About Us

hghw_bulletWho we are

Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well being of girls and women.

Our mission: Hardy Girls takes girls seriously and puts the power in their hands to challenge a society that ignores their brilliance. We dare adult allies to join us in standing with girls.

Our vision: Girls cause a ruckus.

What is hardiness? A hardiness zone, determined by the USDA, the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. Like on the back of a packet of seeds, where it tells you how much light, water and spacing a plant needs. If you ignored those instructions and put a seed in any ol’ dirt, in a dark corner and forgot about it, that could be the difference between


And this:

Big difference, right? But you wouldn’t blame the seed for its inability to grow. Yet that’s what our society does to girls every day: plants them in misogynistic soil, pits them against each other, demands they look a certain way, encourages them to shove down those roots and stand pretty. And when a girl doesn’t bloom, we ask what’s wrong with her?

When you look at it that way, it’s the soil (the environment) that’s in need of attention. Girls aren’t the problem, but they are part of the solution. And you are, too!

Hardy Girls works at creating a hardiness zone for girls that includes giving her the control over her environment, showing her commitment from a community and asking her to commit in return, and then challenging her to create change. First, we have to start with critical thinking. Without that, it’s easy to think the individuals are at fault instead of looking at the whole system which ignores girls’ brilliance.

Since day one, Hardy Girls programming, resources and services have been powered by the latest research in girls’ development. Much of that research comes from the work of Hardy Girls co-creator, Lyn Mikel Brown. Read Dr. Brown’s keynote address Cultivating Hardiness Zones for Adolescent Girls and about the further research that was used as the guiding principles to help found this organization.

Inclusivity Statement

Interested participants who self-identify as female are welcome to apply to our programs. This includes participants who were not assigned to the female sex at birth, but live and identify as female now. It also includes participants who are legally assigned to the female sex, but who identify as transgender or gender fluid.