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SXSWedu 2016

Empowering Girls to Design a Better Future

Last summer, our team (Girls Driving for a Difference) spent 14 weeks crossing the U.S. in an RV, coaching leadership workshops for 1500+ middle school girls. Drawing inspiration from the Stanford d.school's design thinking methodology, we crafted our curriculum to empower girls to discover their abilities to create social change.
Now we're ready to share our story and give educators the tools to spark this conversation with their own students. Our interactive session brings participants through our workshop, describes key insights behind it, and provides strategies for adapting our curriculum for other communities. Come join the journey and help our impact grow and live on!

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  1. Create personal mission statements that incorporate participants' skills and leadership strengths to impact the future of education and beyond.
  2. Share our process and insights from designing and coaching summer workshops for diverse communities of middle school girls nationwide.
  3. Guide participants to adapt our curriculum using design thinking principles in order to start this conversation in their own communities.


  • Rachel Chung, Director of Marketing, Girls Driving for a Difference
  • Natalya Thakur, Director of Finance, Girls Driving for a Difference
  • Katie Kirsch, Co-Founder & Chief Curriculum Designer, Girls Driving for a Difference


Jenna Leonardo, Co-founder, Girls Driving for a Difference

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