a penchant for leadership
With nearly 10 years' experience in social activism, organizational development, and event planning, Marie Celestin is a bit of an anomaly in the Boston community. It's not because of her outstanding ability and experience in organizing and rallying people into action, but because this Caribbean-born woman has accomplished so much in only 27 years.
At the age most Generation X-ers are still trying to figure out what they want to do in life, Celestin has firmly established herself as one of Boston's experts on issues relating to girls and young women. “I've always been involved with starting new things,” explained Celestin. “I enjoy bringing people together, connecting, sharing interests, and making an impact.”
And that's precisely what she's done in the Boston community. As founder and director of the G.I.R.L.S. (Growing Individuals Reacting to Life's Struggles) Project, Celestin established an annual conference for girls that began five years ago and continues to grow in attendance and popularity. Under her direction, the conference is led and run by girls and provides a forum for them to speak out and be heard on various social, economic, and educational issues.
Celestin also is active with numerous organizations like Mass Vote, the Girls' Coalition, Project HIP-HOP (Highways Into the Past: History, Organizing & Power), Youth on Board, and the National Youth Action Council. Because of her leadership roles with girls and youth, she is often asked to speak at community events and meetings.
Armed with her Simmons undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science and Gender/Cultural Studies, Celestin is determined to improve the future for our nation. “Even as a youth, I wanted to be a part of the solution, rather than someone who perpetuated the problem or did nothing about it except complain,” said Celestin. “Young people need to be encouraged that they can lead, that they can contribute to society, that they can make the world a better place.”