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Category: grit
  • Caitlin Kirby wore a skirt made out of 17 rejection letters to her dissertation defense.

    At her dissertation defense last month, Caitlin Kirby wore a one-of-a-kind, handmade skirt — made out of 17 rejection letters that she had received over the last five years! The 28-year-old Michigan State University grad student, who has spent the last 4 1/2 years working towards her PhD in environmental science and policy, says that the rejection letters had come from other PhD programs, scholarships and academic journals. Kirby says that she created and wore the skirt "in the spirit of acknowledging & normalizing failure in the process," observing that “the dissertation presentation is in this narrative form, where … it looks like everything went smoothly in my process from start to finish. So I wanted something in my presentation that shows that really isn’t how it goes. There are a lot of roadblocks along the way." Continue reading Continue reading

  • "The kids who are getting this process praise, strategy and taking on hard things and sticking to them, those are the kids who want the challenge."

    We all want to motivate Mighty Girls to be their best, but did you know that how you praise girls can make a big difference to their resilience and self-confidence? Stanford professor Dr. Carol Dweck, one of the world's leading researchers in the field of motivation and the author of the bestselling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, has found that there is a strong praise paradox for girls: "Praise for intelligence or ability backfires," she asserts. By understanding why telling a girl things like "you're so smart" can actually make her less confident, and by finding more effective ways to praise girls instead, parents and teachers can help foster an attitude that keeps them striving for success — even when the going gets tough. Continue reading Continue reading

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