Adrienne Carmack, Executive Director


contact Adrienne:

Adrienne has been working with HGHW since 2014, when she began volunteering as a Coalition Groups leader while a student at Colby College. Since then, she has worked with the organization as a Program Assistant, a Board member, and HGHW’s Program Director. She took on the role as Executive Director in January 2022. Most recently before joining HGHW, she served as the Deputy Director of Arizona Advocacy Network, where she built and managed programs in nonpartisan election protection, jail-based voting outreach, and community-based voting rights advocacy. Adrienne earned a BA in Educational Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Colby; and a Masters in Education Policy at the University of Arizona.

Adrienne grew up in the Bangor area, where she grew her passion for youth work as an AmeriCorps member with Girl Scouts of Maine. In the years since, she has worked with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, the LGBT Center of New York City, Arizona Advocacy Network, and Wolfe’s Neck Center. Adrienne has a deep love for Maine communities, participatory action research, trail running and triathlons, and morning cups of coffee overlooking a quiet lake.

Five Questions with Adrienne

Favorite book: Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: bell hooks
Favorite feminist anthem: Highwomen by The Highwomen
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: on a long run on a dirt road
Perfect day (in one sentence): Hit the road early with a strong latte, long hike in the mountains, jump in a lake, pizza from Pizzicletta in Flagstaff AZ, and ice cream from Gelato Fiasco in Portland ME (this geography would somehow make sense on my perfect day).

Shannon Carlock, Director of Operations


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Shannon grew up in Maine and left shortly after high school to satisfy the demands of her city-girl heart. She received her BA in women’s studies from UCLA and freelanced for over 2 decades, working with a diverse list of clients, primarily in entertainment and creative arts. In 2015, she co-founded the Michigan-based Women’s Health Council, a grassroots organization focused on improving health outcomes, particularly of those in underserved communities. Before joining Hardy Girls, Shannon served as project manager of the Sorter Project, a community-based feasibility study, conducted in partnership with researchers at the NIH. In addition to her work with Hardy Girls, Shannon is an adoptee rights advocate & group facilitator.

Shannon has an adult daughter who lives in Chicago, and a dachshund and an elderly cat who live with her here in Maine. She’s always up for a solo adventure and she never leaves home without a book, her journal, coffee, and a playlist of some sort.

Five Questions with Shannon

Favorite book: Impossible! I do love The Stations of Solitude and An Unknown Woman, both memoirs by Alice Koller
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Fran Meneses
Favorite feminist anthem: I’ve been throwing it back lately to match the energy of the current time. For the moment, Last To Know by P!nk gets me where I need to go.
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: Any place where I least expect to be confronted by an opportune moment.
Perfect day (in one sentence): A full tank of fuel, coastal roads, a good playlist, and the anticipation of discovering landscapes, eateries, and thrift stores as yet unknown to me.

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Meg Charest, High School Program Coordinator


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Meg became involved with Hardy Girls while studying at Colby College, where she was part of the Muse Program and led Coalition Groups for 4 years. Meg spent 2 years as a student Muse program coordinator while at Colby and joined the Hardy Girls Board and Programming Committee, first as a Muse member, and then for 2 additional years after graduating. She is thrilled to join the Hardy Girls staff as High School Program Coordinator.

Meg grew up in the greater Portland area and received a BA in English and Education from Colby College. In 2020, driven in part by her work with Hardy Girls to develop connections with youth in rural communities, Meg moved to Washington County, ME. Now based in Harrington, ME, she teaches seventh and eighth grade English Language Arts and works with community-based organizations to expand access to equitable educational opportunities through grassroots community work and programming. Recently, Meg has worked in partnership with Mano en Mano, Youth Matter to ME, the Maine Migrant Education Program, and Washington County Community College to consider additional pathways to students across ages and experiences who confront systemic barriers to educational opportunities that support their needs and goals. Meg loves to make art, read both genuinely good and so-bad-they-are good books, knit, and rate the potholes she sees while running down U.S. Rt. 1.

Five Questions with Meg

Favorite book: Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Toni Morrison
Favorite feminist anthem: “Nobody’s Stopping You Now,” Lake Street Dive
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: Wherever I am standing (or where I jump to my feet) when the necessitating moment strikes
Perfect day (in one sentence): My perfect day starts at sunrise with a solidly humidity-free run through the blueberry barrens followed by a staggering amount of iced coffee alongside a toasted salt bagel (with a well-balanced cream cheese ratio), a one-two punch trip to the bookstore and then the beach, and it ends with ice cream.

CJ Gilligan, School-based Program Coordinator


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CJ grew up in northern California where she explored her passion for local theater, film, creative writing, and imagined herself having a career as an actress and eventually winning an Academy Award. But after taking a feminist history class at community college “Women’s US History” she realized what she had been missing in life – intersectional feminism. She received her BA in Women and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University and worked for over six years at WEAVE in a variety of advocacy roles where she provided crisis response services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking in Sacramento. During the pandemic CJ felt she was ready for a life change, so she uprooted and moved to Maine. After discovering Hardy Girls, CJ never imagined she could have the opportunity to work for an incredible organization whose work and mission she felt so passionately aligned with. Youth and youth-led activism are the community that, with education and empowerment, will be the leaders in lasting, necessary cultural change. CJ is honored and elated to start her career with HGHW as the School-Based Program Coordinator and still hopes one day to win an Academy Award.

Five Questions with CJ

Favorite book: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (also an excellent limited series on HBO)
Woman (dead or alive) to have dinner with: Greta Gerwig
Favorite feminist anthem: Bad Girls – M.I.A.
Favorite place to go on a feminist rant: In any space where I am with people who are not wanting or ready for this feminist rant but are going to listen to it anyway and most likely learn something.
Perfect day (in one sentence): Morning cuddles with my cats, coffee and a pastry at a cat cafe (never enough cats), thrifting, something spooky followed by something pasta-related, and ending with seeing an old movie at the theater.