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Category: Mighty Girls
  • At six years old, Ruby Bridges famously became the first black child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in the South.

    The moment has been immortalized in a Norman Rockwell painting with the apt title The Problem We All Live With: a little African American girl walks to school, surrounded by a team of U.S. Marshals, with racist graffiti and thrown garbage ornamenting the wall behind her. Ruby Bridges was only 6 years old in 1960 when the first grader arrived for her first day of school at  William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans — and was met by a vicious mob. The courageous girl would spend a year alone in the classroom, since other children had been removed by their parents due to her presence. But today, the 65-year-old Bridges says that those difficult days were worth it: "I now know that experience comes to us for a purpose, and if we follow the guidance of the spirit within us, we will probably find that the purpose is a good one." Continue reading Continue reading

  • After Nora Keegan spent three years studying whether hand dryers hurt children's hearing, she's published her research in a scientific journal.

    When she was nine years old, Nora Keegan noticed that many children didn't want to use hand dryers and would often cover their ears around them. She understood from personal experience why they would have this reaction, observing that "sometimes after using hand dryers my ears would start ringing." In the fifth grade, she decided to investigate the topic further for a science fair project and started studying "if they were dangerous to hearing." Three years later, the now 13-year-old Mighty Girl from Calgary, Canada has just published the results of her multi-year study in a scientific paper in the Paediatrics & Child Health, the premiere Canadian pediatric journal. In it, she concludes that "children who say hand dryers 'hurt my ears' are correct" since, as she discovered through her research, many hand dryers operate "at levels that are clearly dangerous to children’s hearing." Continue reading Continue reading

  • 1.4 million students around the world turned out for her Global Climate Strike this week!

    Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen activist who founded the Youth Strike for Climate Movement, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work galvanizing youth around the world to take action on climate change! The 16-year-old began her skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for climate) last August as a solo protest, but today her Fridays for Future protests span the globe. This week, an estimated 1.4 million students turned out for the Global Climate Strike, a day of action that saw over 2,000 events take place in 125 countries. Greta has persisted in her work to demand action from governments to address this environmental crisis, despite frequent criticism, much of it based on her age. "I agree with [my detractors], I’m too young to do this," she recently wrote. "We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue." Continue reading Continue reading

  • By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Happy Earth Day! Around the world today, people are taking action to help protect our environment. By demonstrating responsible, green practices today, we hope to inspire people to make environmentally friendly choices throughout the year.

    In honor of this day dedicated to awareness and action, A Mighty Girl is sharing the stories of ten female environmental heroes. These girls and women — scientists, activists, and innovators — have each done something that makes us see protecting the Earth a little differently. These heroes are from both past and present; some of them have acted locally, while others are influential around the world; but each of them has discovered a way that we can become better caretakers of our planet. By celebrating them, A Mighty Girl hopes that other Mighty Girls will consider ways that they can make a difference too.

    For resources about the environment to share with your children, check out our earlier blogs Mighty Girls Save the World: Environmental Films Starring Girls and Women and Mighty Girls Go Green: 15 Books for Earth Day.

    Jane Goodall: Groundbreaking Primatologist and Conservationist

    Jane Goodall with orphan chimpanzee Urahara (Michael Neugebauer/Jane Goodall Institute of Canada) Jane Goodall with orphan chimpanzee Urahara (Photo: Michael Neugebauer)

    Jane Goodall was remarkable enough for breaking into the male-dominated world of wildlife biology, and for her astonishing discoveries regarding chimpanzee behavior. However, her work to draw global attention to the protection of chimpanzee habitat, and to conservation in general, is just as remarkable! Today, just after her 81st birthday, Goodall still devotes the vast majority of her time to conservation efforts, traveling as many as 300 days a year to speak about environmental issues.

    The Jane Goodall Institute, which she founded in 1977, works to help individuals around the world make informed, environmentally responsible decisions as they engage in growth and development; the Institute’s Roots and Shoots youth program, founded in 1991, began with a group of 16 teenagers and now has 10,000 groups in over 100 countries. There is no doubt that Goodall has fulfilled her self-proclaimed mission “to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature.”

    If you'd like to introduce your children to Jane Goodall's incredible story, here are a few of our favorite books about this inspiring role model: The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps (age 4 to 8), Me... Jane (age 3 to 8), Who is Jane Goodall (age 8 to 12), an autobiography by Goodall entitled My Life with the Chimpanzees (age 8 to 12), and a graphic novel Primates (age 12 and up).

    For more books, a documentary, and other resources, visit our Jane Goodall Collection. Continue reading Continue reading

  • By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Happy International Women’s Day! On March 8, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world. Last year, A Mighty Girl marked International Women’s Day by highlighting several Mighty Girl Heroes — inspirational female role models ranging from Wangari Maathai to Shirin Ebadi who have each done remarkable things.

    Of course, there are also many Mighty Girls around the world who are already making a tremendous impact! While these young women may not be household names, each of them is striving to change the world — starting with their own part of it. So this International Women’s Day, we’re sharing the stories of ten Mighty Girls who are making their own marks. After all, there’s nothing more inspiring than knowing that anyone, of any age, can start making the world a better place today each in her own way.

    Kayla Wheeler, USA, 17 - The Athlete & Paralympian

    Kayla Wheeler Kayla Wheeler (Photo: altso.org)

    Kayla never let her lack of three limbs slow her down — even if she is, in her own words, “basically the most disabled you can be and still swim.” In fact, this amazing young woman not only swims, she also skis, plays baseball, and competes on her school’s rocketry and robotics teams.

    In December 2013, Kayla set a new world record in the 50-meter butterfly at the Can-Am Para-Swimming Championships! Although Kayla qualified for the 2012 Paralympics in London, there weren’t enough qualified swimmers in her category for the event to run, but she’s hopeful about being able to compete in 2016.

    After all, she says, “My parents have always taught me that I can do anything that I put my mind to. So I just put my mind to it.”

    Kayla is also currently running an online fundraiser to support her swim team for people with disabilities, the Shadow Seals Disabled Swim Team -- to help support the effort, visit her Indiegogo page.

    You can read more about Kayla and her multiple awards in this article from Heraldnet. Continue reading Continue reading

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