Archive for May 2010

2 Young Women Make History at West Point

Elizabeth BetterbedI was thrilled to hear the news last week that for the first time in the history of West Point, the top two honors in the graduating class went to women! Elizabeth Betterbed and Alexandra Rosenberg were named the overall cadet and class valedictorian of the prestigious U.S. Military Academy, respectively.

President Obama was on-hand to congratulate the women as he gave the graduation address last Saturday:

“This underscores a fact that I’ve seen in the faces of our troops from Baghdad to Bagram – in the 21st century, our women in uniform play an indispensable role in our national defense. And time and again, they have proven themselves to be role models for our daughters and our sons – as students and as soldiers and as leaders in the United States armed forces.”

Though the Academy was first open to students in 1802, women were only admitted for the first time in 1976, when 119 females started as freshman. Today, women make up about 15% of cadets starting the four-year program.

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Alexandra on their incredible achievement!

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Are you interested in learning more about a career in the military? Check out my interview with Coast Guard Lt. Leanne Lusk in my book In Their Shoes. Leanne talks about what she loves about the job, describes her personal career journey, and walks readers through a “typical” day in her world (there’s actually nothing typical about it).

When I interviewed Leanne for the book, I asked her what it was like being a woman in the military since so many perceive it as a male-dominated career path. Here’s what she had to say:

“Out of all the armed services, the Coast Guard has the highest percentage of women. And I love busting stereotypes about what women can and can’t do. I’m not someone that people would look at and think I’m a federal law enforcement officer…I really like breaking out of that mold. I know that I can get dropped in a country anywhere in the world and survive…I know how to take care of myself.”

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It’s Girls’ Rights Week!

Girls' Rights WeekSmart Girls Know would like to join Girls Inc. in celebrating Girls’ Rights Week! From May 3 – May 7, Girls Inc. is focused on girls promoting positive spaces for physical activity as part of their and their communities’ greater health and wellbeing.

As part of the week, the Girls Inc. National Scholars traveled to Washington, D.C. where they met with Susan Sher, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff, and Jocelyn Frye, Director of Policy and Projects in the Office of the First Lady, to present finding of Girls Inc. Healthy Girls, Healthy Communities, a project in which girls across the country examined the resources available in their communities to encourage physical activity and barriers that prevent girls from using these resources.

This week is also meant to bring awareness to Girls Bill of Rights – six statements that help girls envision a healthy, successful future and an equitable society. So without further ado, here they are:

  • Girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes
  • Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm
  • Girls have the right to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success
  • Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies
  • Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and be safe in the world
  • Girls have the right to prepare for interesting work and economic independence

For more info on Girls’ Rights Week, visit the Girls Inc. website here!

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Kiki Magazine for Girls with Style & Substance

Kiki MagazineThere’s a new magazine on the block, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for more substance than your standard teen mag fare, but still with a cool, fun design and great content.

From the website, Kiki Magazine is for girls who love life, appreciate creativity, and recognize good ideas. A Kiki reader thinks for herself, has her own look, and is on her way to being a confident, strong, and smart young woman. She’s a girl with style and substance!” Style and substance…what’s not to like about that?

In each issue of Kiki, which currently comes out four times a year, you’ll find articles and info on fashion, history, design, designers, accessories, and biographies; tips on using all kinds of different art tools, sewing and create-your-own projects; a look at creativity and culture in different countries; a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry; articles about grooming, health, and exercise; book reviews, recipes, and reader profiles; and games, puzzles, quizzes, and design-your-own activities.

Besides the truly great content of Kiki, what I love most about this magazine is its great design and accessibility. It’s gorgeous to look at, easy to peruse through, and it is ad-free, so there’s no worry about being bombarded with media images that might contradict the empowering content you’ll find inside.

One more thing I love about the Spring 2010 issue? It features my book In Their Shoes: Extraordinary Women Describe Their Amazing Careers in its Book Club section. Thanks Kiki!

To check it out, visit the Kiki Magazine website where you can learn more about the current issue and subscribe, or go to your local Barnes & Noble or Borders (if they’re not already carrying it, ask them to!).

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