“Like a Girl” is Never a Bad Thing

This past week, my daughter and I were invited to an amazing and inspiring event entitled, “Fueled by Failure Mentorship Summit” hosted by Always (yes the makers of feminine products that always has you covered!) and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. When I say that the invitation couldn’t have come at a better time, it really couldn’t have. My ten-year-old daughter Ava, a tween, is in the middle of all that fun stuff that tweens are dealing with.

From social angst to the emotional ups and downs, and adjustments to a more heavier school load, she has definitely having a rough start to the school year. As a mother, it’s tough to see her struggle. I check in with her regularly to see how she is doing and I have an inner struggle constantly with myself on whether or not I should intervene or let her figure things out on her own. From the boy who tells her that she’s unimportant and “ignore worthy” to the less than stellar grade she received on an English paper she thought she wrote really well, I could see she was feeling defeated and her confidence was at an all-time low. This summit was promising to help girls like my Ava understand that everyone fails and encourage them to embrace failure as fuel to build their confidence and to help their peers do the same!

So I let her play hooky, with the blessing of her English teacher, to attend this amazing event which left us speechless and oh so inspired.

Did you know by puberty, 50% of girls feel paralyzed by the fear of failure? I could see that already in my daughter and I knew it was critically important to change that. Ava needed to meet and speak with amazing and successful women who were able to rise above the fear of failure.

Initially, when I mentioned the summit, she wasn’t as excited about it as much as she was excited for the day off from school, but that was okay. I knew, once we were in the city, at the summit, she would understand and appreciate the opportunity.

with Christina Diaz, Mars2020 Instrument Engineer for the MEDA and RIMFAX science investigations at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab

We kicked off with a live-broadcasted panel where we were first introduced to 5 amazing women:

  • Dr. Knatokie Ford, Founder and CEO, Fly Sci Enterprise. She was the former Senior Policy Advisor in the Obama
    White House, of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Christina Diaz, Mars2020 Instrument Engineer for the MEDA and RIMFAX science investigations at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab
  • Amanda Hill, Brand Director, North America Feminine Care at Procter & Gamble
  • Meredith Walker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls
  • and Laura Brounstein, Director of Editorial and Business Development at Cosmo and Seventeen magazine

Watch the full broadcast here:

It was a great warm-up session for Ava and I to get to know the panel before interacting and having some one-on-one time with them which we had immediately after, along with some fun motivation building activities. She was definitely buzzing with excitement and couldn’t wait for the afternoon’s activities.

Ava’s highlights included meeting international street artist Kelsey Montague whose work she has admired from afar. An aspiring and budding artist herself, she was thrilled to meet an artist that was doing what she loves and being successful at it. She absolutely glowed when she got a chance to take a photo with Kelsey and her unique #WhatLiftsYou mural created exclusively for this event and was bursting at the seam when she got to add her own little personal touch to the mural.

She loved channeling all that new found artistic energy and making her very own uniquely Ava, duct tape pouch emblazoned with “Keep Going #LikeAGirl“.

Later that night, when asked what her favorite part of the event was, she said, meeting all the incredible women who are doing things that boys always say girls can’t do.

So to the boy who said to her that “You can’t make money as an artist, REALLY? You should google Kelsey Montague.”

Christina Diaz is the whole package, “beauty and brains mom!”

“Dr. Ford got to work in the most powerful house in the country and she’s just so cool and fun!”

“We need more people like Meredith Walker and Amy Poehler to help girls like me.”

My favorite part? Watching my daughter get inspired, watching her confidence grow and at the end of the night… finding her in her new “Keep Going #LIKEAGIRL” t-shirt, considering the possibilities.

{ disclosure: This post is made possible with support from Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and Always. As Always, all opinions expressed here are my very own. This was an amazing summit that was a privilege to attend. }