Ed. note: in honor of this season of Thanksgiving, some members of the SPARKteam asked to take this week to publicly reflect on their experiences with SPARK and their fellow activists. We cried a lot reading these. We love you, SPARKteam. xoxo

by Alice Wilder

This Thanksgiving, I’m giving thanks for many of the incredible girls in my life, like Luci Navas, a SPARKteam blogger. My love for Luci is no secret. Our online PDA is out of control.  It’s not easy to meet someone (online no less) and immediately feel comfortable with them, like you’ve known each other for years, but I genuinely felt that with Luci. She has a high capacity for silliness, doesn’t take herself too seriously and is always genuine in her convictions.

All this and she’s a sophomore, which is a little upsetting to girls like me who spent the first half of high school feeling super insecure and lazy. People like to act as if liking yourself is a bad thing, but Luci’s love for herself is what drew me to her. She doesn’t apologize for being awesome. I’m really jealous of the people who get to hang out with her on a daily basis.

Last week as I was unpacking before Human Geography class, my friend read a tweet aloud as she scrolled through my Twitter feed: “Why am I not Kris Jenner I could just say screw this and go to my mansion in LA to pick out Wednesday’s pantsuit.” We were out of breath from laughter. Does Luci know that my “real life” friends think she’s the coolest too?

I’m thankful for Luci because she shows that you can be a teen activist and still have time to be on student council, run tech for musicals, and take selfies with your sleeping dad. I love talking to her because we can shift between boys (yeah, SPARK girls worry about boys!) and issues we come up against as bloggers and activists.

When Luci saw that girls in her school were planning on dressing up as Native Americans she used her power as a member of student council to talk about cultural appropriation. She went toe to toe with an older boy who told her it was okay “because they were getting representation.” Luci walks the walk.

Once, in English class, a boy claimed he was the victim of sexism, so she wrote a quick essay and read it aloud in class while he was in the room. From her telling of this story, it wasn’t an agonizing decision, it’s like she thought “oh, naturally I’ll school this boy on the myth of reverse sexism in front of the whole class.” When Luci sees something wrong, it’s her instinct to speak up.

I asked her what she had to say for herself for this blog and her response was “I’m dating myself? I’m in love with myself? It’s the happiest relationship ever.” I love that Luci love herself. She glories in herself on a daily basis and has no time for people who don’t agree. We should all live our lives like that, really.