Girls Build

Girls Build Leadership Summit

Due to unprecedented demand, the LA Promise Fund has created its first ever Girls Build Leadership Summit. Five thousand girls will attend the Summit, held at the LA Convention Center on December 15th. We are deeply honored and incredibly excited to announce that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be our keynote speaker. Hillary Clinton, an individual who decided early in her career that she wanted to devote her life to improving the lives of others, embodies so much of what Girls Build is about. She is sure to make this an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime event for thousands of excited, curious young women.

Why Girls Build?

In 2015, women held 25% of all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) occupations; Latinas and Black women held only 1% and 3% of these jobs, respectively. Early exposure to STEM content and building skills like critical analysis and project management are key to closing the gender gap in STEM fields and the economy at large.

Girls Build, an initiative run by the LA Promise Fund, challenges young women from public middle and high schools to use STEM principles and 21st Century learning skills to effect social change. Girls Build activates young women to engage with the issues they care about, and prepares them to solve the problems of tomorrow.

How It Works

High school and middle school teams apply to join Girls Build. We ask young women to identify an issue they face in their lives and through the program, produce a solution to effect positive change in their communities. LA Promise Fund selects 50 teams to compete in the Girls Build Challenge. Selected teams will receive seed funding, training, and materials to implement an organic, community-based, data-driven intervention to their challenge. All projects integrate STEM principles and address three core impact areas: Health & Wellness, Civic Engagement & Leadership, ​and STEM & College Access. Teams choose to address an issue they want to change, within an impact area which directly affects them and their community. Participating teams will create a website, develop social media campaigns, and use professional communication tools to share their progress throughout the program.

Learn more.


  • 10,000 young women attended a screening of Hidden Figures. The event featured special guest appearances by stars Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Aldis Hodge and music composer and producer Pharrell Williams.
  • 7,000 young women attended the inaugural year’s launch: a screening of He Named Me Malala. The girls watched the film, as well as a special video message from First Lady Michelle Obama, and engaged in a critical conversation around gender equity.
  • 1,000 young women from dozens of schools have been engaged over 2 years, forming teams that develop grassroots solutions to urgent problems with far-reaching impact, positively affecting thousands of their peers and community members.
  • $50,000 in college scholarships are awarded to six winning teams each year.
  • Students everywhere are invited to celebrate gender equity through our social media campaign using #GirlsBuildLA. Together we can raise awareness about the barriers to success that young women face, and celebrate their continued empowerment.


If you would like to learn more about how to support Girls Build and its important work, please contact our associate director of development, Mia Henley, at


Girls Build is grateful for the generous support of our partners and sponsors:

2017-2018 Sponsors


Marina Berti & Stephen Prough

Megan & Peter Chernin

Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall

Kathy & John Kissick

Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams

Jill & Brian McNamee

Cheryl & Haim Saban

Shari & John Stankey





2016-2017 Sponsors

Honorary Chairs

Taraji P. Henson

Honorable Sheila Kuehl

Janelle Monae

Octavia Spencer

Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas

Pharrell Williams


Wallis Annenberg

Marina Berti & Stephen Prough

Louise & John Bryson

Megan & Peter Chernin

Jami Gertz & Tony Ressler

Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall

Kathy & John Kissick

Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams

Jill & Brian McNamee

Niki C. & C. L. Max Nikias

Dr. Cheryl & Haim Saban

Stacey Snider & Gary Jones

Cindy & Sheldon Stone



20th Century Fox

The Annenberg Foundation

The Cheryl Saban Self Worth Foundation for Women and Girls

The Empowerment Congress

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors



Bain Capital


Giancarla Berti

The Chernin Group

Susanna Felleman & Erik Feig

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Ghada & Ray Irani

Honorable Sheila Kuehl

Robin Kurtzman

Novo Foundation

SPONSORS (con’t)


Jenny & Chris Brearton

Americo Cascella

Ray Chambers

City National Bank

Kelli & Dean Hallett

Ivan Hindshaw

JP Morgan Chase

Meredith & David Kaplan

Karsh Family Foundation

Latham Watkins

The Los Angeles Clippers Foundation

Mayer Brown

Michael Nohaile

Rosenthal Foundation

David & Karen Sachs


Irving Stern

Alison & Nick Temple


Frank Baxter

Liz Berman

Seth Brufsky

Stephanie Christie

Content Partners, LLC.

Matt Cwiertina

David Geffen


Johnny Carson Foundation

John Leupp

Elizabeth Mann

Christopher Meledandri

Jeff Moore


Office of Curren Price, Jr.

Stuart Foundation

Union Bank


USC Office of the Provost

William Morris Endeavor


The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Honorable Michael D. Antonovich (ret.)

Honorable Kathryn Barger

Honorable Janice Hahn

Honorable Don Knabe (ret.)

Honorable Sheila Kuehl

Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas

Honorable Hilda L. Solis


The Los Angeles Unified School District Board

Honorable Mónica García

Honorable George McKenna

Honorable Mónica Ratliff

Honorable Ref Rodriguez

Honorable Scott Schmerelson

Honorable Richard Vladovic

Honorable Steve Zimmer

Los Angeles County Office of Education Board Members

Douglas R. Boyd, Sr.

Alex Johnson

Katie Braude

Gabriella Holt

Monte E. Perez, Ph.D.

Thomas A. Saenz

Rebecca J. Turrentine, Ed.D.

The Los Angeles City Council

Honorable Bob Blumenfield

Honorable Mike Bonin

Honorable Joe Buscaino

Honorable Gilbert Cedillo

Honorable Mitchell Englander

Honorable Marqueece Harris-Dawson

Honorable Jóse Huizar

Honorable Paul Koretz

Honorable Paul Krekorian

Honorable Nury Martinez

Honorable Mitch O’Farrell

Honorable Curren D. Price, Jr.

Honorable David E. Ryu

Honorable Herb J. Wesson, Jr.