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How GL changed my life!

In 1994, Girls' Life stepped in to shake up the teen magazine scene. Our first issue ever debuted August/September 1994, bridging the gap between dolls and driving. GL was, and still is, all about real young teen girls and ... well ... their real lives. For the last 10 years, no issue in a girl's life has been too big or too small. From what to do when your BFF spills your secrets to what's up with super-strange body changes, GL has always sought to give it to you straight.

Just being here for you for ten years is the greatest gift we at GL could ask for. But over the years, we've gotten thousands of letters to let us know how we've helped you. Reading GL has helped girls overcome fears, make major changes, and even know which boys to avoid and which to embrace. In celebration of GL's 10th birthday, we asked readers (and a few girls who've been featured in the pages of GL) to tell us which stories made them laugh, made them cry ... and positively impacted their lives. We hope they inspire you, too.

I got discovered

I got my start modeling for GL. I lived just a couple minutes away from the GL photo studio and, about once a year, I'd get a call to come in and do a photo shoot. I love modeling and really love GL. It was always fun to work with everyone and even more fun to see my picture in my favorite magazine! After being in GL a few times, I auditioned for commercial and TV guest spots. And three years ago, I landed the role of Lucy on As The World Turns, which has been wonderful. I can't imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn't started as a model for GL. Being in GL truly changed my life.--Peyton List, our 10th-anniversary six-time cover girl

I saved my friendship

I was having major BFF problems. She went boy-crazy. All she cared about was makeup and being with popular people, so she'd get noticed by this guy. GL helped me speak up and tell her how I felt. You guys are friendship fixers! --Keyra

I got the guy!

I used to be so afraid to ask guys out or even tell them how I felt. Then, I read so much stuff in your magazine that boosted my confidence and made me feel comfortable talking to guys. Now, I've had a BF for eight months. It's going great, and it's all because I read your magazine!--Sarah, 15

I followed my dream

GL helped me realize I should do what I love. I quit dancing three years ago because my "friends" made fun of me during ballet class. The teasing made me feel I wasn't good enough. But, thanks to you, I signed up for a hip-hop class and I'm trying out for the school's dance team. Thanks for helping me to follow my dreams!--Valerie

I read a GL article about shyness. I was really shy, to the point that I couldn't even talk to some people. I was afraid of saying the wrong thing or coming off dorky. Because of GL, I learned to open up, be myself and not worry so much.--Anonymous

I learned to love being a girl

Your magazine has made me feel proud to be a girl and helped me get in touch with my girlie side (I'm kind of a tomboy). GL has shown me ways to enjoy life and inspires me. Happy birthday, and may the magazine live long and well.--Emily, 12

I started my own magazine

Your magazine inspired me to make my own! It's called Today's Girl, and it has info on fashion, boys, school and friends. I found a bunch of friends interested in working on it with me, and my cousin's dad is a printer so he prints it for us. Thank you for inspiring me!--Rosie, 12

I saved my life

When I read about Amy's battle with anorexia, I knew I was on the verge of killing myself by not eating. After I read that article, I got the courage to get help. GL played a role that has to do with my still being here and living. --Brittany

I found out how to heal after a loss

When my grandmother died of cancer, I sent you a letter about how I felt. You told me that remembering the good times would help. This year, my dog Shadow died. I remembered what you told me so I made a memorial to her and my grandmother in my room. It's a nice place to go when I feel upset about stuff. Thanks for helping me grieve my loss.--Desiree

I learned to appreciate what I've been given.

I just subscribed to GL a couple months ago, but I am so impressed. It gives great advice and helps me be the best I can be. My favorites are the true stories about real girls who've dealt with things like losing a parent or being obese. Their stories inspire me to appreciate every moment because you never know what might happen. I'm sure, in year's to come, you'll change more girls' lives like you've changed mine.--Lindsay

RELATED ARTICLE: Whatever happened to ...?

... the girl who lost her sister to lupus

I'd always had a tough time talking about Michelle's death. But once I told my story to millions of people, it made her death so much easier to deal with. Now I'm in high school and, whenever I meet someone and they say, "How many siblings do you have?" I can say, "I had two sisters, but one passed away," without falling apart. My sister's death has made me more compassionate toward people. Teens think they need material things, but I think, "No, what you really need are your family and friends."

--Megan Harms (F/M '03)

... the girl who gave bulletproof vests to police dogs

GL gave Protect our Pups publicity and helped raise a lot of money for the dogs. We collected enough to provide bulletproof vests for every police dog at the Alameda Police Department. Recently, I went to Mexico with my youth group to build houses for poor people. Thirteen of us built a house in five days! Volunteering will always be a part of my life.

--Emily Schultheis (J/J '02)

... the homeless girl

It was hard to talk about being homeless because I was embarrassed by it. But the article helped me accept myself, I thought most people would find out and think, "Well, that's too bad, but no one really cares." But it wasn't true at all. I'm in college now. I just want to graduate and make enough money to have a stable home. I volunteered recently at a homeless shelter.

--Betsy Lopez (A/S '02)

... the girl who lost her dad

It was great for me to share my story. I miss my dad, especially during holidays and big events. My dad's death inspired me to help other people who are ill. Next week, I'm chopping off my hair to donate to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for cancer patients. It is in my dad's memory and to help others.

--Beth White (F/M '04)

... the girl who started PAVE

I received e-mails from GL readers for months! It was a positive experience and a catalyst for me to talk about sexual assault. Sexual violence is a crime that brings on humiliation and silence. I've been speaking at schools to promote awareness. I'm also establishing more chapters of PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment),

--Angela Rose (F/M '02)
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Article Details
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Author:Ryan, Sandy Fertman
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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