Kristen Wanta, UWL Chapter Founder of I Am That Girl

Kristen Wanta is a Senior at UW-La Crosse majoring in Community Health Education and will be graduating in May. Kirsten started the campus chapter I Am That Girl (IATG), an inspiring club on a mission to uplift women. Keep reading to learn more about her and IATG!
 
What is I Am That Girl?
 
I Am That Girl is an organization that helps women transform self-doubt into self-love by provding a safe space to be lifted up and have meaningful conversations about things that matter with women just like themselves. Our local chapter is part of a larger, world-wide movement inspiring girls to love, express, and be exactly who they are.
 
What made you want to get involved with/start I Am That Girl?
 
I saw Alexis Jones, founder of IATG, speak at Central High School last year. She told her story in such a way that inspired and uplifted me to do something more with my time at UWL. She has more determination and motivation than anyone I know, and it made me want to start a local chapter here in La Crosse. 
Why do you think women's gender issues are prevalent in today's society?
 
I think the media has a lot to do with the issues women face in our society. People are constantly being bombarded with ads that sexualize or objectify women in order to sell products. It's become the "norm" to have women's bodies thrown around in the media, and as a result they are not respected as much as they should be.
 
Do you have any events planned for this year?
 
Yes! Our Bra-lapalooza event is on February 25th in Port O' Call from 10am to 1pm. It's an event fundraiser for Free the Girls, a non-profit that provides job opportunities for survivors of sex trafficking. Gently used bras will be collected and donated to the survivors, who then re-sell them for a small profit in their countries. We will also have activities such as bra pong, photo booth, cookie decorating, etc.
 
What other activities are you involved with?
 
I am involved in several things outside of IATG. I am the secretary for the Women's Studies Student Association (WSSA), Campus Connector for the Wisconsin Public Health Association, and Member of Eta Sigma Gamma, the health education honorary on campus. I also work at Essential Health Clinic part-time.
 
What is your dream career role?
 
My dream career would be owning my own women's center where they could get everything from affordable medical visits, exercise/nutrition classes, counseling services, affordable day care...basically anything they would need. I would not turn anyone away for not being able to pay. I would also do advocacy work to change policies that affect women.
 
How do you think women can be empowered?
 
I think self-love is a powerful thing. Loving yourself more than anyone else is the first step to feeling empowered. Everything you do for yourself should be because you love your body infinitely. Second is collaborating with other women who love themselves just as much. When women come together, instead of competing against one another, amazing things are possible!