By Alison Stanton

At Teen Strong, we want to let everybody know about organizations that are making a difference in the lives of teenagers. Today we are pleased to share our conversation with Maggie Walsh (she/her) the Director of Global Outreach at Dream Equal, Inc. 

Q: Who founded Dream Equal, Inc., and what was the inspiration behind the organization?

A: Ina Bhoopalam (she/her/hers), Dream Equal’s founder and Executive Director, was inspired by her own personal experience with gender stereotypes growing up. In her research, one of the most surprising discoveries was that children learn gender stereotypes by the time they turn six years old. With that in mind, Ina knew that it is important to address stereotypes at a young age, before they start to inflict real harm. Ina recruited Dream Equal’s Executive Team in the Fall of 2019, and since then we’ve worked tirelessly to provide support to communities all over the world as they engage in crucial gender equality work. Dream Equal is an entirely youth-led movement; I’m one of the oldest members of the team and I just turned 21 in the Summer of 2020! We are really passionate about working with teenagers all over the country and world to make a difference, as we know how effective young people can be.

Q: Please tell me about the mission statement/goals of Dream Equal, and why it is so important to have an organization like Dream Equal to help.

A: Dream Equal is a revolutionary organization, and no one else works like we do. Our motto is “redefining feminine and masculine to human” because we believe that no one should be forced to limit their dreams or modify how they express themselves to fit one image. By empowering all genders, we include groups that have traditionally been left out of the conversation on gen