Your browser is not supported. For the best experience, you should upgrade to a modern browser with improved speed and security.
Category: role models
  • At 8 years old, Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins joined the "Capitol Crawl" with other disability rights activists demanding passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    On March 12, 1990, over 1,000 disability rights activists marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to demand the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which had been stalled in Congress. To illustrate the barriers that many people with disabilities faced every day, over 60 activists cast aside their wheelchairs and crutches and began crawling up the 83 stone steps that lead to the Capitol building — among them was Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, an 8-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who declared "I’ll take all night if I have to" as she pulled herself up the steps. In honor of the 30th anniversary of this historic act — which was the first major national legislation in the world to treat disability rights as a civil rights issue — we're sharing the story of this determined young activist who fought for the rights of people with disabilities across the country. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Once a 'Rosie the Riveter' during WWII, today 94-year-old Mae Krier is making Rosie-themed face masks to help fight the pandemic.

    When Mae Krier was 17 years old, she took a job at a Boeing factory in Seattle in the midst of World War II, joining millions of other American women filling critical labor shortages at factories and shipyards after the male workers left to fight overseas. Today, at 94, she's stepped up to help the country overcome another crisis by making fabric face masks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus — and, to pay tribute to the heroic women of WWII, her masks are in the polka dot fabric of Rosie the Riveter's iconic bandana! "This virus is actually like another war, and we’ve gotta pull together if we’re gonna conquer it," Krier asserts. "We did it, and we can do it." Continue reading Continue reading

  • 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

  • The Green Berets were one of the last assignments in the Army without any female soldiers since the Pentagon opened combat and special operations roles to women in 2016.

    A National Guard soldier has become the U.S. Army's first female Green Beret since the Special Forces unit was formed in 1952! The woman, who cannot be named due to security concerns, recently completed the famously grueling Special Forces Qualification Course and received her Green Beret along with her classmates during a graduation ceremony last week in North Carolina. Her graduation was a particularly noteworthy milestone for women in the military since the Green Berets were one of the last assignments in the Army without any women since the Pentagon opened combat and special operations roles to women in 2016. "Half of the world that we have to deal with when we're out there, half of the people we have to help, are women," said retired Lt. Gen. Steve Blum, a 42-year Army veteran and 16-year Green Beret, when the unnamed soldier passed her initial assessment in 2018. "The days of men fighting men without the presence of women is long gone." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Joanna Cole's bestselling series starring the beloved Ms. Frizzle, which sold more than 93 million copies, made science fun for generations of kids.

    Joanna Cole, the author of the beloved The Magic School Bus book series which made science fun for generations of kids, died this week of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 75. Through her books, Cole aimed to make science fun for kids as they followed the adventures of a group of schoolchildren taking field trips on their 'magic school bus' everywhere from outer space to the inside the human body — all led by their exuberant, red-haired teacher Ms. Frizzle. In the decades since the first book was published, The Magic School Bus has grown to include a variety of books, an animated TV show, a series of science kits; and, this year, plans for a live-action movie adaptation. "Joanna Cole had the perfect touch for blending science and story," Scholastic chairman and CEO Dick Robinson said when announcing her death on July 15. "Joanna's books, packed with equal parts humor and information, made science both easy to understand and fun for the hundreds of millions of children around the world." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Pioneering neuroscientist Brenda Milner, one of the founders of cognitive neuroscience, says that at 102, she's "still nosy."

    If you go to the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, you might catch a glimpse of 102-year-old Dr. Brenda Milner — a pioneering neuroscientist who's still breaking new ground in her 70-year long career as a brain researcher! The eminent British-born scientist revolutionized brain science as a newly minted PhD in the 1950s. Today, she is best known for discovering where memory formation occurs in the brain and is widely recognized as one of the founders of cognitive neuroscience. Her research to better understand the inner workings of the human brain continues today, although she says that people often think she must be emerita because of her advanced age. "Well, not at all," she asserts. "I’m still nosy, you know, curious.” Continue reading Continue reading

  • Eliza Schuyler Hamilton outlived her famous husband Alexander by fifty years and went on to make her own mark on history.

    Many people have heard of Elizabeth (Eliza) Schuyler Hamilton from the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical Hamilton about her husband Alexander but, as she plays a secondary role in the production, most people know little of her life and legacy. Eliza lived for 97 years — and outlived her famous husband by 50 years — during a tumultuous period that included the American Revolution and the establishment of American government and democracy, as well as personal dramas and tragedies, including the deaths of both her oldest son and her husband in duels. Despite it all, she went on to devote her life both to preserving Alexander’s legacy and to charitable causes, including the creation of the first private orphanage in New York City, even while her own family struggled with financial hardship. "I think anyone else would have been broken," says Ron Chernow, the author of Alexander Hamilton, the biography that inspired the hit musical. "Not only did she live, she prevailed." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Whether they challenged racial segregation or broke new ground for women in sports, these Canadian women trailblazers are truly a reason to be proud.

    Happy Canada Day! Canada has come a long way since the Dominion of Canada was formed 153 years ago. It’s gone from the four original provinces to ten provinces and three territories that truly fulfill the national motto, “From sea to shining sea.” A diverse nation of peoples from all over the world, Canada is looking towards a bright future.

    And unsurprisingly, throughout Canada’s history, brave women have been there to leave their mark. From the earliest colonial settlements to today, women have helped shape the history and culture of Canada. To celebrate Canada Day, A Mighty Girl is paying tribute to twelve of these amazing women. From activists to scientists, authors to engineers, and athletes to doctors, these women have shown that Canadian pride is universal.

    So let’s take a trip through Canada’s past and present to recognize these twelve women who have helped make this country a place so many people are proud to call home. Continue reading Continue reading

  • NASA's Washington, D.C. Headquarters is being renamed in honor of Mary Jackson, the space agency's first African American female engineer.

    Mary Jackson was NASA's first African American female engineer — now, the space agency is honoring her contributions by renaming its Washington, D.C. headquarters in her honor! In addition to her scientific accomplishments, Jackson also led programs which supported the hiring and promotion of more women at NASA and served as a Girl Scout leader for more than 30 years. "Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology," says NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "We will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made NASA’s successful history of exploration possible." Continue reading Continue reading

  • The 22-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate shared photos of the celebration on Twitter, writing that it's "hard to express my joy and gratitude right now."

    22-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has graduated from Oxford University! The world-famous girls' education advocate, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban eight years ago, shared her good news on Twitter, posting pictures from the celebration which included a "trashing," an Oxford tradition in which new graduates are covered with foam, confetti, and food. She wrote that it's "hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford."

    Continue reading Continue reading

1–10 of 47 items