The Girls Rock! Awards is our biggest night of the year! We honor amazing girls from around Maine who are leaders in community organizing, entrepreneurship, health advocacy, STEM, athletics, and challenging adversity. Join us to hear some amazing stories of girls from around our state who break stereotypes, challenge society and rock! Your attendance and donations make our year-round programming, serving over a 1,000 girls, possible. We hope you will join us on March 2, 2018 to stand with us to take girls seriously.
Interested in nominating a girl who rocks? Click here!
Here our winners from the 2017 Girls Rock Awards.
Against the Odds winner Julia Hanson, 17, Falmouth, founded The Yellow Tulip Project after losing her two best friends to suicide last year and dealing with her own depression. The Yellow Tulip Project is aimed at smashing the stigma around mental illness and helping others feel less alone or ashamed. She’s energized school groups and community organizations this fall to plant Hope Gardens and has received support all across the state and beyond. She is passionate about changing the conversation about an issue that affects 1 in 5 teens.
Community Organizer, Madelina Rocha, 11, Portland, was new to the country when she was a kindergarden student. Now, as a fifth grader, she returns to the kindergarden class daily to work with some of her school’s most vulnerable students; those who are new to the country and new to the school community. With her gentle approach and command of multiple languages, Madelina makes these young students feel welcomed and successful. Madeline shows incredible empathy and caring and skill, as she teaches and inspires confidence in these students. Additionally, she is an active member of her school’s civil rights team and works with the group to make the culture of the school one of acceptance and inclusion. Madelina is busy organizing an accepting school culture for her and her classmates to learn and grow.
Entrepreneur, Tyra Michaud, 19, Frenchville, completed a 7 year apprenticeship (over 600 hours) prior to opening her own dog grooming business. She then took on her own clients working out of her mentor’s business. This past spring, Tyra bought her own building and is now running her business and growing her clientele successfully, additionally challenging because of the rural nature of her home town. Tyra has already begun taking courses at University of Maine, Fort Kent and plans on pursuing her degree in business.
Health Advocate, Grace McIntosh, 16, Wilton, has an eye for the needs of her peers. First she noticed that some of her classmates were hungry and did a drive to stock the food pantry closet. She took it a step further and set up a system so that students in need could receive food from the pantry discreetly. When it became colder, she again noticed that classmates could use warm clothing. She set up a district-wide email system for teachers to request coats for students. Grace would deliver them to the teachers who would be able to get the clothing to the student in need while maintaining their dignity and privacy.
STEM-gineer, Hallie MacDougal, 16, Lincolnville, has wanted to be a marine biologist since she was 7 and has been researching colleges on her own since the age of 8. Over the years she has participated in many programs and has completed an array of research around her favorite topic of Marine Biology. In 10th grade, she put on a dry suit in January and waded chest-deep in the ocean to collect plankton specimens over the course of week and examine them under a microscope; she presented her findings at school in a PechaKucha series. This past fall, Hallie learned about RARGOM and decided to apply to have a research poster on display at the conference. She was accepted and was the only high school student there; she was asked a number of times where she taught. For her 11th grade project, she is researching plankton and their ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Hallie is a bright and passionate student and an example for her peers that girls can excel in science.
Title IX Champion, Johorey Abdirahaman, 17, Lewiston, is a devout Somali-Muslim and one of the most decorated student-athletes (cross country and track and field) at Lewiston High School; often times, these two identities combination seem to come into contrast with one another, yet Johorey has managed to weave both these identities into her own newfound sense of self. Johorey is extremely passionate about female participation in athletics, especially for Somali and Muslim females, encouraging her friends and peers to join her. In addition, she has defied the stereotypes that Muslim girls cannot participate in athletics; she competes in hijab and modest clothing, and is often faster than those who are not dressed modestly. Johorey is also a champion for women’s rights, racial equality, and has come to deem herself as a proud and staunch feminist.