Girls Rock! Awards 2020

Purchase tickets for our 2020 Girls Rock! Awards here!

How can you participate?

  • Attend! Click here to buy tickets. (Social hour starts at 5:30pm with the program beginning at 6:20)
  • Host! Want to join our host committee? Click here to sign up.
  • Sponsor! Does your company want to cause a ruckus with us? Check out these benefits and then click here to sign up.

Our 2020 Girls Rock! Awards Keynote Speaker is Nadya Okamoto

Nadya Okamoto, who grew up in Portland, OR, is a 21-years-old Harvard student on a leave of absence. She is the Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD (, an organization she founded at the age of 16. PERIOD is now the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health, and one of the fastest growing ones here in the United States. Since 2014 they have addressed over 800,000 periods and registered over 500 campus chapters. In 2017, Nadya ran for office in Cambridge, MA. While she did not win, her campaign team made historic waves in mobilizing young people on the ground and at polls. Nadya recently published her debut book, Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement with publisher Simon & Schuster, which made the Kirkus Reviews list for Best Young Adult Nonfiction of 2018. Most recently, Nadya has become the Chief Brand Officer of JUV Consulting, a Generation Z marketing agency based in NYC. Most recently Nadya was named to InStyle Magazine’s “The Badass 50: Meet the Women Who Are Changing the Worldlist, along with Michelle Obama, Ariana Grande, and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Nadya is a leading speaker about The Menstrual Movement, the power of Generation Z and youth activism, and overcoming adversity (and how she turned her experiences into a platform for advocacy).

As a quick preview, here’s a link to her recent MAKERS speech,  first TED talk about the Menstrual Movement, Stories of Women Summit speech on Jealousy, and speech from the Teen Vogue summit this past June where she introduced Cecile Richards.

We’ll be announcing our 2020 Girls Rock! Award recipients mid-January!

Purchase tickets for our 2020 Girls Rock! Awards here!

Hardy Spotlight: Kelli!

Each month, those of us working with Hardy Girls Healthy Women want to share the talent and vision of some of our incredible staff, volunteers, students, and board members. To start this new year, we’re introducing you to our phenomenal leader, Kelli McCannell. Kelli is HGHW’s Executive Director, and she does an incredible job helping this organization thrive and grow. 

How did you get involved with Hardy Girls?
I saw the organization on my first visit to Maine (in 2009) and stalked professionally since then. When the ED job opened up, I’d just had my second son (he was 4mths) and couldn’t resist applying.

What do you do at HGHW?
I focus on operations and fundraising. Because we are a small nonprofit, I also do some programming (which I love!!). In operations, I make sure we have someplace to work, people to do the work, and a bunch of behind the scenes logistics. With fundraising, I make sure we can pay for all of that! 🙂

What’s a typical day like for you?
I’m typically applying for grants (or sending reports for ones we already received), following up with donors, checking in with coworkers, working on graphic design (flyers, letters, social media – oh my!), posting on social media, reading recent articles to follow trends on gender and girls’ development, and more! 

What’s one thing you love doing as part of HGHW?

There are soooo many things I love doing at HGHW. I LOVE talking to adults about how to take youth seriously. I love talking to young people about media and watching the whole conspiracy of girl/women stereotypes open up in their minds while they realize “No wonder I feel this way!” I love driving a group of teenagers and overhearing their conversations on the minutiae and the big parts of their lives – they are so smart and hilarious and caring.

What do you wish you’d known earlier or that someone had told you?
I wish I’d known that most things don’t matter. So many little things in life felt so big to me — getting a perfect score on a test, are people noticing that I didn’t shave my legs today? should I share my thoughts in this class/meeting/interaction? what if I sound stupid?, how long do I have to wait to respond to someone I want to talk to without seeming too eager?, do I have something in my teeth?, would friends tell me if I stink at this?, am I allowed to be proud of my artwork? — and it’s exhausting to care that much all the time! No one was really looking at me because they were mostly too self-conscious of themselves. No one remembers when I had stubbly legs or told an unfunny joke. There are better things to spend my energies on. How am I showing people I love them? How am I changing the world. Those are questions to hang out with!

What have you learned from Board Members, the Girls Advisory Board, and Muses?
Relationships have always been the most valuable mirror for me. When I see our Girls Advisory Board being comfortable in their voices and owning their passions, it inspires me to do the same. When I see folks setting healthy boundaries, it shows me ways to do that, too. I really appreciate watching folks be vulnerable, navigate challenging conversations, and be genuine. It helps me see examples of what that looks like and adapt it for myself. I’m always impressed with folks grace, humility, and strength. GAB and Muses also teach me lots of updated vocabulary and theories!

You have a free day to yourself — what do you do?
Oooh, so rare. A good chunk would be spent reading – outside if possible or some comfy place inside. And if I didn’t get completely lost in the book for the whole day, I’d add whatever art project I’m currently working on. Right now, it’s a quilt for my oldest friend. The math of quilting, the colors of the fabric, and the physical aspect of sewing are all so calming to me. I lose time and feel accomplished.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about you?
I love singing. I only do it in the car, the shower if no one is home, and sometimes with my kids. I think I’m pretty good, but depending on the song, my kids want none of it. 🙂

What are you happiest doing when you’re not in school or at work
Being silly with my kids. I love when we all get laughing and can’t stop. When we end up out of breath and giddy. It feels so joyful.

Favorite place in Maine?
Lake George in Skowhegan is such a little gem. There’s a big-enough beach, shade, place for dogs, and enough of a lake to canoe in. We can spend hours there with very little sibling-fights. When we leave, everyone has pink cheeks, sandy feet, damp butts, and is ready for an early bedtime.


Maeve – Waynflete High School – Falmouth

My name is Maeve Devine and I am a sophomore at Waynflete. I love making art, writing, and dogs! This is my first year on the girls advisory board and I am so excited!

Favorite book: Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman 
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Aretha Franklin
Favorite feminist anthem: Like a girl by Lizzo 
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: Everywhere! 
Perfect day (in one sentence): making pancakes with my mom and sister on a rainy Sunday
How are you making a ruckus? by joining GAB, and continuing to be active in school clubs ( GLTR- a feminism group and HOPE club- a mental health advocacy group). 

Girls Rock! 2020 Conferences

Girls Rock! 2020
Conference Registration is 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! GAB members design the workshops, are the speakers, and the workshop facilitators too. It’s a fun-filled day of learning, sharing, growing and includes lots of girl-powered activism!
The conferences are open to girls* in grades 4-8 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 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.



Girls Rock! Southern Maine (PORTLAND) is planned for March 27, 2020 at Waynflete School. You can register online here or download this paper form to send in.

Girls Rock! Eastern Maine (BANGOR) is planned for April 2, 2020 at Challenger Learning Center. You can register online here or download this paper form to send in.

Girls Rock! Central Maine (WATERVILLE) is planned for April 3, 2020 at Colby College. You can register online here or download this paper form to send in.

Hardy Girls Healthy Women takes girls* seriously through year-round, statewide programs that put the power in their hands to challenge a society that ignores their brilliance. We dare adult allies to join us in standing with girls.

* self-identifying girls and gender expansive folks.


Join the #JanuHairy2020
and awareness campaign

At Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW), we’re interested in asking questions — of ourselves, and of the culture that shapes us. For the month of January, we’re thinking critically about our relationships with body hair. Why do we shave, or not? And do we make those decisions for ourselves? 

Join us in our #JanuHairy2020 fundraiser and awareness campaign! Start conversations about body hair, listen deeply to the folks who share their stories, and make a financial donation of any amount to support HGHW programming that helps girls* across Maine challenge a society that ignores their brilliance. 

This is how you can participate in #JanuHairy2020

1. Sign up and donate the money you’d spend on hair removal to Hardy Girls 

Donate your hair-removal money to building coalitions of girls across the state of Maine, and save your shaving-time for squashing gender norms!

Please don’t let money stop you from participating! We’ve set these levels of participation to accommodate (hopefully) everyone:
$10.35 – No razors for me this month!
$31.65 – Skipping my monthly bikini wax.
$84.40 – Brows, legs, and bikini wax will just have to wait.
$1 – I’m a student/don’t have the cash, but want to participate.


2. Become one of the 31 brave folks to be a part of our
#JanuHairy2020 photo essays

Share your personal story and experiences learning hair-related gender norms.
E-mail with #JanuHairy2020 in the subject line to receive more information about how to participate in the photo essays.

3. See what it’s like not to shave for a month!

What if you just didn’t shave, wax, or pluck for a month? What would you notice? How would you feel? Would other people notice? What would they say? Try not removing hair for a month to challenge the way you think about your body and the choices we all make about body hair.

4. Start conversations on social media with #JanuHairy2020

Ask your friends and family what they think about body hair and gender expectations on your social media accounts, or share a selfie and your experiences with body hair and learning gender expectations with your social circle. Start interesting conversations and use the #JanuHairy2020 hashtag!

Feeling bold? Try all 4 of the above!

Get creative! See what it’s like not shaving. Or donate personal care products to a women’s shelter. Talk with someone you trust about why they do or do not shave.

We welcome the participation of anyone who wants to challenge gender norms around body hair. We’d love for each person to choose a way to participate meaningfully.

Sign up to donate for #JanuHairy2020 to help us measure the fundraising progress.

Molly Woodhouse

Molly Woodhouse

Molly is a junior at South Portland and it is her first year on the Girls Advisory Board. She enjoys running, babysitting, science, volunteering, participating in her school musical, and helping others. Molly believes this is an amazing program in which she can empower girls around her community and cannot wait to see where this opportunity takes her.

Five Questions with Molly

Favorite book: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Blythe Baird
Favorite feminist anthem: Praying by Kesha
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: In school
Perfect day (in one sentence): A summer day at the beach with friends. 

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:



I am a junior at Bangor High School. I am the campaign manager and volunteer coordinator for Clare Davitt for Bangor City Council. I am also the president of my school’s Women’s Interest Group. In my free time I work on my art, which I recently won the Maine Civil Rights Team Art Award for.



Anna is a senior at Winslow High School.  She enjoys family time at the lake, kayaking, and hiking. She is an active member in the performing arts including being the Vice President of the International Thespian Society at Winslow High School, a percussionist in the school band, a member of student government, and recently sat on the committee for the proposal of the new performing arts center.  Anna is looking forward to her second year in GAB in hopes to promoting a positive image of feminism and activism to other young girls in her community.

Five Questions with Anna

Favorite book: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Lorelai Gilmore
Favorite feminist anthem: Women by Kesha
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: Car rides with friends.
Perfect day (in one sentence): An overcast, warm day, where I can sip tea and be the people I love.



Kaitlyn – Massabesic High School –      North Waterboro

Kaitlyn is a 16 year old junior at Massabesic High School. She wants others to feel comfortable with who they are and the same for herself. Kaitlyn is always singing and playing with all her animals. She has been in GAB for three years. Growing up in a more conservative town has fueled Kaitlyn’s passion for feminism. She thinks that GAB is a great way for young women to teach the younger generation about how to believe in themselves and stand up to cause a Ruckus!

Favorite book: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Emma Watson
Favorite feminist anthem: Truth Hurts by Lizzo
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: In the middle of class to educate my peers about what feminism REALLY is.
Perfect day (in one sentence)Spending a day with my family without having to worry about anything at all.
How are you making a ruckus? Voicing my opinion in my community and joining other groups/organizations that share my beliefs so we can continue to make change. Also, creating conversations between opposing viewpoints so there is room for each side to learn and understand each others’ experiences and backgrounds.