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Girls Can Change the World: Be Inspired 2014

Created in 2013 to feature girls who were taking an active role in our region and beyond, Be Inspired 2014 is an event that acknowledges girls and young women who are making a difference. This year's speakers represent diverse backgrounds and experiences, as well as a broad range of important causes, advocacy work, passions, and talents. From using arts and music to inspire social change, to speaking out for equality in education, to establishing an environmentally responsible and successful business model, to collecting shoes for children in need, to serving as an representative in excellence in STEM education, the work and talents of each of these young women is truly inspiring.

WHEN: Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 9:00am to 12:00pm

WHERE: New Hazlett Theater, Allegheny Square East, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

COST: $10
Member and group rates available (for five or more), please contact info@girlscoalitionswpa.org

REGISTRATION: Please register online.

This event is not just about hearing about the important work and causes each girl or young woman represents, but providing the opportunity for meaningful dialogue. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters and explore how they, too, can become advocates for positive change. Additionally, attendees are invited to engage with local agencies and organizations that are providing opportunities for girls to become leaders and contributors in their communities by working to challenge conventions and eliminate barriers. We hope you will join us and Be Inspired!

Speakers Include:

Vanessa German (will kick-off the event): Known throughout Pittsburgh and across the country for her creative and inspiring work, including Love Front Porch, Vanessa is a visual artist and poet whose work focuses, first and foremost, on the power of the human spirit.

Lani Lazzari: Founder and CEO of Simple Sugars, Lani created her natural body care company in 2005 when she was only 11. Growing from production in her parents' basement, Simple Sugars has become a thriving company with the mission to make the best all-natural scrubs out of the highest quality ingredients, to provide customers with the best services available, to renew, reuse and recycle because we only have one Earth, and, above all, to keep things simple.

Dynae Shaw: A graduate of the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies, Dynae Shaw is a member of Teen Bloc, a youth organizing initiative of A+ Schools, the Marilyn G Rabb foundation, and the Coro Center for Civic Leadership, and School 2 Career. In 2012, Dynae was invited to give a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative dinner, which focused on youth empowerment and equity in education. In the speech she stated, "Students weren't at the table for this round of budget cuts, yet we knew we had to be. We decided that we needed to make the decision makers know that we would not let them compromise our education." Dynae uses her talents in writing and speaking to inform students of key issues regarding education as well as use her voice and passion to build the power of young people (especially women) in district decision making. Dynae is currently a sophomore at Clarion University, studying Strategic Communications.

3TG (3 Talented Girlz): With the goal to inspire and empower young people like them, 3TG uses positivity and music to bring people together. The group has been singing and performing together since 2012 and is made up of three Pittsburgh Public School students, Bryce Ari Chisom (Pittsburgh Obama), Amani Jai Chisom (Pittsburgh Obama), and Summer Helvy (Pittsburgh Schiller). Recently invited to sing the National Anthem at Pittsburgh City Council swearing-in ceremony, these three young women are also winners of WAMO 100's Local Love Talent Show.

Naoka Gunawardena: A champion for girls in STEM, Naoka is passionate about encouraging and motivating girls to help one another in fields that many people still think of as “for boys.” Naoka is one of the leaders of the Girls of Steel all-girls FIRST robotics Lego League team. FIRST is a national program that focuses on STEM and robotics with the mission, “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."

Eliza Jiminez, a senior at The Ellis School and US student council member, launched a service project in her junior year to collect shoes the Children's Village, a charity in Israel associated with Classrooms Without Borders. She went there over spring break and taught kids English, and devoted time and attention to children who really needed it, she also returned in the summer as a camp counselor. "The Children's Village is a community in the North of Israel where families take foster children into their homes. The kids come from backgrounds of neglect, abuse, and poverty. In the Children's Village. With 300 foster kids, the supply of shoes is limited, as the children are constantly growing and wearing out their shoes completely."

Julia Wolf: A freshman at Hampton High School, she competes as part of the high school swimming and lacrosse varsity teams and is the only girl at the High School to play the double bass. She recently made a bit of little-known history, as one of three girls who were allowed to greet and welcome  delegates and attendees to the United Nations for the Girls Speak Out on International Day of the Girl (October 11).

More speakers to be announced, including an update on Sarah's Bill. Please stay tuned for more information.

Thank you to the following sponsors:

The Ellis School


The Midwife Center for Birth and Women's Health

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh


Membership Meet & Greets

There are currently no meet and greets scheduled.


Please contact info@girlscoalitionswpa.org.