Abby Mohr lives a stone's throw away from Boston, but her take on education is global. Barely even in her teenage years, and she cares deeply about making sure girls all over the world can get an education. “I really like school,” she says. “Boys get to go to school all over the world, and girls should too.” Most teenagers probably do not realize just how lucky they are to be educated, but Abby is not one of them.
Abby joined her mother’s book club to see the film Girl Rising, a documentary about nine young women around the world who are fighting for the right to go to school. One story in particular struck a chord with Abby: “One girl from Haiti was told she couldn’t go to school, because she couldn’t pay, but she kept going anyway.” Abby described another of the stories as “disturbing,” where a young girl is married off to an older man, but her brother decides to help his sister. Girls like Abby might never know just how fortunate they are, and Abby wants to show this documentary to as many people as possible so they too can learn about and help these young women. Abby has made it part of her bat mitzvah project to ensure that Girl Rising is seen by girls, boys, men, and women in Boston.
News of Abby’s project has spread quickly, thanks in part to local news stories and social media. When asked how it feels to be in the media spotlight, she responded, “Well, it’s not about me, it’s about the project. It’s good publicity for the film.” She also said, “I’m not letting it go to my head!”
When asked who her inspirations are, Abby immediately spoke about her mom, Ilyse Robbins, local theatrical director, actor, and choreographer. “I want to be like my mom and be able to follow my goals and do what I want.” She also spoke about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student and education activist who was almost assassinated in October 2012 for speaking out about girls’ right to go to school. Abby’s passion for education and the right for all children all over the world to go to school is admirable. I certainly hope it will inspire other young people to take up the cause.
Abby is very excited about her upcoming bat mitzvah and beyond that would love to host more screenings for similar films. She also told me she wants to continue to work with the organization that created the documentary. As far as long-term goals for the project, she responded, “I don’t know.” Which seems reasonable for a thirteen year old!
In order to host a screening of the film, Abby had to sell at least 100 tickets. And while those 100 tickets have already been sold, there are still tickets available. The screening is at the Fenway Theater in Boston. You can buy tickets here for the July 25th event.