KISSIMMEE Fla. — One young woman in Kissimmee is empowering little girls to be the best version of themselves.

What You Need To Know

  • Lia Sierra works to help girls be their best selves

  • She volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club in Kissimmee

  • Sierra said she made friends there when she moved from Puerto Rico

  • She said she hopes listening, tutoring girls helps them reach higher

Lia Sierra started going to the Boys and Girls Club as a sixth-grader, soon after arriving from Puerto Rico.

“When I first came here, I didn't know that much English,” Sierra said. “Here I made a lot of friends. “It was kind of like a family always.” 

The Tupperware Brands Branch in Kissimmee quickly became her home.

At this point she’s not really a member anymore —- but a volunteer. She is now a big sister, mentoring young ladies like 8-year-old Sarah Velez.

“We’re always here together,” Velez said. “We go to the art room, and when we have homework, she helps us with our homework.”

Nicco Palmero, the Tupperware Brands branch service director, said that by listening, tutoring, and playing with these children, Sierra is inspiring them to reach higher.

“Those simple things to these kids are not simple things, they’re huge,” Palmeiro explained. “They look at Lia as a superstar. She’s really amazing. And they all really look up to her. They see her as being successful. She’s in the nursing program at school. She’s part of [Osceola] Commissioner [Peggy] Choudhry’s advisory board. She’s really someone these kids can dream to be one day.” 

According to the Girls’ Index, a national survey measuring the perceptions of teenagers, 30% of girls with grade-point averages of 4.0 or above do not think they are smart enough for their dream careers. 

Sierra, who wants to be a veterinarian one day, said that is not an option.

“There’s like a lot of young, accomplished women everywhere that are doing amazing things, just as men have,” Sierra said. “It’s not like men are less and women are more. We’re all equal, and we’re all capable of doing amazing things.”

Sierra said the Boys & Girls Club helped her evolve into a confident leader. As the daughter of an immigrant, she relates to other kids in the club who may not have the adequate resources.

Her words to them, “If they put their mind to it and work for it, they can definitely do it.”