Dear Friends,

Summer is here, and girls are  out of school. In Denver, our Day Camps are already in full swing, with more to follow in Boulder, Berkeley, and Palo Alto. In one week, our overnight camp kicks off at Mount Holyoke College. If you’ve been thinking of supporting our scholarship fund, this is the time! We have 50 motivated girls hoping to attend, but we can’t make the summer camp experience possible without your help! We are halfway to our goal of $75,000, and that means we still need to raise $33,000 in just one week. If you can afford a gift, I hope that you’ll take a minute to support our scholarship campaign now. Every gift, small or large, gets us closer. When you give, know that you are giving a girl much more than just two weeks of camp; you are giving her personal leadership skills that will last a lifetime.

This newsletter is packed with great summer giveaways. First, haven’t you always wanted an illustrated Girls Leadership Institute feelings page? You can download your free copy here, guaranteed to make any fridge stylish and emotionally intelligent. Second, do you know a GLI alum in high school? Read on to find out how she can win a free ticket to our Brave Life Project Summit in New York City on August 15, 2015.  Finally, get ready to discover what girls think about bravery, because our research study is out, and it is packed with info that we will be sharing in the months to come. Download a brief summary of our findings here.

Happy Summer!
All my best,
Simone Marean

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Brave Life Project Summit in New York City: August 15, 2014
We are so excited about the Brave Life Summit, coming up in just a couple of months! Make sure to follow us on Facebook so you’ll hear the latest about the awesome presenters that we have lined up for you! On August 15, 150 girls aged 14-24 will join us for a one-day conference to celebrate and practice being their brave selves.
If you are a high school GLI alumna from any program, aged 14-18, email us a video or story (90 seconds or 1000 characters max; no last name mentioned in your video) telling us how GLI changed your life. Please use NYC SUMMIT as the subject line of your email. Your story can be about something big, like standing up to injustice, or small, like letting a friend know how you really feel, or anything in between. Submissions are due by July 3, 2014. On July 7, we will announce the winners. Winners will receive one free ticket to the Summit. (Adult permission is required.)
We hope that you can join us in New York City to flex your brave muscle and enjoy the inspiring speakers, fun food, and 149 incredible young women just like you.

Summer: A Season of Empowerment 
by Sophia Barnhart

“It’s imperative that if a suit doesn’t fit, it is the suit that is flawed—not the body.” –Malia Mills

As summer heats up, swimsuit advertisements are plastered all over the media. While advertisers assure us that models represent the average woman, they are far from average. When I look at the models lounging across the pages of this year’s magazines, I do not see healthy, strong women. Instead, I see unrealistic body images driven by society’s ideal of skinny as beautiful.

What are the fashion and swimsuit industries teaching young girls? How can girls feel confident and empowered when they are sucking in their stomach and pulling at their skin while inspecting themselves in the mirror, convinced that they will never meet fashion industry standards of beauty? Summer is the season for relaxation and letting loose, but body image nightmares haunt girls into hiding.

Mother-Daughter Relationships Grow at Breakthrough Silicon Valley Summits

With the support of the Yahoo! Employee Foundation, GLI hosted two Mother-Daughter Summits this spring! In a focus group designed to help our programs advance GLI’s Equity & Inclusion directives, mothers expressed the desire to learn more about their daughters’ developmental stages and connect with mothers facing similar issues in raising their daughters.

In the workshops, mothers and daughters worked together to learn skills of assertive self-expression, healthy relationships and development, and emotional intelligence, They also learned about the impact of cultural factors. These workshops were part of the first year of a six-year Breakthrough Silicon Valley program.

To read more, click here.

Girl Find: Lily Myers’s “Shrinking Women”

Lily Myers’s slam poem, “Shrinking Women,” is a testament to the influence, good or bad, a mother has on her daughter. While mothers hope to be empowering and encouraging role models, the unconscious pressures on women and girls to shrink and to filter their feelings can become poisonous within a family. Lily finds her mother disappearing into her wine glass and comes to realize that she has inherited these habits of taking up as little space as possible.

Myers’s poem carries an impactful message about society’s ideals of women and body image that will resonate with many. This piece has opened up many conversations, bringing to light the subtle pressures young women feel, and is well worth the watch. Older girls can especially relate to this video, and GLI continues to strengthen the connection between daughters and mothers with roleplay workshops and scripts.

To read more, click here.

I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major

Because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not
I could have another piece of pizza,
A circular obsession I never wanted,
But inheritance is accidental,
Still staring at me with wine-stained lips
From across the kitchen table.

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