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 with the law firm of Bendett & McHugh, P.C. 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 fiancé and dog in South Portland. In her free time, she enjoys baking, crafting, swimming, biking, and running. 

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:

Women’s Action Groups

Are you ready to cause a ruckus?

We have been supporting the activism of girls for a long time but you have told us that there is a great need for convening and supporting the activism work of adult women too.  You are already calling senators, sending postcards, donating. But you want to do more. You are not alone. This is a chance to bring together, in coalition, the many women in our state who’ve thought to themselves, “I can’t just sit here. I need to do something.”

In the vein of our Girls Coalition Groups, we’re offering ongoing Women’s Action Groups. These groups, facilitated by trained Hardy Girls adult muses, will be focused on educating ourselves and taking action on the issues that matter most to women and girls. Each group will focus on a specific issue that is most relevant to them.  Topics could include but are not limited to: combatting street harassment, sexualization of girls and women in the media, access to reproductive health, human rights, and children’s rights.  Whether you want to make change on a local level or advocate nationally, this is your opportunity to act. Groups are open to women of all walks of life and political leanings.

Thank you to everyone who attended our kickoff events!! We’ve finalized our group locations/days/times. Registration for groups is now open. Check your schedules for which one will work best for you. Groups will meet monthly March – December 2017 and be $15/mth. Participants can choose to make a one-time donation of $150 or sign up for monthly payments of $15.

  1. Augusta – 2nd Wednesdays of the month – 6-7pm – Register here.
  2. Bangor – 1st Thursdays of the month – 6:30-7:30pm – Register here.
  3. Brunswick – 2nd Thursdays of the month – 6-7pm – Register here.
  4. Portland – 1st Wednesdays of the month – 6-7pm – Register here. WAIT LIST ONLY
  5. Portland – 2nd Thursdays of the month – 7-8pm – Register here. WAIT LIST ONLY
  6. Portland – 1st Thursdays of the month – 6-7pm – Register here.
  7. Waterville – 2nd Wednesdays of the month  – 7-8pm – Register here.

WAIT LIST NOTE: If you are interested in a group that is full, please still submit your registration for the wait list. We are monitoring these and adding/consolidating groups based on registration interest. 

Year End Giving


At a meeting of our 8th grade Girls Coalition Group early this fall, my co-muse Taylor and I planned a discussion of “the double standard,” per the girls’ request to talk about the presidential election. Over the next 45 minutes, the girls identified the sexism in media coverage of the election and then voiced their concern over the double standard in their future high school’s dress code. We suggested they create a skit about their observations, and I quickly found myself near tears–both in awe of their brilliance and in disgust at our reality–as they built a story that deconstructs the way sexism in dress codes controls girls’ bodies and limits their education. In the skit, one girl is told repeatedly to cover up (beginning with a bra strap and ending with her “scandalous ankles”) until she is completely tied up in sweatshirts and collapses on the ground, lamenting “I can’t even learn like this!” The skit’s teacher then admonishes her for distracting the class and sends her to the principal’s office. Taylor and I sat in silence, recognizing that our group was truly working in coalition to change their realities; Hardy Girls was working.img_0738
I joined Hardy Girls during my first month at Colby, and my participation in the organization has influenced my educational and activist pursuits more than any other experience. Between leading groups, trainings with Christine, our program director, and classes at Colby with Lyn Mikel Brown, HGHW’s co-founder, I have seen the power of creating spaces to give young people not only a voice but also the tools for activism.

One of our girls recently observed that our girls group allows us to build our “feminist umbrellas” to protect ourselves from the “sexist rain” that surrounds us.

In none of my gender theory classes in college have I heard such an apt and intelligible analogy. Our group works together to identify the sexism and injustice in our lives and then, just as importantly, to imagine how to resist and remake our surroundings.
Our work at Hardy Girls has never felt as urgent as it does as 2016 comes to a close. Over the past few months, Taylor and I grappled with how to support our girls through the objectification and devaluation of women’s bodies that we saw praised in the news everyday. We talked about LGBTQ and immigrant rights, topics personal to members of our group. A lot of the girls I work with are scared for their safety and the safety of their family, but they come to Hardy Girls programs ready to make a difference. Few other places in their lives trust their voices and experiences in the way we do.
I often think about how Hardy Girls has served me in so many more ways than I could serve it. I found the organization as an 18 year old college student, but I wonder what would have happened if I had been given the space in 6th grade to explore feminism, activism, and coalition. However, I am wholly confident that creating these spaces for young girls today is the most effective social activism I can be doing. As our political climate gets increasingly more frightening, I find hope and energy in our girls’ resiliency and resistance. Thank you for your support of Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s programming; together, we will support a generation of Maine girls who recognize their brilliance and ability to speak up and act out.

Adrienne Carmack, HGHW Board Member, 3rd year Muse, Colby ’18

  1. Donate today. We are a small staff (2 people!) working with 1,184 girls around the state! We need your support.
  2. Become a monthly muse. By supporting us monthly, even with $5, we can focus our efforts on taking girls seriously and putting the power in their hands to challenge a society that ignores their brilliance. Instead of worrying about cashflow. 10487175_10152256777098981_3391802768744727859_n
  3. Sign up through MyChange. With this easy program, whenever you make a purchase on your card, your total is rounded up to the nearest dollar and your change is donated to Hardy Girls! Easy sign up and can cancel at any time.
  4. Link to us through AmazonSmile. When shopping online, 0.5% of your purchases will be donated to Hardy Girls. Every dollar counts!


Maine Foodie Tours!


During the month of September, Maine Foodie Tours will be donating $1 of every ticket sold to Hardy Girls Healthy Women! What are Foodie Tours, you ask? From their website:

Our beloved Portland, Kennebunkport, Rockland and Bar Harbor are steeped in rich local and maritime history. They are also home to an abundance of organic produce, dairy products from our farms, and fresh fish and seafood from our harbors. Many imaginative and flavorful local dishes and confections – each often with an intriguing history of its own – are created by resourceful Maine chefs and purveyors, brewmasters, bakers, mixologists and more! Join Maine Foodie Tours as we uncover the storied past of these vibrant towns with our highly entertaining guides. You’ll enjoy tasty samplings of local fare created by talented artisans who continue to create and inspire!

So, enjoy some local fare and give to your local girls organization at the same time. Happy eating!

Mark your Calendar for the Freaky 5k: Saturday, October 29

Dust off your ruby slippers, yeti boots, or running/walking shoes and mark your calendar for Saturday, October 29th at the Diamond Building/Colby Green at Colby College.

The Freaky 5k is a reminder that Halloween should be about imaginative and creative costumes, not the frighteningly sexualized ones peddled to even the youngest girls. We invite you to join us for a costumes appreciated trot through town in support of Hardy Girls Healthy Women.  Grab a bed sheet or a boa (and maybe a friend) and we will see you there!

Pre-registration is closed. You are welcome to come and register at the event! Day of registration is $35 for adults and $25 for youth & students. Prices include a rad green ruckus yowie, pre-race festivities, and a timed result. Feeling extra motivated?  Set up a fundraising page and help show more girls they can be who they want in costume and in life.

Some Details:
9am Checkin Opens
9:15 Kids Run
9:45 Costume Contest
10:00 Race Begins

Have more questions? Check out our Freaky 5k page for more info.


Awards and Recognition

In October 2015, Hardy Girls was awarded the MYAN Impact Award for Empowering Organization.

In September 2014, Lyn Mikel Brown, HGHW Co-Creator, received a Bammy Award for College Professor of the Year from The Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International.

In May 2013, Girls Advisory Board members Julia Bluhm, Maya Brown, and Izzy Labbe won Maine Women’s Fund’s Samantha Smith Award for their activist work with SPARK Movement

In March 2013, Lyn Mikel Brown, HGHW Co-Creator, was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame. The Maine Women’s Hall of Fame, held in March in observance of Women’s History Month, takes place at the University of Maine at Augusta and is dedicated to women whose achievements have had a significant statewide impact and have significantly improved the lives of women in Maine and whose contributions have an enduring value for women.

In May 2012, Karen Heck, HGHW Co-Creator, was awarded the Statewide Advocate Award by the Maine Children’s Trust at their 2012 Annual Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Recognition Awards.

In May 2012, Kristin Bishop, a HGHW Girls Advisory Board (GAB) member, was appointed by Gov. Paul LePage to serve as a student representative on the Maine State Board of Education. Kristin begins her two-year term in June 2012 as one of only two student representatives on the board. Kristin will represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District on the board. The Maine State Board of Education advises the commissioner of education on matters concerning state education laws and makes education policy recommendations to the legislative and executive branches of state government.

In April 2012, Maya Brown, 2011-12 Girls Advisory Board (GAB) President, was the recipient of the Youth Philanthropist of the Year Award from Maine Association of Nonprofits and Colby College.

In June 2011, Jackie Dupont, Vice President of Research and Program Development for Hardy Girls Healthy Women was honored with the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) Impact Award for her work empowering girls.

In 2010, Hardy Girls Healthy Women was presented with a 2010 Governor’s Award for Nonprofit Excellence at the Annual Colby Institute for Leadership Luncheon at Colby College.  The award was presented by the Maine Association of Nonprofits to the six Maine nonprofit organizations that have achieved significant results by utilizing ingenuity combined with sound management practices.

Governor Baldacci said, “This year’s honorees represent the innovative spirit that has earned Maine a reputation for top quality workmanship, service and a commitment to excellence. Each company selected has an incredibly strong record of community service and workforce investment. I am proud to honor them all as distinguished members of our community.”

In 2010, Tobi Schneider, HGHW board member, was recognized by Colby College and the Maine Philanthropy Center as Central Maine Philanthropist of the Year for her years of work in the central Maine community, including having been with Hardy Girls Healthy Women since the start.

In 2010, HGHW’s President, Megan Williams, was awarded the first ever Open Door Award by the Frances Perkins Center, an award given to a woman under 30 who has demonstrated exceptional leadership.

In 2009, HGHW’s President, Megan Williams, was listed in the Mainebiz Next List, a list of ten amazing people who are shaping the future of Maine’s economy.

In 2009, Lyn Mikel Brown Ed.D., HGHW Co-Creator, was awarded the New diMensions Award with Mark Tappan, Ed.D. by Boys To Men, a non-profit whose mission is to reduce interpersonal violence by offering programs that support the healthy development of adolescent boys, located in Portland, ME.

In 2008, Karen Heck, HGHW Co-Creator, was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame. The Maine Women’s Hall of Fame, held in March in observance of Women’s History Month, takes place at the University of Maine at Augusta and is dedicated to women whose achievements have had a significant statewide impact and have significantly improved the lives of women in Maine and whose contributions have an enduring value for women.

In 2006, Karen Heck, HGHW Co-Creator, was awarded the Maine Statewide AAUW Achievement Citation Award, the highest award for extraordinary community involvement in women’s issues.

In 2006, Lyn Mikel Brown Ed.D., HGHW Co-Creator, was awarded the Maine International Film Festival’s GAL (Groundbreaking Activist Leadership) Award for Ugly Ducklings, a cutting edge multi-media program designed to educate and inspire people to take action against bias-based bullying and harassment gay and lesbian youth.

In 2005, Lyn Mikel Brown Ed.D., HGHW Co-Creator, was awarded the Sarah Orne Jewett Award in Portland, ME. The award is given to outstanding women by The Maine Women’s Fund.

In 2002, Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s fabulous Co-Creators, Karen Heck, Lyn Mikel Brown and Lynn Cole, won the Business and Professional Women’s Women of the Year Award. Each year these awards are given to women who are outstanding in their work and/or in helping other women and families.

Girls Rock! Recap

Did you miss the best weekend of the year: Girls Rock! Weekend?

Well it was an amazing time and you need to add it to your calendar for next year.
Nearly 250 girls and their allies attend Girls Rock! Waterville and 125 came to Portland. We celebrated with almost 100 people at our Girls Rock! Awards including sponsors, parents, and representation from Rep. Pingree, and Senators King and Collins.
We’ve posted some photos from the events on our Facebook page. There was also news coverage of Girls Rock! Waterville and a winner from our Girls Rock! Awards. You can see videos of all the winners here.
If you work with/parent/are an 8th grader who might be interested in being a part of the Girls Advisory Board who plans the weekend, applications are open now. If you are interested in bringing girls’ and/or adult workshops to your community/school, please be in touch with us at or 861-8131. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updated resources and news.
Another thank you to our sponsors, specifically MaineGeneral Health, IDEXX Laboratories, This Girl’s Tees and Bagel Guy. If you loved what you saw that weekend and want us to be able to reach more girls, consider a donation to Hardy Girls.
The Hardy Girls’ Team
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