Hardy Spotlight: Faith!

Meet our March Spotlight, Faith Barnes

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. For March, we’re introducing you to Faith Barnes, chair of Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s Board of Directors. She is responsible for keeping things organized, fundraising for the organization, and helping to plan and facilitate all of our board meetings.

How did you get involved with Hardy Girls?
My introduction to Hardy Girls was about 13 years ago when I attended a workshop to learn about how I could empower my daughter and girl clients to understand media messages and take action.

What do you do at HGHW?
I joined the board in 2017 and currently I serve as the board chair.

What’s a typical day like for you?
On a typical day regarding work for HGHW I will look at and review the financial statements and if anything seems out of line I will note it and ask Kelli or the treasurer for an explanation, review committee meeting notes, consider people for contributions and/or board service, develop the agenda for the board meetings and the development committee meetings, develop the agenda for my monthly conversation with Kelli, and attend the 20th Anniversary Committee meetings via zoom. Right now I am focused on GR!A and trying to sell tickets by following up on emails I have sent to friends and family. My most important responsibility for HGHW is to thank our board members for all the work you do for HGHW. I don’t think I can thank you all enough for pulling your weight and moving us forward!

What’s one thing you love doing as part of HGHW?
What I love about being on the board of HGHW is having the chance to talk with people about the organization. I love listening to the stories from the Girls Advisory Board, Muses and Kelli, our Executive Director, and Sarah, our Program Coordinator.

What do you wish you’d known earlier or that someone had told you?
I wish someone had told me that the social constructs in our society were developed by white, heterosexual, eurocentric men. These constructs were assumed to be the only voice we needed to hear. I wish someone had told me that my voice and perspective were equally important!

What have you learned from Board Members, the Girls Advisory Board, and Muses?
From the board members, I have learned that they are willing to do the work for the organization if they can see that we are all working for the organization. The Girls Advisory Board has shown me the importance of connection; and Muses share their wisdom around how to listen and be patient with adolescents.

You have a free day to yourself — what do you do?
I love to be outside and get exercise so cross country skiing or biking or getting a massage or meeting up with one of my girlfriends.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about you?
I speak french and people tell me I’m funny!

What are you happiest doing when you’re not in school or at work?
Happiest being outside and doing something with my husband and, when they are around, my children.

Favorite place in Maine?
Sitting on the front terrace at our house on Mt. Desert Island.

Hardy Spotlight: Katy!

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. For our holiday edition of the monthly spotlight, we’re psyched to introduce you to one of our newer board members, Katy Dodge. Every month Katy offers HGHW her valuable time and energy by serving on the Board of Directors, and bringing her skills to the development committee. She is currently on sabbatical as she does some soul searching to find the career and educational path that is in line with her values and interests. Katy grew up in midcoast Maine & now calls Portland home.

How did you get involved with Hardy Girls?
I was matched with Hardy Girls Healthy Women in 2019, after graduating from the Maine Association of Nonprofits Emerging Leaders Program, a program that teaches community leaders about nonprofit Board service.

What do you do at HGHW?
My involvement with HGHW started on the marketing committee, and I am now on the board of directors and development committee.

What’s a typical day like for you?
In my short time working with HGHW, I have already learned a great deal! I’ve learned about how nonprofits operate behind the scenes, the roles and responsibilities of board members and committee members, how to conduct efficient, productive meetings, how to write a press release! 

From the GAB (GIrls Advisory Board) members and Muses I hope to learn more about the experiences, interests, challenges, and new perspectives of this new generation of girls. So much has changed, even since I was in high school and early college. I am fascinated by how these changes in our culture, the social movements they are creating and witnessing, the vocabulary they possess will shape their girlhood and womanhood, and how they will then change the world. I am in awe!

What’s one thing you love doing as part of HGHW?
My favorite part of my involvement with HGHW is the sense of pride I get from contributing to the success of an organization that directly impacts the lives of girls and young women in such a profound and positive way. The mission of HGHW feels like essential work to me, and it gives me a sense of peace to know I am helping make tangible change for girls in a world that can feel so discouraging and harmful for them, and where progress feels so slow.

What do you wish you’d known earlier or that someone had told you when you were a younger woman?
I wish someone had encouraged and guided me to focus more of my mental and emotional energy on me, my “future self” and my hobbies and interests, particularly creative ones, when I was younger. As a tween and teen girl you start to get bombarded with damaging messages, both subtle and explicit, about where your value comes from. Most often it’s around your looks, weight, sexuality, and external validation from men and/or partners. I would encourage all girls and young women to interrogate and reject these messages and spend their energy developing their burgeoning talents and passions.

You have a free day to yourself — what do you do?
On a day to myself I love to workout, cool down with yoga, have a big black iced coffee and go on a thrift shopping adventure.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?
I have a green thumb, create a mean Halloween costume, and am a pretty confident public speaker.

Favorite place in Maine?
My favorite place in Maine is any of its beautiful beaches surrounded by beach roses and sun. 

Hardy Spotlight: Molly!

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.

For our October spotlight, we were thrilled to hear from Molly Woodhouse – a member of HGHW’s Girls Advisory Board (GAB), and a board member. GAB is a program for 9 – 12 graders to work on their leadership skills, engage in social action projects, and keep the staff and the Board current on issues.
GAB’s mission: We are a group of Maine high school girls passionate about girls’ and women’s empowerment. We are inclusive of all races, classes, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation, and abilities. We create community conversations, listen to girls and give them (and ourselves) opportunities to find their voice, support each other, create change, and embrace uniqueness.
GAB’s biggest annual accomplishment is the design and execution of all of the keynote speeches and workshops at the Girls Rock! Conferences.

We asked Molly a bunch of questions; read on to hear what she has to say!

How did you get involved with Hardy Girls?

I applied after my sophomore year in high school. I was thrilled to be involved in such an amazing organization and was thankful to have this platform to use for activism.

What program are you involved in? What is your role? Can you explain it a bit?

I am on the Girls Advisory Board, which is a group of high school girls. We put on conferences for 4th-8th grade girls and put on workshops informing them about different topics. Last year I put on a workshop on how women are perceived in the media. This year I am putting on a workshop on activism and how young girls can bring activism back to their communities. I am also on the board of directors and relay information between the two groups.

What’s a typical day like for you?

During our GAB meetings, we all chat about life and plan for our conferences. We learn about new topics by talking to different speakers. During the board meetings we discuss more about the nonprofit as a whole, and always looking for ways to improve programs.


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

I love putting on the conferences and seeing the difference that we are making in the lives of young girls. I am constantly inspired by their eagerness to learn, but also to have a fun time doing so.

What do you wish you’d known earlier or that someone had told you when you were a younger woman?

I wish someone told me to cause a ruckus at a younger age!!

You have a free day to yourself — what do you do?

I love exploring new places and being outdoors. I would most likely drive to a mountain and hike to the top. I would love to sing and dance in the forest of unknown mountains. 

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?

I love to write poetry!!

What are you happiest doing when you’re not in school or at work?

I am happiest when I am in nature with friends. I love watching the sunset from the beach and I love the feeling of accomplishment after hiking a new mountain! I also love to relax, as I have grown up, I have learned the importance of laying down under a comfy blanket and watching tv.

Favorite place in Maine?

My favorite place in Maine has to be Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth! It is so beautiful and a great place to have a picnic with friends!