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BELLEVUE, Wash. -- A local middle school student is making a difference in our community. Kaia Rubin is helping people impacted by sexual misconduct through music.
“Every person has a mother, a sister, a cousin, who’s a girl," she said. "And, they should probably know that they’re just as important as anybody else.” At 11 years old, Kaia wrote the lyrics and the melody for “I’m a Girl.” The song includes lyrics such as, “I was powerless to say no, go against you. But, now I’ll rise again. And, I’ll refuse. Cause, I’m a Girl, I’m a Girl.” Kaia says she was inspired after choosing the topic of gender equality to research for a school assignment. Kaia said, “I started reading about these awful sexual harassment stories and it made me so angry and sad and a little bit scared, considering I love to sing and I want to be a singer and an actress someday. And, I don’t want that experience. So, it really sparked me and I knew I wanted to do something about it.” With each performance, Kaia hopes to raise awareness and funds for the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
Rose Wong talks about the song “I’m a Girl” after watching a performance. She said, “It inspires me a lot. How the world’s changing, and people are speaking up, especially, women, with being able to take care of ourselves and speak up, and be who we really are. And, not be afraid of change.”
Kaia describes just how she managed to take such a difficult topic and put together a song. “Well, first I started to record little tracks of it,” Kaia said. “I actually didn’t write the lyrics first, I just came up with them, and then I recorded it. And, then I wrote down the lyrics. It was really hard,” she added. “I needed to make sure I wasn’t copying off of somebody else’s. And, I really need to stay true to those stories, of the girls getting sexually harassed,” Kaia said.
Kaia’s dad says he didn’t know she was working on the song, until she shared her complete work. “At first it was sort of mixed feelings,” Gen Rubin said. “All these stories were coming out in the media and you don’t want to shield your children from that kind of stuff. You know, on one hand, it’s like ‘oh, God, they’re hearing about all these horrible stories, you know, at such a young age.’ On the other hand, it makes me extremely proud that she’s decided to take a stance.”
Masao Yamada works with young people in the community. He says when “I’m a Girl” showed up on his social media he felt inspired to honor Kaia and share her song. Yamada said, “Gave me instant chills. Then I went to the actual You Tube channel and viewed the actual song and tears just kind of came down and I was like ‘I have to recognize her, I really have to recognize this girl.’”
Yamada created a leadership inspiration award, specifically for Kaia. He says after hearing her song, he thought it was necessary to recognize this young girl for her work. Yamada said, “Music in general is inspirational. When people can use it for good, this world is a better place.” The award came with a donation to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, in Kaia’s name.
Kaia says everybody should be aware of the problem of sexual misconduct. Her work is not done. Kaia said her efforts and “I’m a Girl,” have raised more than $800 for the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. She says proceeds from sales of the song will continue to benefit the organization too.
- Q13 News Staff