Sarah Lentz

Sarah Lentz, Program Coordinator, is a Maine transplant with extensive experience in youth development. As Program Director at Maine Teen Camp she created playful programming for teens around the world. From there, she spent years in Boston at national nonprofit, Summer Search. Through a combination of mentoring, experiential opportunities, college advising, and support, Summer Search empowered youth from low-income families to get to and through college. Her work there solidified her commitment to creating opportunities and support for youth that need it most. It also let her explore the many aspects of a growing nonprofit and left her with a passion for program development and evaluation, management, and increasing impact through effective use of communications and data.

Sarah received her BA from Denison University in Ohio and has a graduate certificate in nonprofit management and leadership from The Institute for Nonprofit Practice in Boston. This fall she will be pursuing a master’s degree in policy, planning, and management at USM’s Muskie School of Public Service.

She lives in Scarborough with her husband, son, and dog. They love going to the beach, exploring Maine, and investing in making their state a welcoming place for all. When not with her family, you can find Sarah meditating, doing art or spending time with other healthy women in Maine.

Kelli McCannell

Kelli McCannell

Kelli McCannell, Executive Director, comes to Hardy Girls with over 15 years of experience in nonprofits in outreach, programs, marketing, fundraising and leadership. A native and long-time resident of San Diego, California, Kelli most recently served as Executive Director of San Diego Writers Ink. There, she instituted organizational infrastructure to strengthen San Diego’s literary community. At both Words Alive and Volunteer San Diego, she served as Director of Development  including grants, corporate sponsorships, marketing and communications. Kelli ran the outreach department at Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council, working with underserved girls to demonstrate the importance of education and community. She began her career with the American Red Cross’ Women Infants and Children (WIC) program building community collaborations, developing outreach and marketing campaigns and becoming a certified lactation educator.

Kelli earned her Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University, along with a certificate in Servant Leadership and a BA in Art. She also possesses a certificate in Non Profit Management and is a graduate of the Fieldstone Foundation’s Executive Coaching Network.

After welcoming their first child in 2010, Kelli and her husband moved to his native Maine in 2012, where she served as Dorm and Activities Director at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield. Kelli is driven to shape the world she wants for her (now there are three!) sons. Kelli and her family live in Winslow and she enjoys reading, writing, and being outside.

Five Questions with Kelli

Favorite book: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: a pack-horse librarian
Favorite feminist anthem: Brave by Sara Bareilles
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: in staff meetings
Perfect day (in one sentence): On a cold day, in a clean bedroom, reading a rich book under a thick blanket while my sons nap. (It can be imaginary, right?)

Valerie Stone

Valerie Stone is really excited about joining the HGHW board in September 2018. She has been inspired by her youngest daughter Grace, who has been a passionate Hardy Girls member for the last 2 years and serves on the GAB and the HGHW board. Valerie has spent the last 20 years in Maine, raising her 5 kids and multiple dogs with her husband David, in Falmouth, Cumberland, and more recently Yarmouth.
As a mother of 3 girls and once a girl herself, she has personally witnessed the journey all women take, from self knowing, self acceptance and  empowerment to awareness of the plight that many young girls still face daily through media stigmas, outdated traditions and individuals biases. She started her work career interning at MORAL, the Massachusetts affiliate of NARAL, and has remained passionate about choice and has channeled this though Planned Parenthood. She is excited about bringing her action focussed energy to the board and is hoping to help make a difference. Her multiple hobbies include sailing, anything that involves a needle and yarn/thread, native gardening and most recently herbal medicine.

Five Questions with Valerie

Favorite book: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Hillary Clinton
Favorite feminist anthem: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: walking in the woods
Perfect day (in one sentence): Waking up with the sun and spending the day on the water with family.

Jeannette Eaton

Jeannette Eaton has been working for nonprofits for nearly two decades as an advocate for women and girls in crisis, a volunteer coordinator for adult literacy, and a family literacy instructor. She is a writer who runs her own business, Paper Trail Creative Writing Workshops, a new Teaching Artist at The Telling Room in Portland and is beginning a two-year mindfulness teacher training this January. She has a Master’s in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College, where she learned to use the written word for social change. Connecting with and contributing to her community has been the focus and passion of her work. She attended her first Girls Rock! conference with her daughter this spring, and is so excited to be joining the Hardy Girls Board to support girls in Maine. She lives in Alna, with her husband, son, and daughter. She loves hanging out with her family and friends, reading books, being in water, and many other things like making mix tapes, any kind of exercise, and cupcakes.

Five Questions with Jeannette

(Disclaimer from Jeannette: I am one of those people who have thousands of “favorites” because I am delighted all the time! I’ve tried to narrow, but a few things I just can’t narrow! But if you need me to, then take the first choice of any I left more than one!!)

Favorite book: Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh & so many more!
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: June Jordan, Anne Lamott, Margaret Atwood, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Michelle Obama
Favorite feminist anthem: Not a Pretty Girl by Ani DiFranco
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: the kitchen table
Perfect day (in one sentence): Headphones, ocean, notebook.

Abigail Taylor-Roth

Abigail attends Colby College where she is studying Math, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Computer Science. She has been involved with Hardy Girls Healthy Women as a muse and program leader and is excited to work with the organization more as a board member! In her free time, Abigail enjoys hiking (especially in Alaska, where she grew up), reading, and expanding her croc collection.

Five Questions with Abigail

Favorite book: Sula by Toni Morrison
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Donna Haraway!! (feminist theorist about science)
Favorite feminist anthem: Who Run the World by Beyonce
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: dining hall with my friends
Perfect day (in one sentence): Going on a long hike and camping on a beautiful day in Juneau with my favorite people.

Spring Share with MaineShare

This year, we’re trying something new with one of our favorite partners: MaineShare. 

Donate to Hardy Girls through the Spring Share campaign here. May 18 is the designated Day of Giving, but you can donate anytime. On this day, let’s show how generous Mainers are. Let’s celebrate and support the causes and values we care about in Maine! Give directly to MaineShare to support all organizations equally, or give to the cause or causes you care about (we know we’re your favorite! 🙂 )  May is a great month to share your love of Maine. Ask your friends who love Maine as much as you do to take a minute to give back to the Maine they love in support of economic opportunity, the environment, safety, health, social justice, peace, education, cultural diversity, and the arts!

MaineShare is a statewide organization with 40 progressive organizations as members. MaineShare has focused on workplace giving in the past and is now launching this new campaign. Join us and our partners in making it a success!

Girls Rock! Conference Registration Open!

Girls Rock! Conferences are planned BY girls FOR girls.  The high school girls on the Girls Advisory Board choose topics for the conference that are relevant to them AND YOU!  They are the speakers and the workshop facilitators. In fact, they design the workshops! It’s a fun filled day of learning, sharing, growing and some girl-powered activism!


The conference is open to girls* in 4th-8th grade and their chaperones. Registration is $20 per person with full and partial scholarships available. Lunch and a t-shirt are included with your registration. Conferences run from 9am – 1pm with check-in starting at 8:30am.

Girls Rock! Southern Maine (PORTLAND) is planned for March 30, 2018 at Maine Girls Academy. You can register online here or download this paper form to send in.

Girls Rock! Eastern Maine (BANGOR) is planned for April 6, 2018 at UMaine Orono. You can register online here or download this paper form to send in.


Girls Rock! Central Maine (WATERVILLE) is planned for April 27, 2018 at Colby College. You can register online here or download this paper form to send in.

*Inclusivity Statement

Interested participants who self-identify as female are welcome to attend 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.

Get your tickets for March 2nd 2018 Girls Rock! Awards!


Join Hardy Girls Healthy Women, Moxie Maine Magazine, The Maine Girls’ Academy, and National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman for a night of celebrating six Maine girls for their personal, academic, athletic, humanitarian and straight-up awesome achievements at our annual Girls Rock! Awards. This catered ceremony is one of Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s biggest fundraisers for its annual programming that cultivates positive girl culture and supportive communities through workshops and action projects.

Friday, March 2, 2018
Maine Girls Academy in Portland

The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Amanda Gorman, was named the inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States in April 2017. She was also the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, and was invited to the White House by Michelle Obama, The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, Hot 97, and gave numerous readings across the United States. To read more about Amanda, you can visit her website.

5:30-6:20: Social hour (passed appetizers and cash bar)
6:20-7:30: Program
7:30-8: Dessert and coffee, opportunity to meet our keynote and award winners!

Meet our award winners:






COMMUNITY ORGANIZER – This girl sees the importance of a united community and is making it happen by bringing together her school, peers, and/or community. She is not afraid to start changing the soil, especially for other girls!

BRENDA VIOLA – Portland – Grade 12, Age 17 – Brenda came to Maine from a Kenyan refugee camp five years ago. Now a senior at Deering High School, she does public speaking events about the environment through Environmental Changemakers, tutors elementary school children through Teen Trendsetters, is part of the Maine Medical Explorers program and sings in a choir of immigrant youth. As well as volunteers on Maine People’s Alliance civic engagement and Know Your Rights project in Portland, coordinated to share legal rights information to immigrant communities of Portland. She’s also a member of the Sisterhood Club at DHS, ran on the track team, and worked on a social media campaign for Portland Public Schools. She led her own project interviewing homeless people in Portland. She is part of Make It Happen! at her high school. Brenda was named one of the ten Mainers We Are Most Thankful For in 2017 by the Portland Press Herald.

TITLE IX CHAMPION – This girl is an advocate for girls’ equal access to sports, including athletic facilities, coaching, education or equipment.

KAHLER MARSH –  Scarborough – Grade 3, Age 9 – Kahler Marsh, in the spirit of Title IX, uses sports to help break down barriers for girls. This past spring, Kahler was the only girl in Scarborough to play for a Little League baseball team as well as the only girl to play on the boys’ youth lacrosse team. Likewise, this fall, Kahler was the only girl to play flag football in our town. When people ask why she wants to play traditional boys sports, Kahler simply asks why not. Kahler has gained the respect of teammates and shown people that girls can indeed compete with boys. By having the courage to challenge the status quo, Kahler is letting other girls, as well as boys, parents and coaches, know that a female athlete should have every right to play any sport. Simply by being a young girl determined to play, Kahler is inspiring other girls to follow their dreams regardless of the antiquated expectations for females.

AGAINST THE ODDS ADVOCATE – This girl refuses to be limited by what has traditionally been known as a physical mental health or developmental challenge. She is busy redefining “able” and making positive changes for girls in Maine along the way.

EMMA FOSTER – Orrington – Grade 12, Age 17 – At two days old, Emma was diagnosed as deaf.  Since she was young she’s advocated for successfully mandating the insurance companies in Maine provide hearing tests to newborns. She has conducted a “Diversity” class for future social workers, principals and students majoring in special needs at the University of Maine. Emma has participated for several years in an American Sign Language course at UMO to work with students to learn to work with deaf children.  In July 2016, she was nominated to the Board of Commissioners for the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing, Late Deafened/Blind at the State House.  She is the State of Maine’s “Student Ambassador” and represents all the deaf/HOH children in the State of Maine. In August 2016, she was appointed to the Maine Educational Center for the deaf/Hard-of-Hearing (Baxter School for the Deaf) School Board and recently has been part of a subcommittee for Legislature issues at the state level representing the school board.

HEALTH PROMOTER: This girl supports and/or works on wellness policies or programs that promote healthy lifestyles and choices, such as mental, emotional and/or physical health.

RILEY MAYES – Portland, Age 17 – Riley has a particular skill and interest in unifying all genders toward a school and community climate of safety and healthy sexuality by preventing gender based violence among young people. At Waynflete, Riley became a member of the RAPS (Raising Awareness & Providing Support) program: a group that focuses on the physical and mental well-being of the students. She has developed and delivered the Safer Sexuality Program to Freshman students as part of her leadership role within the program. Riley spent a summer abroad studying sexuality in Amsterdam. Shortly after her summer experience, Riley began volunteering for Maine Boys to Men. She spent the last two summers meeting with Boys to Men staff to review and write their 12 Hour High School curriculum specifically in the areas of healthy sexuality, healthy relationships, online harassment, sexting and technology respect.  Additionally, Riley assisted Maine Boys to Men create the RSVP Rally program, is a member of the Youth Advisory Council, served on panels and facilitated events at other schools. She participated in a Train the Trainer Model and then was responsible as the Lead facilitator of a three hour training to 40 students. She seeks authentically to partner men and women, boys and girls in dialogue that opens hearts and changes actions.

STEM-GINEER – This girl succeeds in science, technology, engineering or math.  She rejects the idea these subjects are not for girls and has created a counter narrative with her accomplishments.  She could be an inventor, a competition winner, or a pioneer in her field.

MARINA MOHAWASS – Bangor – Age 16 – Marina is originally from Egypt. Her father sent her to the United States with the hopes of safety and a chance to pursue her education. And she has! Marina has excelled in a highly competitive and elite level academic program at Bangor High School.  The STEM program at BHS has a highly successful student research program that has resulted in multiple and successive prize winners in the nation’s most prestigious science competitions. She is the leader of BHS’s State of Maine Stormwater Management Research Team (SMART) program, a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program that seeks to engage underrepresented students in STEM related education and potentially careers.   She is currently working on a research project designed to remove heavy metal pollutants, E. coli, and phosphorus from contaminated water supplies.  Her novel approach uses mycorrhizal fungi to remediate the water.  Last year she designed an “ecological diaper” using cellulose nanofibers to eliminate plastic from the waste stream. She commonly is seen at school as late as 9 pm working on her various research projects. Marina has a passion and drive that is rarely seen at any level.

ENTREPRENEUR – This girl turned her passion into a paycheck by building up her own business and her bank account.

JAELIN ROBERTS – Bangor – Grade 10, Age 15 – At age 12, Jaelin began baking macarons for her friends. In October 2016, her mom had a chance meeting with the owner of Coffee Hound Coffee Bar, a small coffee shop in Bangor. The owners of Coffee Hound tried one of Jaelin’s macarons and offered to sell them at their coffee shop. From that simple exchange grew Simply Macarons by Jaelin. Now Jaelin is cooking for customers online, by phone and on Saturday mornings at a local Bangor European Farmer’s Market. Ten percent of Jaelin’s profit goes to the nonprofit “Love Without Boundaries” to help orphaned and impoverished children.


Space is limited for this amazing event, so please register today! Tickets are $40.

#GirlsRockAward2018 #GRA2018 #AmandaGorman #HardyGirlsHealthyWomen #MaineGirlsAcademy


Thank you to our 2018 Girls Rock! sponsors:

Carly Traub

Carly Traub is an attorney in Portland, ME. Carly graduated from Brown University in 2009 where she majored in Human Biology and rowed for four years on the Women’s Crew Team. After graduating, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania teaching high school math and physics and running girls empowerment conferences with fellow volunteers. Carly then attended the University of Maine School of Law where, as a student attorney with the Human Rights and Refugee Clinic, she represented individuals seeking asylum and other forms of immigration relief. After graduating in 2015, she continued to practice immigration law before serving as a judicial law clerk for the District Courts in York County. Carly currently serves on the board of the Kennebunk Beach Triathlon Club and is passionate about using sport to improve girls’ and women’s self-esteem, to challenge gender stereotypes and to develop leadership skills. She lives with her husband and dog in South Portland. In her free time, she enjoys baking, crafting, swimming, biking, and running. 

Five Questions with Carly

Favorite book: The Odyssey by Homer
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: my grandmothers
Favorite feminist anthem: I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: anywhere
Perfect day (in one sentence): Morning run. Walk with my husband and dog on the beach. Swim in the ocean and lobster roll for dinner.

Sponsor Girls Rock!

Girls Rock! sponsorships support Hardy Girls’ year-round programming serving 1,200+ girls annually. To learn more about sponsorship, download our sponsorship package here. We invite you to send a powerful message that your company is dedicated to Maine girls by sponsoring the 2018 Girls Rock! Awards and Conferences. For more information, contact Kelli.

Join these incredible companies in sponsoring this event: