Girls Build

What is Girls Build?

Girls Build, an initiative of LA Promise Fund, challenges young women from public middle and high schools across the country to make an impact in their community and ensure that their voices are heard. We believe young women will define the vision for what our schools, communities, and country can be, and that work starts now.

How It Works

Every year, teams of female students from public middle and high schools apply to be a Girls Build team. We ask young women to identify an issue they face in their lives and through the program, envision and implement a solution to effect positive change in their communities. LA Promise Fund selects 65 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 civic engagement and address three core impact areas: Health & Wellness, Civic Engagement & Leadership, ​and STEM & College Access. Participating teams will create a website, develop social media campaigns, and use professional communication tools to share their progress throughout the program.

Learn more on how your school can participate in Girls Build Challenge by visiting the Girls Build Website. 


Formerly Girls Build Summit

Hello Future, formerly Girls Build Summit, is an annual, 2-day leadership summit event hosted by LA Promise Fund. Hello Future builds on five years of success in hosting inspirational experiences for girls throughout through Girls Build, with speakers like Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Janelle Monae, Shonda Rhimes, Octavia Spencer, and Pharrell. As Girls Build grew to new heights, we realized that we could be doing even more to ENGAGE, INSPIRE, and EMPOWER our girls for the future.

So we expanded our traditional Girls Build Summit to not only inspire girls to leadership, but also to be the largest and brightest STEM experience for young women and students of color in the nation. We invited girls from public and middle schools across Los Angeles County to join us to say hello to the technologies and ideas (em)powering the future.

Learn more by visiting the Hello Future website.



5 Years of Girls Build Challenge & Summit

  • 10,000 young women participated in the Girls Build Summit 2018, hearing from Shonda Rhimes, Alex Padilla, March for Our Lives representatives Delaney Tarr and Kyrah Simon, and more. The event was streamed on Facebook Live to thousands more.
  • 10,000 young women participated in the Girls Build Summit 2017, 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.



Girls Build Summit 2018


The LA Promise Fund and When We All Vote teamed up to engage 10,000 girls

As one of the largest initiatives supporting female students in Los Angeles County, Girls Build brought together over 10,000 young women from local public high schools for a program hosted by the LA Promise Fund in partnership with Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote. The theme of the event, as the year-long Girls Build program, was civic engagement. The focus was voter registration and voter turnout in anticipation of the mid-term elections. Award-winning writer, executive producer, and best-selling author Shonda Rhimes gave the keynote speech exploring the power of using your voice to inspire and create change. Delaney Tarr and Kyrah Simon, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, engaged in an unprecedented conversation with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla about how to harness student-driven grassroots activism to drive pre-registration and registration among young people and cultivate sustained civic engagement. The event, the largest of its kind in the nation, emboldens young women to engage with the issues they care about and prepares them to solve the problems of tomorrow.

Read the coverage:


The Hollywood Reporter

The Grio


Hollywood Life

To sponsor Girls Build, please email associate director of development Mia Henley,


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

2018-2019 Sponsors

Event Co-Chairs
Michelle Obama
Katie McGrath & JJ Abrams
Wallis Annenberg
Megan & Peter Chernin
Kathy & John Kissick
Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall
Marina Berti & Stephen Prough
Shari & John Stankey

Honorary Chairs
State of California:
Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Secretary of State Alex Padilla
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors:
Kathryn Barger
Janice Hahn
Sheila Kuehl
Mark Ridley-Thomas
Hilda L. Solis
City of Los Angeles:
Mayor Eric Garcetti
First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland
Councilmember Nury Martinez
Councilmember Curren Price
Elise Buik, United Way of Greater Los Angeles
Wendy Garen, Parsons Foundation


20th Century Fox
Alo Yoga
CJ America
Giancarla Berti
Gillian & Brian McNamee

Bain & Co.
Seth Brufsky
Americo Cascella
City National Bank
Content Partners Corp.
Great Public Schools Now
Sam & Leah Fischer
Ghada & Ray Irani
Martha & Bruce Karsh
Office of Councilmember Curren Price
Jamie Gertz & Tony Ressler
David Sachs
Alison & Nick Temple
WME Entertainment

Frank Baxter
Larry Berg
Carol Biondi
Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation
ICM Partners
Johnny Carson Foundation

Contributors (continued)
Claudia Kahn
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals
Robin Kurtzman
California Resources Corp.
Matt Cwiertnia
David Geffen Foundation
Mayer Brown
Office of Councilmember Nury Martinez
Chris Meledandri
Laura & Kenny Rogers
Shout! Factory
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Union Bank Foundation
Ellen & Jon Vein

Ben Bonsall
Scott Graves
Nathalie & Michael Huddleston
Andrea Lloyd
Tracy Mancuso
Julie & Ken Moelis
Barbra Streisand
United Way
Nate Walton
Howard Wang

In Kind
Elevate PR
Extraordinary Events
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Studio Number One
University of Southern California