Girls Build

Girls Build Leadership Summit

Due to unprecedented demand, the LA Promise Fund created its first ever Girls Build Leadership Summit. Ten thousand girls attended the Summit, held at the LA Convention Center on December 15th. We were deeply honored and incredibly excited to welcome former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on stage. 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 was joined by Senator Kamala Harris, who wrote about her experience at the event. Accomplished professionals in the technology and entertainment sectors also took to the stage. They included Moj Mahdara, CEO of Beautycon; Bozoma Saint John, Chief Brand Officer at Uber; Beatriz Acevedo, founder of mitú; Tara Deveaux, Chief Marketing Officer at BBDO; and Christy Haubegger, Agent at CAA and Founder of Latina magazine.


The event was a resounding success, with girls saying

“I’m so excited to be here. We’re surrounded by so many girls willing to make a change. It gives me hope: I hope that we can create change for all of our communities.”
– Shayna Sanders, member of the Girls Build team Change Agents

“Girls Build should keep empowering girls. The US population is majority female, but 80% of our politicians are male — events like this will help change that.”
– Luz Mendez, member of the Girls Build team Change Agents

Read and watch coverage of the event:


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 participated in the Girls Build Summit, hearing from Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and many more. Millions more experienced the day through extensive press coverage.
  • 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:

2018-2019 Sponsors



CJ America



Seth Bruksky

Americo Cascella

Southern California Gas

Tony Ressler


Frank & Kathy Baxter


Union Bank



Ken and Julie Moelis

Nate Walton


Ben Bonsall

Scott Graves

Nathalie and Michael Huddleson

Andrea Lloyd


2017-2018 Sponsors



Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams

Megan & Peter Chernin

Stacey Snider & Gary Jones

Kathy & John Kissick

Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall

Gillian & Brian McNamee

Marina Berti & Stephen Prough

Haim & Cheryl Saban


Councilmember Nury Martinez

Honorable Curren D. Price, Jr.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Honorable Kathryn Barger

Honorable Janice Hahn

Honorable Sheila Kuehl

Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas

Honorable Hilda L. Solis


42 West

Alo Yoga

Elevate Public Affairs



Pom Wonderful

Studio Number One



20th Century Fox






Giancarla Berti

CJ America

Erik Feig

NoVo Foundation



City National Bank

Americo Cascella

JP Morgan Chase

Southern California Gas


Ghada & Ray Irani

David & Meredith Kaplan

Simon Osborne

Otter Media


Mark Platt

Bennett Rosenthal

Michael Smith

Alison & Nick Temple

Anthony Vinciquerra & Tony Knight

Warner Bros. Entertainment



Frank & Kathy Baxter

Frank & Carol Biondi

Larry Berg

Elizabeth Berman

Broad Family Foundation

Seth Brufsky

Mei Chan

Matt Cwiertina

Madeline Frederick

Scott Graves

Carlyn Henry

Robin Kurtzman

John Leupp


Mayer Brown LLC

Chris Melandandri

Ken & Julie Moelis

Jeff Moore

Bruce Newberg

Dave Reilly

So Cal Edison

Barbara Streisand

Greg Suess

Nate Walton

Michael Weiner

WME Entertainment

Union Bank

Barbara Zipperman