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Category: role models
  • "These aren't just the stories of famous people. This is what we're all capable of on our very best days."

    Brad Melzer

    For the past four years, Brad Meltzer's best-selling series Ordinary People Change the World has been teaching kids that 'everyone can be a hero' while introducing them to a variety of amazing people throughout history. This week, A Mighty Girl spoke with Brad about the release of his 15th book in the series, I Am Harriet Tubman, what he hopes kids take away from his books, and his plans for the future of the popular series.

    To celebrate the new book's release, A Mighty Girl supporters can sign up to win an autographed set of all seven books from the series focused on the stories of Mighty Women. To enter, visit our I Am Harriet Tubman & Ordinary People Change the World Giveaway page. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Meet 16 Trailblazing Female Scientists Who Dared to Discover!


    For centuries, women have made important contributions to the sciences, but in many cases, it took far too long for their discoveries to be recognized — if they were acknowledged at all. And too often, books and academic courses that explore the history of science neglect the remarkable, groundbreaking women who changed the world. In fact, it's a rare person, child or adult, who can name more than two or three female scientists from history — and, even in those instances, the same few names are usually mentioned time and again.

    Now is time to change that! In this blog post, we're sharing the stories of 16 historic female scientists who have who have blazed new trails in their disciplines. From determining the size of the universe to unlocking the secrets of the genetic code, these women have forever changed the way we see our world. And if you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, after each profile we've shared several reading recommendations for different age groups, as well as other resources that celebrate these women of discovery.

    For even more biographies of inspiring scientists, visit our entire selection of Scientist Biographies. You can also find hundreds of books for children and teens on trailblazing women in all fields in our Role Models Biography collection.

    For more resources to encourage your own Mighty Girl's interest in science, check out the recommendations in our blog posts: Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls and Top 50 Science Toys for Mighty Girls.

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  • From an aerospace engineer to a helicopter pilot to a microbiologist, these five remarkable women will help lead the way in space exploration!

    NASA's newest class of astronaut candidates has just been announced, and it includes five inspiring women! NASA received a record-breaking number of applicants for this astronaut class — over 18,000 in all — and the class itself has twelve members, their largest since the year 2000. "These women and men deserve our enthusiastic congratulations," said retired astronaut and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa. "Children all across the United States right now dream of being in their shoes someday. We here at NASA are excited to welcome them to the team and look forward to working with them to inspire the next generation of explorers."

    The astronaut candidates have two years of training in front of them before they're ready to break Earth's atmosphere, but in the meantime, space-loving Mighty Girls have five new role models to look up to! In this blog post, we introduce you to these five remarkably talented women. And, to inspire children who dream of their own careers in space, at the end of the post, we've showcased a variety of girl-empowering books and toys about shooting for the stars! Continue reading Continue reading

  • Every day, this mom draws a famous woman from history alongside an inspiring quote for her daughter's lunch - all on a napkin.


    Meaghan Elderkin from Glocester, Rhode Island, has always left little notes in her 9-year-old daughter Holden’s lunchbox: “They’ve progressed over the years from hearts and silly drawings to bad jokes and groan-worthy puns,” she says. But this month, Elderkin decided to give her napkin art a girl-empowering twist -- by drawing images of famous women, past and present, and including one of their powerful quotes. After sharing the images on the private Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, she was met with such a tremendous response that she decided to share them publicly. As one group member wrote: “You are a star. Thank you for the reminders of how strong women ARE!”
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  • 25 Mighty Girl Halloween Costumes Celebrating Mighty Women

    halloween-2016-history-blog-webA popular theme among the over 2,000 photos of Mighty Girls in costume submitted to this year's A Mighty Girl Halloween Gallery were costumes that honored a pioneering woman from history or present day. In this blog post, we've showcased 25 of these Mighty Girl's incredible costumes and, to help you and your Mighty Girl learn more about the amazing women depicted, we've also linked to our character collection and biography section where relevant in a "Teachable Moment" feature.

    Today is also the last day to submit a Halloween photo of your Mighty Girl in costume to this year's A Mighty Girl Halloween Gallery. To check out last year's photo album, visit our 2015 Halloween Gallery

    If you're seeking girl-empowering dress-up clothing or costumes anytime of year, visit our extensive costume collection with options for all ages from infants through adults in A Mighty Girl's Halloween Costume Guide. You can also find Mighty Girl stories for many of the upcoming holidays, including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, in our Holidays & Celebrations collection. Continue reading Continue reading

  • jane-goodall-dollArtist Wendy Tsao decided to give Bratz dolls a radical change: by making them over as inspiring women of the past and present! When Tsao saw Sonja Singh’s Tree Change Dolls, a project that transforms Bratz dolls into ordinary girls by removing their exaggerated makeup and redressing them in clothing suitable for rough-and-tumble outdoor play, she says, "It made me wonder about the role of dolls in a child's life -- can they be more than just trendy, sexy, disposable toys? Can we inspire girls more?" So she created an art project dedicated to celebrating amazing women Malala Yousafzai, Jane Goodall, Waris Dirie, Roberta Bondar, and J.K. Rowling -- by making over dolls to look like these role models as children.

    Tsao observed that “[t]he dolls we find in toy stores today are often licensed Disney characters or the heroines of Hollywood blockbuster movies that capitalize on the pull of fantasy, fictional characters to young consumers. But there are real-life people who are heroes too, with inspiring stories of courage, intelligence, strength and uniqueness.” She wondered if she could use dolls to make these women more relatable to younger girls. Writing to A Mighty Girl, Tsao commented, "I really admire the women that I featured in my dolls, for what they did or achieved and continue to do. And they should be role models instead of, or at least, alongside the products of Disney and Hollywood. But then, I’m an adult. Perhaps a child can’t appreciate these role models, because these women are famous adults. Maybe we need to show children that these remarkable women were once children too."

    So Tsao’s repainted dolls represent inspiring women as they might have looked as girls. “I would have loved to play with Jane Goodall as a child," she told us. "I wonder if a child who plays with a doll of someone who is a real person who did some amazing things when they grow up might think more about real-life things and appreciate more the real potential that lies within all of us, than when she or he plays with say, a Disney character or Bratz doll. You know how we 'outgrow' our toys... Can you outgrow Malala?"

    Tsao has been thrilled by the positive response to her dolls, and says "I think that it points to the fact that many people feel strongly about these dolls and what they represent." And, that fact that "toys can become a source of comfort, pride and meaning for a child (and even adults)... As a parent, I’d love for my child to play with a young J.K. Rowling or Malala and have conversations about them."

    UPDATE: Each of the dolls featured here are one of a kind and Tsao says that she has no plans to reproduce them. Each of the dolls was auctioned off with 30% of the proceeds donated to support the foundations or causes of these inspiring role models. To view more of Tsao's artwork, including her line of softies based on children's drawings, visit her website, Child's Own Studio.

    In addition to Wendy Tsao's transformed dolls below, you can also find many dolls based on famous girls and women in A Mighty Girl's Dolls & Action Figures Collection. 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

  • British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace in 1914 British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace in 1914

    By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Do you know the name of the Polish social worker who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII? How about the name of America’s first female self-made millionaire? Can you name a British suffrage movement leader who Time Magazine declared to be one of the most important people of the 20th century? Or the name of a real-life woman pirate?

    While we always delight in hearing about the achievements of women in history, there are some names that get much more attention than others. Children and adults of today are likely to be very familiar with the experiences of Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, and Helen Keller -- and rightly so. However, there are many other talented, courageous, and remarkable women who also deserve to have their stories told, but whose names are far less familiar.

    We have gathered together a list of ten of these women, whom you may not recognize, but whose journeys are more than worthy of your attention. Sometimes these women have been relegated to the footnotes of history books, their experiences almost entirely glossed over. Yet, each woman made significant contributions or noteworthy strides in her lifetime.

    In addition to the descriptions listed below, you will find their stories within our collection of over 400 biographies of remarkable girls and women. We also share many stories of Mighty Girl heroes of yesteryear and today on our Facebook page.

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  • Today marks the second year of a new holiday tradition, Giving Tuesday -- a day focused on encouraging charitable giving following the shopping-intensive days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To celebrate this day of giving, at A Mighty Girl, we're highlighting seven incredible grassroots projects founded by girls and women that we hope you'll consider supporting on this day and throughout the year.

    We've also highlighted an effort by a young Mighty Girl to give back to her community to show how every child can have an impact. And, while all of these groups need financial support to continue their important work, we also want to showcase another important type of giving -- volunteerism. All during the holiday season, we've been sharing stories of Mighty Girls' "Mighty Good Deeds" and encourage you to share your own Mighty Girl's good deeds on our Facebook wall. Continue reading Continue reading

  • doctor costumeBy Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    “Play is the work of childhood.” — Jean Piaget

    Today is Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day, a day in which children all over the world will shadow parents or other mentors through a day at their jobs. Carolyn McKecuen, the president of the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation, shares the value of these experiences:

    “Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the workday is important, but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, and providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future and begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success.... By bringing girls and boys together, we will continue to create a more equitable world — at home, at school, in the workplace, and in the community.”

    For children younger than 8, however, a day of job shadowing probably isn’t feasible. How can you provide them with some of the benefits that older kids get from a day at work? One great way is to give them pretend play toys that allow them to roleplay different careers. With that in mind, A Mighty Girl has selected ten toys from our Career / Jobs Collection of pretend play toys to feature. Each toy represents a different career that your Mighty Girl might aspire to, from astronaut to veterinarian. So, let her get down to work with some serious play! Continue reading Continue reading

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