Raising Resilient Girls

On the surface, girls are thriving. They are outpacing boys in test scores, college admissions and athletic achievements. But beneath the surface experts are seeing a rise in female aggression and depression. Girls continue to suffer from eating disorders, anxiety, abusive relationships and self-mutilation, signs that their internal experience doesn’t match the surface. Girls who appear to “have it all” are being pushed to the brink to maintain their “perfect girl” image.  By attempting to excel in all arenas, including appearances, academics and athletics, girls succumb to a pressure that limits them. These “supergirls” develop an inability to take risks, practice authenticity and make mistakes. So what can be done to help our girls? How can we help raise them to be more resilient?

Girls Leadership’s Executive Director and Co-Founder Simone Marean has a few ideas about what can be done.

Regularly, Simone speaks to parents and teachers across the country about the challenges girls face today, the reasons why we see girls struggling, and what we can do to help them. In her acclaimed 1-hour talk (followed by a 30 minute Q&A), Simone shares how to help girls practice assertive self-expression, emotional intelligence and healthy relationships, preparing them for a life of personal and social leadership. Her engaging presentation covers the development of girl dynamics beginning in preschool through high school.

As written up in Parents Magazine, Simone’s talk concentrates on practical advice that can be executed in a real-life setting, such as:

  • Talk about your own not-so-happy feelings;
  • Share your mistakes;
  • Help her to solve her own problems;

She also tackles topics like The Good Girl Phenomenon, conflict as an opportunity for positive change, and how and why girls are aggressive with one another.

To get a feel for the atmosphere Simone creates, take a listen to this short sound byte (2:45) from one of Simone’s Raising Resilient Girls presentations. And, to bring Simone Marean to your school or community, please call 866.744.9102 x4.


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About Simone:

Simone has taught GLI programs and presented on girls across the country and internationally, including the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, the American School in Dubai, the Today Show and KQED’s Forum. She has a Masters degree in Educational Theatre from NYU and taught at many New York City schools including The Young Women’s Leadership School, and The Brearley School. Simone grew up on the north shore of Boston and graduated from Bryn Mawr College Magna Cum Laude. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland, not far from where she lives in Berkeley, CA.


Audience members say:

“I will take much of what I learned and immediately put it into practice. I would take it all, but I couldn’t write fast enough!”

“I love Simone! I want her to be my BFFFF! I want her to come home with me and inspire my daughter. She will definitely be seeing us at a workshop or camp.”

“Simone’s presentation included a clear explanation of issues girls deal with; very clear presentation and it is evident she knows girls well; she gave some positive tips on how to help change the weakness in the “system” we know.”