusive as possible, or as Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw would say, intersectional.
One local Latina, Olivia Sandom of The Class of 2018 at Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School, has been honored by TD Bank and The National Liberty Museum for her efforts in bringing intersectional feminism to the hallways and to the streets.
Sandom, a half-Puerto Rican, half-Lithuanian and Danish Philly native, was practically raised to become a young and empowered woman, for both of her parents had always instilled within her a curiosity in politics and the space to grow-into her interests with neither judgment nor shushing. Michelle Obama- coincidentally this past week at The Pennsylvania Conference for Women at the Philadelphia Convention Center -mentioned that one of the best things that parents can do for their daughters is to shush them less, to encourage them to speak up, and to treat them less like something precious, and more like actual human beings able to fend for themselves and fight for what's right.
Her general confidence has been further sharpened by being involved with theater, which has helped her with “public speaking and being eager to always be in the spotlight”, and by being a co-founder of a zine, which has given her an outlet to express herself and to embolden others to do the same.
It seems that giving Sandom the freedom to pursue and challenge her notions of liberty and justice did her well, for not only has Sandom been honored as a “Young Hero”, but she also has been given the autonomy to participate in Black Lives Matter rallies and to organize a Muslim Ban rally along with some of her friends. Sandom has been so adamant about staying civically engaged in the community, that she even cancelled her SATs to be able to go to Washington D.C. this past January for The Women’s March. Sandom says that she felt “disheartened” by the lack of “people [her] age” at most of these rallies, and hopes that young women will feel more inspired and more comfortable with the idea of using their voice to enact political change.
If there’s anything that a young woman needs in the modern-age, it’s a fierce role model who is willing to stand up for herself and for others in the face of adversity. Sandom is able to be a peer to these young women and simultaneously serve as a leader that they can be motivated by.