Empowering girls with ‘LOVE’


Jasmine Babers, a junior in gender and women’s studies, is the founder of LOVE Girls Magazine. ­(Photo: Vibhu S. Rangavasan)

Even before finishing her bachelor’s degree, Jasmine Babers is the founder of a girls’ empowerment magazine.

The Rock Island native started the nonprofit LOVE Girls Magazine in 2012 during her junior year of high school to empower female friends and classmates.  The magazine has regional editions in Washington, D.C., Memphis and the Quad Cities.

LOVE (Lead, Overcome, Value and Empower) Girls Magazine is written by teenagers, who discuss their hardships, successes and everyday experiences. Distributed in middle and high schools, businesses, libraries and at events, the magazine is full of inspirational stories, as well as fun articles about fashion, health, entertainment, fitness and confidence.

“I believe a college education will help me grow the publication,” Babers writes on the magazine website. “I believe in the power of stories, because every girl has a story that deserves to be told.”

Babers, a junior in gender and women’s studies, is also an outreach program facilitator for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois, where she designed innovative programs and activities for at-risk youth.

With her political science minor, the entrepreneur is preparing for a life dedicated to pushing for change for women and girls throughout the country. Last year, Babers was one of five national recipients of the Peace First Prize, an initiative for “young people across the globe to stand up and come together and engage fully, collectively, and purposefully to improve the world around them.”

In August, UN Assistant Secretary-General Ray Chambers reached out to Babers to promote the International Day of Peace throughout Chicago. Babers helped create a 24-hour nonviolence petition and created a video message in order to help circulate a peaceful message.

“We really wanted to change that perception people have about Chicago being so violent and scary when it’s actually a really great city,” Babers said.

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