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.
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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.
This year, at a very important time in our nation’s history, Girls Build, in partnership with When We All Vote, is working to accelerate voter registration and voter turn-out around important elections. Girls Build is also broadening its reach to include 9 additional cities beyond Los Angeles where more teams of girls will work to be agents of change in their own schools and communities.
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.
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.
Girls Build is grateful for the generous support of our partners and sponsors:
Katie McGrath & JJ Abrams
Megan & Peter Chernin
Kathy & John Kissick
Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall
Marina Berti & Stephen Prough
Shari & John Stankey
State of California:
Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Secretary of State Alex Padilla
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors:
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
Gillian & Brian McNamee
Bain & Co.
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
Alison & Nick Temple
Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation
Johnny Carson Foundation
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals
California Resources Corp.
David Geffen Foundation
Office of Councilmember Nury Martinez
Laura & Kenny Rogers
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Union Bank Foundation
Ellen & Jon Vein
Nathalie & Michael Huddleston
Julie & Ken Moelis
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Studio Number One
University of Southern California