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California teen launches nonprofit to ensure girls practice self-care

Kayli Joy Cooper thinks everyone should be able to practice self-care, and is doing her part to make sure girls have the tools they need.

Cooper, 17, lives in Los Angeles, and told Good Morning America that during the pandemic, she heard so many people stress the importance of self-care without realizing that their techniques might not be inclusive. "I'm a firm believer that self-care should not be a luxury," Cooper said. "Just because socioeconomically you don't have access to these things, it doesn't mean you don't deserve to benefit from everything that self-care can give you."

Using her own money, Cooper purchased items for 60 self-care kits for girls, including books, socks, and jewelry. She tucked a handwritten note into each bag, letting the recipient know how much she was valued and loved. Several kits went to girls in the foster care system, who told Cooper how much they appreciated having something that belonged just to them.

This inspired Cooper to make even more bags and give them away to people outside of Los Angeles. Through her nonprofit organization Girl Well, Cooper partners with schools and foster homes in five states to distribute self-care kits. She now works with several brands to keep the bags filled, and has made it her goal to have a presence in all 50 states so any girl who wants a kit can have one.

"Self-love is so important, and it is a stepping stone to everything else that you want to do in life," Cooper told GMA. "Knowing that I'm building a bridge and helping connect that for girls is very, very rewarding."