Brave is Built, Not Born


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Brave is Built, Not Born

Every girl has what it takes to be brave.

GOAL: 300 Donors by 12-31-16

We need your partnership to close the bravery gap.


We know that every girl has what it takes to be brave, but our research shows that half of girls don’t see themselves that way.


Walk past any kindergarten classroom and you’ll notice fearless girls clamoring to shout the answer with hands extended toward the ceiling, girls skipping every other rung as they swing across the monkey bars, or indignant declarations as girls speak up against injustice at the lunch table. But as girls grow up, they receive very consistent messaging on who they are supposed to become: cute (then pretty, then hot), happy, fitting in, poised, raises her hand before speaking, a good friend, a helper, organized, careful…


Before you know it, that fearless kindergartener has become a cautious fifth grader who doesn’t raise her hand in class unless she’s certain she has the right answer. The playground becomes a place for conversations instead of play. When we ask these girls why they don’t speak up any more, we hear the same paralyzing thought again and again, “What will people think?”


That fear of judgement stays with too many girls and holds them back in every area of their lives -- from academics, to sports, to friendships, and romantic relationships, and eventually professional roles as well. To address this fear we teach girls to be brave, to recognize their fears or insecurities, and take the risk regardless.


At Girls Leadership our 10,000 participants a year learn to be brave through our powerful in-person programs, which combine a safe community and concrete skills. We reach over half a million more through our website, where we share new articles, activities, and videos for families. Thousands of families connect each month through our free Book Club to build local community, be inspired by stories of brave girls, and practice speaking up, even when that means respectfully disagreeing.


Evaluations show that it works.
  • 94% of our girls believe they deserve respectful true friends after joining our workshops
  • 88% have practiced speaking up for themselves
  • 87% can better identify their feelings
  • 86% have asked for what they need
  • And 91% believe that it is worth the risk to express your feelings in a relationship


We’ve developed a plan to bring this critical impact to girls and families who haven’t had access to our programs.


To ensure that our programs and content can truly serve all girls across differences of race, culture, geography, income level, family structure, and ability we are:

  1. Conducting unprecedented research on girls of color and leadership to better understand how culture and socio-economics influence the way girls define leadership, aspire to leadership, what supports their leadership skill development, and what is holding them back.
  2. Investing in our regional teams to build stronger communities. This year we hired our first Regional Director, and we are recruiting our first regional board. Together this regional team will invest in relationships with schools, companies, foundations, and families.
  3. Partnering with local organizations to integrate social and emotional tools for girls into existing successful programs.
  4. Creating powerful, free content online for our 500,000+ annual visitors.


As we take on these new initiatives, we will continue to deliver high-quality, transformational, in-person programs across the country.


We can’t do this without you. Partner with us as a monthly donor. Please consider giving $20 a month to Girls Leadership, or whatever level is right for you.


Thank you.

Together we can make sure every girl has what it takes to be brave, take healthy risks, and discover her voice.


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Create authentic conversation around a topic of deep importance, build relationships, and collaborate with talented people committed to issues you care about.

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