Dynamic Duo Embolden Females With Podcast


Photo courtesy of Aria Sline

Sline (right) and Nottke (left) pose with a sign that reads, “I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world.” The pair is also wearing their (f)embolden embroidered crewnecks.

Faith Lee, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Casual lunchtime conversations between H-F seniors Aria Sline and Katie Nottke during their junior year sparked a realization that they both shared a passion discussing equality and empowerment for women, leading them to create (f)embolden

Both Sline and Nottke envisioned (f)embolden as a mentorship program for other young women at H-F during the 2020-2021 academic year, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, in-person learning at H-F has not taken place. 

While the pandemic raged on, the girls did not let that hinder their vision, so they shifted their focus and began (f)embolden podcast in April 2020. The podcast focuses on intersectional feminism in a laid-back, conversational style between the pair. 

Sline is the creator, co-host, executive producer, content creator and website manager for (f)embolden. She and Nottke want to be an outlet for young girls as well as a resource for them.

“We wanted to create a community of healing and a safe space for individuals, and we thought that a podcast would be the best way to do that virtually,” Sline said. 

Since the show discusses intersectional feminism, they cover a wide variety of topics in their episodes such as race and discrimination. There are currently two seasons of the series and each season contains miniseries such as “teens in quarantine,” “herstory” and “play by play.” 

The mini series consist of: “teens in quarantine,” a more conversational, personal series, “herstory”– which highlights an influential woman in history– and “play by play”– analyzing politics. There are also regular informational episodes focused on current issues in the world. 

Nottke, a co-host and content creator, believes that it is important to enlighten her peers about these important topics. 

“We want to educate others who may be genuinely unaware about what’s going on and help people gain knowledge on why they should understand these issues,” Nottke said.

Both the girls enjoy having these conversations and find it rewarding to be a part of something like this. 

“There are so many things about (f)embolden that make it so rewarding. [When we] receive messages from our peers saying that we’ve inspired them to be more involved in advocacy or we made them feel like their voices are being heard is so rewarding,” Sline said. “Being able to talk with Katie every week and express myself is empowering to say the least.” 

Sline also appreciates all of the opportunities (f)embolden has created for her individually and also loves being able to connect with people from all over the world. 

High school junior Riya Goel is a teen activist from New Jersey that advocates for women’s rights, racial inequality and the environment. Goel collaborated with Sline and Nottke for the first time in October. In the collaboration, they discussed activism as well as teen involvement in politics. 

“Working with Aria and Katie was nothing short of amazing. Both of them were extremely knowledgeable on the topics that we were discussing, and were able to maintain a fluid, natural and authentic conversation,” Goel said. “I loved how excited both Katie and Aria were. You could tell that both of them were genuinely interested in the work that they are doing and are invested in making their podcast a success.” 

While the girls enjoy the benefits that come along with (f)embolden, they admit that it can be hectic trying to keep a steady balance between school, work, extracurriculars and the podcast, but they are always inspired by other teen activists and listeners to continue.

“I wanted to use my experiences and what I’ve learned from them to help others if they are going through the same thing. It helps me to cope through certain things to know that I am helping others [through situations]. That’s what inspires me to keep going,” Nottke said. 

In the future, the pair hopes to release more (f)embolden merchandise and collaborate with more teen activists. 

The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Anchor.fm. More information about the podcast and mentorship program can be found at fembolden.org. Be sure to tune in to new episodes of (f)embolden every week.