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Tag: Mighty Girls
  • The 17-year-old Swedish climate activist was awarded the 2020 Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity this week.

    Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen activist who founded the Youth Strike for Climate Movement,  was awarded the 2020 Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity this week!  "[Greta] gave voice to the concerns of young generations about their future, which is at risk due to global warming," the Gulbenkian wrote in a statement about the prize. "Her global influence is unprecedented for someone of her age." The 17-year-old was selected from a field of 136 nominees from 46 countries for the prize which recognizes people for their contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The award comes with a $1.15 million prize (€1 million), which Greta has already pledged to donate to a number of environmental causes. "I’m extremely honoured," she wrote on Twitter. "My foundation will as quickly as possible donate all the prize money of 1 million Euros to support organisations and projects that are fighting for a sustainable world, defending nature and supporting people already facing the worst impacts of the climate- and ecological crisis." Continue reading Continue reading

  • These Mighty Girls have designed a cheap ventilator out of car parts to help with the pandemic fight in a country with only 12 working ventilators in its main coronavirus hospitals.

    The Afghan girls’ robotics team has joined the fight against coronavirus by designing an inexpensive ventilator out of automobile parts! The team members from Herat created the prototype after the governor of the Afghan province sent out a public plea for ventilators. The region is expecting an explosion in coronavirus cases due to a huge surge in Afghan migrant workers returning to the country from neighboring Iran, one of the disease's global hotspots. The impoverished nation is ill-prepared for any significant outbreak; as of April 2, the country's two hospitals designated for coronavirus cases had only 12 working ventilators between them. In response to this desperate need, the Afghan Dreamers robotics team developed a ventilator prototype which costs under $300 to make from parts that can be easily sourced in the country. "The only thing that we all want to do is help our people and our community," says tech entrepreneur Roya Mahboob, who founded the Afghan Dreamers program. "I work with the girls, but mostly to coordinate. They are the real heroes." Continue reading Continue reading

  • For the first time in history, the flagship law reviews in the U.S. have all been led by women.

    The all-female roster of editors in chief of the flagship law reviews. Front row, from left: Ela Leshem, Yale; Alveena Shah, UCLA; Noor Hasan, Berkeley; Maia Cole, NYU; Farrah Bara, Duke; Nicole Collins, Stanford; Lauren Beck, Harvard. Back row, from left: Christina Wu, Texas; Laura Toulme, U-Va.; Annie Prossnitz, Northwestern; Emily Vernon, Chicago; Lauren Kloss, Cornell; Gabriella Ravida, Penn; Grace Paras, Georgetown; Sarah McDonald, Michigan; and Andrea Gonzalez, UCLA. (Leigh Vogel/Duke University School of Law).

    For the first time in history, the flagship law reviews at the 16 most prestigious law schools in the United States have all been led by female editors-in-chief! These highly competitive posts are one of the most coveted positions among law students, but as recently as 2012, men overwhelmingly dominated the editor-in-chef slots. The change followed a significant push by law schools and law reviews to welcome students from diverse backgrounds. "It speaks well to the progress that many law schools have made toward cultivating a more hospitable environment for women, people of color, and first-generation law students," observed Melissa Murray, a professor at New York University School of Law. "But credit should not go to law schools alone. The law reviews deserve credit as well." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Greta Thunberg's leadership has inspired millions of young people to take a stand and demand action on climate change.

    Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen activist who founded the Youth Strike for Climate Movement and was one of 2019's most influential people, turned 17 today! She began her skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for climate) in August 2018 as a solo protest, but today her Fridays for Future protests span the globe. An estimated 1.4 million students in 125 countries turned out for the first Global Climate Strike in March and six million people participated in September's climate strike actions that took place in 4,500 locations in 150 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 wrote early in 2019. "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

  • Pearl Johnson scaled the 3,000 foot El Capitan over four days and three nights, becoming the youngest person ever to achieve this climbing feat!

    After four days and three nights of climbing, 9-year-old Pearl Johnson became the youngest person to scale Yosemite Valley's famed El Capitan! Pearl reached the 3,000-foot summit in mid-September after scaling the Triple Direct climbing route with her mother, Janet Johnson, and a family friend, Nick Sullens. While scaling El Capitan is a major feat for many seasoned adult climbers, her mother was confident that Pearl, who has been climbing since she could walk, could reach the summit. "Someone asked me if I was nervous, and I said 'No,'" she said after their successful climb. "I knew I was comfortable up there. I’ve climbed a lot with Pearl. I knew what she was capable of." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Mighty Girls shined at this year's premiere science and engineering competition for middle school students!

    When the winners were announced at this year's Broadcom MASTERS Competition, America's premiere science and engineering competition for middle school students, the stage looked a little different than previous years — for the first time ever, all of the top prize winners were girls! 14-year-old Alaina Gassler won the top award, the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, while 14-year-olds Rachel Bergey, Sidor Clare, Alexis MacAvoy, and Lauren Ejiaga each took home $10,000 prizes. "With so many challenges in our world, Alaina and her fellow Broadcom MASTERS finalists make me optimistic," says Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public, which runs the competition, and Publisher of Science News. "I am proud to lead an organization that is inspiring so many young people, especially girls, to continue to innovate." 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

  • 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:

    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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