Help Jenn Turn Up the Volume for Girls Who Rock!

by Jenn Grabenstetter

Supporting: Help Us Rock! 2019 for Girls Rock Charlotte


Campaign has ended.


On a spring afternoon in 2004, I found a sunny spot on a bench on my college campus and called my mom.

Surprised to hear from me in the middle of the day, she asked if I was okay.


I wasn't. But I couldn't really explain why. My answer was a tangle of strange metaphors. This is the one I remember most:


"I feel like if someone asked me what my favorite color is right now, I wouldn't know the answer."


I was three years into college --- what are supposed to be some of the most exciting, exploratory years of your life, and I was having the desperate realization that I knew absolutely nothing about who I really was.


Most of my personality was comprised of things that I allowed other people to define for me. As far back as middle school, I had let their impressions and expectations fill in all my blank pages. As a result, the only role I seemed to have was a supporting one in other people's stories.


I still remember that heavy, suffocating feeling --- an existential fear that you've waited too long and now it's too late to define who you are or who you want to be. That if you spoke up now, no one would hear you.  


Of course, it wasn't too late for that girl on the bench. I had plenty of time to find my place in the world and to define for myself who I wanted to be. I'm still working on it 15 years later. 

But the dread hasn't disappeared entirely. I am still haunted by the idea that I will be put inside a box I didn't choose, and defined by someone else's idea of the woman I am supposed to be.

I wish I could go back and give myself a little hug and a little push --- to the 21 year-old me, or the 16-year-old me, or the 8-year-old me --- and let her know that she doesn't have to wait for others to fill in the details of her story. She can write it herself --- and she can change it whenever she wants.


Being a part of Girls Rock Charlotte is like having access to a time travel machine. I get to send a burst of confidence and self-assurance backwards like a ripple through time to the young women and girls who don't even know yet how much they need it. Giving them the strength to express themselves, to tell their story, to write it verse by verse.


Every dollar donated to Girls Rock Charlotte will be spent creating opportunities for more women and girls to find their voice, and to find the courage to be themselves at every age.


Please join me in creating the bold, fearless, independent women of tomorrow. They don't know that's who they are meant to be yet, but we do.



Girls Rock Charlotte is a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the voices of women, girls, and gender diverse youth through the power of music and film. Donations to GRC help to provide camp scholarships, instruments, equipment rental, and to provide safe, inclusive spaces for girls to express themselves through the art of music and filmmaking.  

"This camp was the most rewarding thing my child has ever attended," 2018 camper parent.

100 youth will rock n' reel in 2019....BECAUSE OF YOU!!!  Help us to teach them all to rock their voice, vision and power - together. Our summer camp scholarship fundraiser is for the 50+ deserving kids and teens who will be rocking the stage and screen this year!!

Our campers say...

"This camp is encouraging and gave me hope."

"The teach us so many great things about women's empowerment and I love that they teach us that girls can do anything."

"Best camp ever!"

Our families say...

"My daughter loved it and came home every day feeling excited and empowered."

"Our whole family cried happy tears watching her...this is an amazing camp for girls and does amazing things for their confidence."

"Thank you for providing my child with friendship, confidence and acceptance."