Issuu on Google+

BE SMART SHARE SMARTS

Out of the (Dress Up) Box STYLING WITH UNEXPECTEDLY PERFECT PIECES

go

A CAREER IN HELPING WOMEN:

outside the lines

AN INTERVIEW WITH TIFFANY DUFU

The Issue on Being Yourself, Taking Risks, & Going Around the Norm

NET NEUTRALITY WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

JULIETTE BRINDAK

HOW SHE CREATED A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR COMMUNITY

2014 | smart girl’s guide 1 ISSUE NO. 19 | FEBRUARY/MARCHFEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


hey smart girl! A N O T E F R O M E M I LY People always say, “think outside the box,” as if it is easy. Or they’ll say, “just be yourself,” as if we know exactly what that means. Going outside the lines, whether it is your academics, passions, aspirations, or life in general, is no easy feat. It takes gusto and confidence. Sometimes, you have to go where no Smart Girl has gone before. But by finding out what is outside the lines of normality, that is when we find ourselves. It wasn’t until I went outside of the lines in my life and took the greatest risk that I found out who I really was and what I wanted in life. It was when I founded Smart Girls Group. Risk can seem like a really scary thing. You have so much to loose that sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it at all. When I first started Smart Girls Group, I was a senior in high school, about to leave for New York City. It wasn’t exactly perfect timing to start a business. I thought about ending it before it practically began. I knew if I took this on that I would not be a normal college student. Then I thought about it. Normal is so overrated. If you never color outside the lines, you never end up making the impact on other women like Tiffany Dufu has, who we interviewed this month in our Smart 2 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

News section (p. 16). Being average means you never get to be the voice of a generation, like Chelsea Krost (p. 92). If you don’t take risks, you never get to help girls in Rwanda like Jessica Markowitz (p. 66). Smart Girls are not destined to be ordinary. We take risks. We invest in ourselves. We find out who we are by coloring outside the lines. This Valentine’s Day, love yourself; for who you are and who you can become. Be more than average because it is your destiny. I am proud to introduce you to Issue No. 19 of Smart Girl’s Guide. Enjoy!

Emily Raleigh Founder & Smart Starter @emilyeraleigh


ISSUE NO. 19

FEBRUARY/MARCH SMART FEATURES

40 MEET THE COVER GIRL

Meet Ana Cordera, a Smart Girl who is chasing her dreams of becoming a top reporter.

13 NET NEUTRALITY: WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Have you been keeping up with tech policy? Megan has you covered.

22 OUT OF THE (DRESS UP) BOX

Color outside the lines with your style like a few Smart Girls did in Austin, Texas!

16 WOMEN’S ISSUES: AN INTERVIEW WITH TIFFANY DUFU

Caution: This interview will leave you inspired to change the world.

74 MISS O & FRIENDS

Find out how one superstar Smart Girl is creating a positive platform for young girls worth millions.

follow us!

“Thinking within the lines never got me anywhere.” Chelsea Krost

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BE SMART. SHARE SMARTS.

FEB/MARCHagenda SMART NEWS 12

THE ROOTS OF THE ISRALIPALESTINIAN CONFLICT

Confused? Haley has you covered.

18

ROSA PARKS

She was certainly a game changer. Tori will tell you more.

13

22

SMART STYLE

BLOGGER PICKS 24

We asked some of our favorite bloggers for their style picks for the month of love.

SMART HEALTH

48

TRENDY OR TREADMILL? 48

Low on time? No motivation to hit the treadmill? Mandy has your solution.

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done to get it.”

COMFORT SOUPS & STEWS 50

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day at home or trying to overcome the Polar Vortex, Abby has the soups just for you.

ILLNESS-ALLEVIATING FOODS 52 It’s that time of year again and Erin has just the food you need to get through all the germs that come your way.

Tiffany Dufu

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58


44 61 SMART LIVING

56

STANDARDIZED TESTS & YOU

58

HOW TO APPROACH CRITICISM LIKE A SMART GIRL

NECAPS, SATS, GMATS. You name it, you’ve taken it. But how much should they matter in your life?

We’ve all been there. Mimi has tips for how handle it like a Smart Girl.

61 THE LOGIC OF RETAIL THERAPY

Should you really shop ‘til you drop?

66 RICHARD’S RWANDA

This Opportunity of the Month was started by a high school Smart Girl and wait until you see how amazing it is.

63 SMART PICKS

Our Smart Girls have picked out their favorite things to do, hear, and see in February.

76

SISTERHOOD BARNARD ON THE BRAIN 78

Take a tour of the most prestigious all-women’s college in the country, right in the heart of New York City.

HELLO FROM TORONTO 84 Read about life in Canada’s iconic city from a Smart Girl.

JESSICA POZNER 89

We interviewed the Founder and Executive Director of Women in Media and News, Jessica Pozner. Read on to see what she had to say!

DEAR SMART GIRL 92

Read Chelsea Krost’s letter on going outside the lines in life to achieve the impossible.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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the guide girls

EMMA AR smarts s new yo

MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS

REBECCA MILL sisterhood editor virginia

HALEY ROYAR LOFLIN smarts sharer alabama

LEAH KASHAR managing editor new york

ELIZABETH HANSEN smarts shooter new york

MAGGIE R smarts sh north car

JENNA FRATELLO smart selector new york

MELISSA RIORDAN smarts sharer georgia

CASSIE ETTMAN smarts sharer new jersey

ELIZABETH BENSON smarts sharer pennsylvania

MORGAN GE smarts s texas

SOPHIE RALEIGH smarts sharer new jersey

SYDNEY CARVER smarts sharer pennsylvania

LINDSEY FENDER smarts shooter michigan

ALESSIA GRUNBERGER smarts sharer maryland

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AMBER AU smarts sh kentuc


RETT sharer ork

ROYCE harer rolina

ERMENIS sharer s

USLEY harer cky

ERIN MCADAM smarts sharer canada

ERIN SEGLEM smarts sharer pennsylvania

MANDY J. ENGELMAN smarts sharer michigan

MAURISSA WALLS smarketer washington d.c.

JESSICA BLUM bookings director maryland

ABBY MCHUGH smarts sharer new jersey

MIMI WARNICK smart-perator pennsylvania

MEGAN BECKER blog brains michigan

MONTANA MACRAE smarts sharer florida

KATHRYN DOHERTY creative director new jersey

ELEANOR HARTE smarts sharer massachusetts

ALYSSA FIORENTINO editor-at-large new york

SAM DUGAN smart selector delaware

ERIN CHANCY smart shooter texas

TORI WILBRAHAM smarts searcher pennsylvania

MAGGIE CHAQUETTE smarts searcher rhode island

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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hello issue no. 18

H

ere’s a little secret about me: I really, really don’t like doing whatever everyone else is doing. I’m taking a leadership class at school, and we often talk about being the

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF “lone nut.” Being the lone nut means doing what you think is right, even when the majority doesn’t approve-even if you’ll stand alone. I often feel like the lone nut. When other people my age are out on Friday nights, I’m at home working on Smart Girl’s Guide and reading up on all different kinds of media. What can I say? It makes me happy. That’s all that matters. The great thing about being the lone nut is that sometimes, if you’re lucky, people decide that you’re actually pretty cool. What’s a greater example than our amazing readers of the Guide? Tens of thousands of you

8 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

have joined us on this crazy journey, through redesigns and new writers and embarrassing typos, and we couldn’t be more grateful for your support. I strongly urge you to check out some pieces by other lone nuts: A Carrie Diariesesque style story (p. 22), an interview with catalyst for women and girls Tiffany Dufu (p. 16), and an article from Melissa on retail therapy (p. 61). For the months of February and March, I encourage you to do whatever it takes for you to be the lone nut: Color outside the lines, think outside the box, take a risk, say no, say yes, be you. If it makes you happy, that’s all that matters.

Quincy Bulin,

Editor-in-Chief @quincylauren


About Issue No.

19

Do you remember the first coloring book you had? Or the first time you opened a box of crayons and someone told you to “color inside the lines?” That’s the golden rule of coloring-- stay inside the lines. Now that you’re older, your coloring book days are probably behind you, but you’re still expected to stay inside some type of lines. “The lines” are no longer big, bold black lines that create a familiar shape or character for you to add color to, but they are still there. Guidelines, bylines, finish lines-- they’re all there, steering you towards a certain goal. But what if just once you want to step outside the lines and make your own path? Is it okay to step off the balance beam? Is it okay to paint on the wall and not the canvas? Is it okay to make your own clothes and never set foot in the mall? Of course it is! Think of all the Smart Girls before you…Would Amelia Earhart be afraid to go out of bounds? Absolutely not. Look at your life as a blank page open for anything, not a page full of lines to guide you. Now is the time to forget what you were told. Boundaries aren’t for you, Smart Girl. Forget the voice inside your head saying, “but no one has ever done that before,” or “that would make me different.” You can draw your own picture and write your own story. You are the first you, your story is untold. Go ahead, scribble a little, you might be the next Frida Kahlo.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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join the SISTERHOOD A UNIQUE SPACE WHERE YOU CAN INSPIRE AND BE INSPIRED. Our sisterhood seeks to unite, inspire, and empower the next generation of superstar women through our vast array of products, resources, and opportunities fit for passionate game-changers like you. Welcome to the one-stop-shop for Smart Girls. For more information, click here or email getinvolved@thesmartgirlsgroup.com to get involved today.

10 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


INTERNATIONAL | WOMEN’S ISSUES | POLITICS | HISTORY

smart news

Net Neutrality

Is all Internet data equal? What does that mean for you as a Smart Girl? Megan will give you the 411 on the latest in tech policy.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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NET NUTRALITY

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? 12 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

BY MEGAN BECKER


S

napchat leaks, the NSA, privacy settings, and the Internet have defined the 21st century as a technology-laden age for the world. As a Smart Girl, keeping up to date on tech policy can be hard when it is full of hard-to-understand words and concepts. One of the latest controversies has been over the concept of net neutrality. Net neutrality is the idea that the government and Internet Service Providers, companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, should consider all data on the Internet as equal. This means they should not be charging differentiated rates no matter the site, content, or user. For example, if you’re trying to watch a YouTube video, your experience should be the same as if you’re looking up a definition on Google. So what’s the problem? Technically, net neutrality isn’t officially a law. This causes some controversy over whether or not companies are allowed to charge you extra for how much data you use, or how much they can force companies like Netflix to pay them to allow users to watch their content on the company’s network. In 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the Open Internet Rules, which basically told Internet Service Providers, “Hey, you can’t charge different companies different amounts!” but in the first week of January, federal judges through the FCC’s rules out. Verizon pushed back against the FCC,

claiming the FCC’s jurisdiction doesn’t allow them to regulate the Internet. In the first week of January, a federal court agreed with Verizon and threw out parts of the FCC’s Open Internet Rules. Without getting into the confusing bits about the FCC’s authority, all you need to know is that the FCC accidentally applied the wrong rules, and the court decided that the FCC overstepped their boundaries. However, it is important to note that the court DID agree with the FCC on the concept of net neutrality. Interesting… So what happens now that companies are free of the net neutrality rules? A few different scenarios may occur: 1. Companies like Verizon and AT&T may charge you extra for different websites. 2. Companies may charge these different websites, like Netflix, to access customers. Ultimately, this could potentially cause higher costs for consumers. The fight isn’t over. The FCC is considering an appeal of the decision, and they could even try to create more authority for themselves using different weapons in their arsenal, granting the government more power over the Internet. Smart Girls should care about this issue because it will affect users first and foremost, which all of us are! There are a couple of GREAT articles that explain this concept in detail. If you’re interested in getting educated on the issue, check out The Washington Post (click here), Wired (click here), or Save the Internet (click here). FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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The Roots of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict By Haley Loflin This question was posed during our Twitter #SmartyParty held in late October!

T

he Israeli-Palestinian land conflict is one of the most perplexing conflicts facing the Middle East today. Since it began, following the affirmative United Nations General Assembly vote to divide Palestine into two entities, the Israeli government and Palestine factions have fought over the partition.

Israel. However from 1987 to 1993, the first Palestinian intifada, or popular uprising, commenced, supplied by factions of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which is the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and holds the official purpose of pushing for a creation of a sovereign state. This continued until the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.

Low-key conflict marked the next 20 years, until the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel launched a preemptive strike against the Arab nations of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Within six days,Israel was occupying territories in each country, including the West Bank from Jordan, and the Gaza Strip from Egypt. A conference was called in August of 1967, where Arab and Israeli leaders sat down for the first time since the war. The conference resulted with the enumeration (or creation) of the “three no’s of Khartoum: no recognition, no negotiation, and no peace with Israel.”

The Oslo Accords called for a peaceful coexistence between the two countries. Israel officially recognized the PLO. In the 1990s, the world had begun to take notice after the success of the Camp David and Oslo accords. In 1994 Israel and Jordan signed an agreement and Jordan became the second country to recognize Israel. Throughout the 2000s, multiple attempts have been made for peace with two-state solutions, but none have ever come to fruition. Currently, widespread support has come for Palestine’s recognition as an independent state, however issues like Israel’s need for security and blockade of the Gaza Strip remain. Fatah, the Palestinian nationalist movement and Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, both compete for control of the Gaza Strip. Fatah recognizes Israel’s right to exist, while Hamas does not. In 2005, Israel removed 9,000 Jewish settlers from occupied zones in Gaza and the West Bank, which ended 38 years of occupation and has since been a source of further tension. Since then, various levels of violence have escalated and declined. The two-state solution perhaps is the best of the few available, but only time will tell what is the best option for Israel and Palestine.

In the same year, Israel began to build settlements upon the land it had captured, which is still disputed by the UN, but have still continued to be built. After the Yom Kippur War, which was launched by Egypt and Syria on the holiest day of the Jewish year, neither side gained any land. The next major event was the 1978 Camp David Accords in which President Jimmy Carter brokered peace talks between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. This ultimately led to Egypt being the first state to recognize 14 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


We believe that every Smart Girl is unique. Every internship should be, too. Applications for virtual and NYC summer internships due April 1st. Click here for more information.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Women’s Issues: An Interview with

Tiffany Dufu By: Quincy Quincy Bulin by Bulin

Named to to Fast Fast Company’s Named Company’s League of of Extraordinary Extraordinary League Women and the Huffington       Post’s Women Arewho Post as19 one of 19 Who women Leading the Way, Tiffany Dufu’s are leading the way, Tiffany life’s work is advancing women Dufu’s life’s work is advancing and girls. She is a nationally women and girls. She is a narenowned expert and speaker tionally expert and on Genrenowned Y and women’s speaker on Tiffany women’s and as Gen leadership. serves Ythe leadership. Tiffany serves Chief Leadership Officeras        at Levo Leauge and is on the League and on Launch launch team forthe Lean In. She Team Leanpresident In. She isofformer is thefor former The President, TheProject, White House White House and Project, andworked was previously at previously at Simmons College and the Seattle Girls’ Simmons College and Seattle School. Tiffany is alsoison Girls’ School. Tiffany onthe the boardof forHarlem Harlem4 4Kids Kids.and She board livesininNew New York York with withher her huslives husband children. band and and two two children. Even Even with all of this, she took with all of this, she took time time her schedule busy schedule out of out herof busy to to talk to Smart Girl’s Guide about talk to Smart Girl’s Guide about everything feminism-related! everything feminism-related!

16 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

You have a passion and energy for women and girls like many have never experienced. Where does this come from? It’s personal. I’m the oldest of 4 sisters and my parents empowered me to believe that my voice was so important. But later after my parents divorced I struggled with my relationship with my mom. I discovered that while she had done a brilliant job of teaching me that I was the most powerful change agent in my own journey, no one had given her the same gift. Each day I try to get to as many women as I can to share this message to thank my mom for what she gave to me. What kind of work do you do as the  

     and how is it different from previous positions you’ve held? Levo is a technology company with the mission to elevate the careers of Gen Y women. I’m primarily an evangelist. I work with companies to help them leverage Levo to advance the leadership of Gen Y women they want to hire, grow and engage. My other positions have been in   

    have involved a lot of fundraising and management.


What was your experience like as the president of The White House Project? I can imagine you were able to collaborate       en such as yourself! Serving as President of The White House Project was an immense privilege. By the time I took over we had trained over 15,000 women to advance their leadership. They are women across the country who are making incredible change in their local communities and are the most

        connect with. As a catalyst for women and girls, do you ever receive any negative comments, and if so, how do you handle them? Sure, who doesn’t? The most pivotal negative comment was when I was just a little girl. I had a Sunday Sundayschool school teacher who, after I led the class in prayer, told me that girls were not supposed to do that. That moment became a part of what fuels my passion now. How did being raised as a preacher’s daughter shape the views you have today? I was raised in a conservative church where women’s public roles were subservient to men. For example, women weren’t allowed to preach. Despite that, my dad used to turn a booster seat over on a chair during family meetings and encourage me to preach to the family. He also pushed me to run for student government and use my voice to make a difference. That experience taught me that the advancement of women is fraught with complexity and contradiction. I’m a more empathetic feminist.

Having worked for primarily female-oriented companies, what differences have you noticed between those environments and ones typically dominated by males? In female-oriented companies the politics are more sophisticated.          Someone who believes that women should have the same access to social and economic opportunity as men. The idea of leaning in and encouraging females to break the glass ceiling has become somewhat of a “trendâ€? lately. Do you see this as something that will die off, or just the beginning? Women have been encouraging other women to break the glass ceiling since long before the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. So I wouldn’t say it’s entirely new. But it’s true that a revived emphasis on women’s own self empowerment has gained a lot of traction. I think it’s here to stay. Where do you see yourself in 10 years as part of the female empowerment movement? I’ll be doing more of what I’m doing now - speaking, writing, mentoring, coaching and advocating. Do you have any last words of wisdom for our Smart Girl Sisters? If you want something that you’ve never had before, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done before in order to get it. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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!"#$%&'($)&*+&,(Smart Girl of His by Tori Wilbraham

February is a time to celebrate Black History Month.

In 1976, 1976 President Preside General GeneralFord Ford established Black History Month to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.â€? One of the most famous civil rights leaders during this time was no one other than Rosa Parks, a woman who was unafraid to stand up for justice and equality for all women and men. Although many of you know the story of Rosa Parks, it is important to be reminded of the nonviolent steps she took to standup stand up for the equality that she believed in. Growing up in Alabama in the early 20th century, Mrs. Parks was surrounded by the injustices and segregation towards African Americans established by the Jim Crow laws. Segregation was the only way of life that Mrs. Parks knew. However, after a long day of work in 1955 Rosa Parks was       ple,â€? Mrs. Parks was told to move as a white passenger boarded and found no space within the white section. Respectfully, Parks, a woman who had been working all day, Rosa Parks day refused to          anything rude, she simply sat there resisting in a nonviolent way. Mrs. Parks was arrested for violating segregation laws on December 1, 1955. Rosa Parks’ Parks resistance started the famous Montgomery        Jr. ing this peaceful demonstration. Eventually, The Montgomery Bus Company was greatly affected by the boycott of their African American riders. If Rosa Parks had given up her seat, the Montgomery Bus Boycott and many other peaceful demonstrations of to segregation would not have started. Her legacy and many Civil Rights activists’ legacies will continue to live on. During February I challenge you and your peers to have meaningful conversation regarding race relations within our own world today. The underrepresentation of minority groups with in our society is a problem that many people seem to be immune to. The legacy of the Civil Rights movement within the United States and the world should not be designated to one month, rather be lived out every single day. Having conversations about such issues will make you more aware and make you start to question what we see as “normal.â€? Thanks to people like Rosa Parks such conversation can be held today. 18 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

“You m


-%*$./&0*-#&1#$2-

must never be fearful of what you are doing when it is right”- Rosa Parks FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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The one-stop-shop for Smart Girls.

.com

daily reads | online classes | book club | online community | & more!

articles on news, style, empowerment, & much more

a library of past magazines

an online shop that sponsors girls’ education

an online community, exclusive to Smart Girl Sisters

20 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

Be Smart. Share Smarts.


SHOPPING | STYLE SPOTLIGHT | CURATED SPREADS

smart style

Out of the (Dress Up) Box

This month, we are thinking outside the lines of traditional style. Check out the fun pieces we found in this Austin , TX vintage clothing store. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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out of

(dress up) box the

photography by Laura Gilligan styling by Quincy Bulin

Winter is a time where the neutrals in your wardrobe get to come out and play, but let’s face it: It’s February. Here at SGG, the neutrals are getting a little old. Our search for vibrant duds sent us to Blue Velvet Vintage with Olivia and Kellie who found bright petticoats, fun heels, and even some graffiti! While there, we came to the conclusion that it’s time to start thinking outside the (dress up) box. 22 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


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Sydney

Carver

summerwind41490.blogspot.com J. CREW FACTORY | $44.50

BP | $14

EASTERN COLLECTIVE | $26 C. WONDER | $48

TORY BURCH | $95

TARGET | $30

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C WONDER | $38 JONATHAN ADLER | $24

DIPTYQUE | $28

NORDSTROM | $22

SUGAR PAPER | $15

T&J DESIGNS | $78

NORDSTROM | $54.95 NORDSTROM | $30

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Elizabeth

Benson

MODCLOTH | $24.99

octoberjune.com

ANTHROPOLOGIE | $12.95

KATE SPADE | $24

SOLE SOCIETY | $29.95

FREE PEOPLE | $68

SOLE SOCIETY | $19.95 AMAZON | $11.60 34 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

SEPHORA | $6


NORDSTROM | $22

KATE SPADE | $24

KARMA | $20.21

62

JOULES | $51

FREE PEOPLE | $78 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Morgan

Germenis

thestyleboutique.blogspot.com ANTHROPOLOGIE | $26

FOREVER 21 | $6.50 DILLARDS | $15

ASOS | $55.56

URBAN OUTFITTERS | $70

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TARGET | $12.99

TOPSHOP | $24

DOROTHY PERKINS | $59

MADEWELL | $44.55

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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OPEN DAILY 10-10 38 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


MEET THE COVER GIRL: ANA CORDERA

smart girl

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Ana meet

interview by Montana MacRae photography by Lindsey Fender

40 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


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A NAME:

Ana Cordera

AGE: 18 YEAR IN SCHOOL:

senior in high school

HOMETOWN: Lake Orion, Michigan

42 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN JOURNALISM AND MORE SPECIFICALLY MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM? I first got involved with journalism when I got accepted to my school’s Television Production Workshop class at the beginning of my junior year. I had previously taken broadcasting and video project classes, but it was nothing compared to TPW. The class really opened my eyes and made me realize that journalism was my calling. I started to love producing, shooting and editing stories. The passion I had for journalism brought me to apply to the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute. When I got accepted, I didn’t know what to expect. There, I learned how to properly write and really became interested in newspaper writing. When I came back home, I got an internship at my town’s newspaper and began to write. Today, I continue to write for the newspaper and produce stories for my school’s news show. HOW HAS YOUR WRITING IMPACTED YOUR VIEW OF THE WORLD AND VICE VERSA? The opportunities journalism has given me have opened my mind. I consider myself more cultured and informed than before. When I write or produce a story, I learn something new, which is why I love journalism. To me, being informed is one the best feelings in the world. As for my writing, It’s a continuing process! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING AT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL BROADCAST AS A REPORTER, ANCHOR, AND PRODUCER? I would say producing stories and reporting are my two favorite things to do. From the planning phase to the editing phase, everything is worth it when I see the impact it makes on the viewers. Anchoring is a little different, but I still enjoy it because I connect with the audience.


YOU WERE SELECTED TO ATTEND THE MEDILL-NORTHWESTERN JOURNALISM INSTITUTE PROGRAM AT THE END OF YOUR JUNIOR YEAR. HOW WAS THAT EXPERIENCE ON YOU AND YOUR PURSUIT OF JOURNALISM? Attending the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute program was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned, lived, matured and more. It was an eye-opening experience. While there, I was introduced to new aspects of journalism, I learned from top journalism instructors, I engaged with accomplished journalists and met some of my best friends. The program has

motivated me to become the best journalist that I can be. I encourage all high school juniors interested in journalism to apply to this one-ina-lifetime opportunity. HOW ARE YOU PLANNING ON CONTINUING YOUR LOVE OF JOURNALISM AFTER HIGH SCHOOL? I plan on attending Northwestern University to study journalism at Medill, their journalism school. There, I hope to join student publications to keep on producing/writing stories to impact viewers. I also want to take part in the Medill Media Teens program, which pairs up Medill FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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undergraduate students with high school students from Chicago to help them develop skills that will enable success in college. In addition, I want to take advantage of the opportunities and internships Northwestern offers. Lastly, I will continue to blog for my website.

A Smart Girl wants to change the world and WILL change the world some day.

d”

Often times, I’ve reported on events at my school that most students have no interest in and I’ve noticed the low viewership those reports have, but when I produce a story that affects the audience, I’ve seen how those same students have their eyes glued to the TV. I think that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned, that I need to produce stories that will somehow influence, affect or impact the audience. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO OUTSIDE OF JOURNALISM AND SCHOOL? I love going to the movies and getting absorbed by the plot and the characters. I also love to read, my favorite book is The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol. Other than that, I like to hang out with my friends, but mostly be with my family. I have such a great relationship with my parents and brother, that hanging out with them is always fun.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED THROUGHOUT YOUR WORK IN JOURNALISM? WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU I think one of the most important things I’ve WOULD SHARE WITH OTHER SMART realized is that I need to cater to my audience. GIRLS? 44 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams because YOU can achieve them. If you really want something, make it the burning desire of your life: create mental images, act as if you already have it and most importantly, know that you can have it. Also, I think everyone should have an inspiration board with inspiring phrases and photos. When I was in the midst with college applications, I created one and put pictures of all the colleges I was applying to and added inspiring phrases to motivate me. WHAT IS A QUOTE OR MANTRA THAT YOU LOVE? “The only thing you need is the power of believing—sincerely, strongly and

completely.” This quote is from the book The Magic of Believing. It’s my favorite quote because it inspires me to go after my dreams because if I believe in myself, I can accomplish anything that I want. WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A SMART GIRL? A Smart Girl is aware, informed and cultured. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to get it. She has dreams she wants to achieve and understands that the only way she’ll accomplish them is with hard work and the power of believing. A Smart Girl wants to change the world and WILL change the world some day.

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EVER WANTED TO START YOUR OWN SISTERHOOD OR FIND MORE SMART GIRLS ON YOUR CAMPUS? WELCOME TO SMART GIRL’S SOCIETY. CLICK HERE. 46 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


FITNESS | NUTRITION

smart

health

Trendy Over Treadmill

Sick of the treadmill? Limited on time? Mandy has a 10 minute workout just for you. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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In 10 minutes, you can blow dry your hair or put on makeup; you can take a shower or paint your nails. In 10 minutes, you can order a pizza or exercise. When logging miles on the treadmill becomes too boring, put down the junk food and try this quick 10-minute cardio workout.

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Trendy Over Treadmill text by Mandy J. Engelman Scissor Skier

Target: Arms, abs, thighs and legs Begin by standing with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Jump upwards and bring your left foot forward and your right foot back while reaching your right arm in front of you and your left arm back. Make sure your palms are facing inwards towards your body. Land with your knees bent to avoid putting any strain on them. Continue jumping again, this time switching your feet and arms as quickly as possible in a scissor motion. Continue for 30 reps.

Chop Squat Jacks

Target: Arms, abs, buttocks, thighs, and legs Start with your feet together with your arms over your head and hands clasped. Swing your arms down toward the floor and jump into a deep squatting position. Be sure your hands remain clasped. Repeat 30 times, keeping a steady pace

Star Squat

Target: Arms, abs, buttocks,and legs With your feet together and arms down by sides, squat low to the ground and place the palms of your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and your weight on the balls of your feet. Kick both feet straight behind you. This

photography by Erin Chancy should leave you in a push-up position. Remember to keep your butt tucked and in line with your spine. Keeping your abs engaged, jump back to the starting squat position. From there jump upwards and extend your arms and legs out in a star position. Repeat 30 times.

Running Boat

Target: Arms, abs and legs This exercise is similar to running on a treadmill, only without the treadmill and without being on your feet. Begin by laying face up on the floor. Raise your head a few inches off the floor while keeping your abs engaged. It is important to relax your neck to avoid putting strain on it. Bend your knees into your chest and lift your legs and feet off the floor. With your hands in fists, bend both elbows by your side. Keeping your right leg slightly off the floor, straighten it and lean backwards while reaching your right arm towards your right foot. Switch legs and arms, leaning back every time they extend. This exercise should feel similar to running. Repeat for 30 reps.

To finish, slowly jog in place for one minute to cool your body down. It is important to return your heart rate back to its normal pace before abruptly ending your workout. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Illness Alleviating Foods By Erin Seglem The old saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But what if all of that vitamin C fails to brush off one of the many nasty colds or viruses that come with winter? A few good foods might still be the key to keeping your healthy throughout the cold months.

The Usual Suspects: Chicken Noodle Soup

How many times, when a fever settles in and your nose aches with congestion, have you reached for chicken noodle soup? Well, you’re doing the right thing. The warm soup soothes a sore throat

and helps mucus and phlegm move faster. Properties in the chicken also appear to have anti-inflammatory qualities that can help with congestion, according to a study done at the University of Nebraska.

Spicy Foods

A sure bet when your sinuses are stuffed? Try adding a few drops of hot sauce or a dash of cayenne pepper in your soup or on a sandwich. Spicy foods interact with your mucus membranes, which take on a defensive mode and temporarily increase the airflow into your nostrils.

Tea and Honey

A travel mug is always a great winter accessory, especially when it’s filled with steaming tea and honey. Tea helps relieve congestion and warms up a sore throat. Honey coats your throat, easing the pain.

Orange Juice and other vitamin C rich foods

While loading up on vitamin C won’t stop a cold from coming on, it has proven to help shorten the duration of your worst symptoms.

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Fluids

Fluids, like orange juice and even just water, keep you well hydrated which insures your immune system operating at its best.

A Few Surprise Helpers: Yogurt

Your digestive system plays a major role in combating illness. Yogurt contains a variety of great bacteria (called probiotics) that remove bad germs from intestines and help your body fight illness. So even if your stomach’s not the trouble, reach for a spoon and some Yoplait.

Fish

Fish has selenium. This mineral is known for helping your immune system flush viruses out of the body. So even if the doctor tells you to wait it out, a little bit of Halibut can’t hurt.

Garlic

This favorite spice (at least of mine) has allicin, a compound that serves as a defense mechanism for garlic but also has great anti-infection powers when we

consume it. Having a clove in some soup will help kill that cold faster—just don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards!

Sweet Potatoes

Though sweet potatoes might not be an obvious solution to a cold, they contain vitamin A, which helps your body toughen itself against outside viruses and bacteria.

Chocolate

For real health benefits, dark chocolate has antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage. This means that when viruses attack, they’ll have a much harder time taking down your immune system. Eating chocolate has also been proven to make you happier, and a great way to combat a nasty cold is with a positive attitude!

So, remember, when you’re sick with the flu or an awful cold, think about what foods would help you get back on your feet. And doubly, don’t forget that the better the attitude, the easier it is to put those nasty symptoms to bed. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Recipe of the Month by Abby McHugh

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Chocolate chip cookies. Oreos. Brownies. Three of the world’s most beloved treats. Put them together, and they form something even more amazing. The Oreo and cookie dough brownie is a decadent desert with a layer of cookie dough, Oreos, and brownie batter. These irresistible treats are sure to make any dreary winter day a million times better! Cookie Layer: 1 1/2 cups of flour 1 teaspoon of baking powder 1 egg 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted 1/2 cup of white sugar 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 cup of chocolate chips 1 Pinch of salt

Brownie Layer: 1 Package of Oreo Cookies 1/2 cup of cocoa powder 1/2 cup of boiling water 3/4 sticks of butter, melted 3 eggs 1 teaspoon of vanilla 2 1/2 cups of sugar 1 1/2 cups flour 1 Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F and grease a 9 x 13 brownie pan

For the cookie layer: In a big bowl, cream the wet ingredients, or the egg, butter, and vanilla with a hand mixer until smooth. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients together EXCEPT the chocolate chips. Stir in the wet ingredients in small groups until everything is well mixed. Add in the chocolate chips to the mixture. Add the chocolate chip cookie mixture onto the pan. Make sure it is evenly spaced out.

Add a layer of Oreo cookies on top of the chocolate chip cookie layer.

Try to cover as much as surface as possible without overlapping or touching the cookies. In a separate bowl, heat the 1/2 cup of boiling water. Whisk the cocoa powder into the boiling water, then stir until smooth. Add the butter and oil again, and again stir until smooth. Make sure the mixture is cool enough that the eggs will not cook slightly, then mix in the egg and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Stir in the salt and four, then mix until smooth again. Add the brownie batter to the pan, making sure to cover all of the Oreos. Bake for an hour, then allow to cool for two hours.

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JANUARY 2014

SMART opportunities Welcome to the Opportunity Board!

GRAPHIC DESIGN MAJORS

Are you a Photoshop pro? An inDesign expert? An Illustrator extraordinare? Well, we are looking for more graphic designers to join our magazine team! Please send us your portfolio in your interest email!

These are featured opportunities that we have this month in SGG, but don’t forget, there is no limit to what you can do in SGG!

REGIONAL DIRECTORS

We are looking for superstar Smart Girls who would like to work on spreading the Smart Girl mission in their respective location.

PLACEMENT DIRECTOR

We are looking for a super organized Smart Girl who would like to join our staff team and lead sisterhood development.

SMART GIRL’S SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT TEAM

Do you love writing? We need a team of 3-5 stellar writers who would like to work on the further development of Smart Girl’s School for the upcoming 6 months. If interested, send an email with writing samples and a resume.

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The Smart Women’s Network supports the SGG community, sharing resources, supporting our Smart Girl Sisters, and spreading our message when appropriate. We send out monthly emails, where we list opportunities to connect with the Smart Girl Sisters as well as press opportunities. We are striving to unite the next generation of superstar women and we know with your help, we can do that. If interested, please click here.

join our

SMART WOMEN’S NETWORK! Send all involvement emails to getinvolved@thesmartgirlsgroup.com


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT | EMPOWERMENT | FINANCE | CULTURE | SERVICE

smart

living

Standardized Testing & You

How much should you care and how much is too much?

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STANDARDIZED Standardized testing: hours of answering tiring, tricky questions and filling in tiny bubbles, with minimal breaks in between sections; a stressinducing practice. At some point or other, we all have to do it. Unfortunately for some Smart Girls, this dreaded period comes around every year from elementary school through high school graduation. For others, it only happens during their junior and senior years, then perhaps again before applying to business, law, or medical school. Regardless of how many times you take standardized tests throughout your lifetime, it won’t be enjoyable and it will be stressful. These tests can seem like a huge obstacle on the path to your future, like they’re standing between you and success. But in the grand scheme of the life, standardized tests don’t mean all that much. To my Smart Girls who know the standardized testing routine like the back of their hand: I’m not going to promise it will be over soon, because it won’t. However, your stress ends for the time being. At younger ages, the sole purpose of these tests, such as the NECAP where I live,

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is to gauge how well your teachers are covering state-mandated curriculum. You should certainly try your best, but do not fret and spend hours studying in an attempt to get a perfect score or in the highest percentiles. At this point, the tests don’t have any impact on your grades or your future. Enjoy some days off from typical schoolwork and take the tests as opportunities to start developing good test-taking skills.

You don’t want them to consume your psyche and mental health. To my Smart Girls in their junior and senior years of high school: I’m sure you’re already sick of hearing and reading the acronyms PSAT and PLAN, or worse, ACT and SAT. Unfortunately, during already stressful school years, this is when standardized testing does have some impact on your future. Most colleges and universities require testing scores as a part of your application, and are looking for a specific score range in their applicants. With that being said, do not worry if your scores aren’t completely in their official ranges. If at


TESTING & YOU BY MA GGIE C H AQUE T T E

first you don’t score as high as you’d like, the wonderful thing about the SAT and ACT is that you can take them as many times as you want, and can do as much preparation in between test sittings as you’d like. But having completed my testing, my recommendation is to take each test no more than 3 times. You don’t want them to consume your psyche and mental health. And if you don’t reach exactly the scores your want, it isn’t truly the end of the world. There’s so much more to who you are, and your work as a student, than the scores you receive.

There’s so much more to who you are, and your work as a student, than the scores you receive. To my Smart Girls taking standardized testing for higher degrees: I applaud your dedication and drive. Since you’ve already survived testing once, you can do it again. Take a full practice test without preparation to see your base score, and then develop a plan of action. Rediscover the preparation methods that

work best for you and work hard, but take time to enjoy the other things in your life. There’s so much hype about standardized testing, but what does it really mean? The official definition is that it is used to judge performance of students and determine their proficiency against their peers. However, they aren’t really a measure of your actual learning or learning potential. Some students are simply not good testtakers. If there’s one thing to be sure of, it is that standardized testing does not define your worth. Scores are mainly determined by machines and adults who know nothing about you. Right now, your scores may seem like the only things that matter, but there is so much more to you than some numbers on a page. You are an intelligent, wellrounded, creative, generous, and loving individual. And above all, no matter what anyone else says, you are a Smart Girl.

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HOW T 58 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


TO APPROACH CRITICISM LIKE A SMART GIRL text by Mimi Warnick

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A

s humans we make mistakes. Making mistakes is what makes us have better futures. We learn from our mistakes and they allow us to continue to achieve our goals. However, sometimes in the process of making mistakes we must receive criticism from others. This criticism is what will make us never or least try not to make the mistake again. Sometimes we tend to shy away from criticism in chance our feelings could be hurt. However, we must always respond to it with a smile, and here are some tips on how to respond to criticism in the best manner!

ask yourself is what they said true? Can it help me in the future? How will this affect my work? If you find valid answers to these questions the You must ask yourself when a person is giving criticism you received is usually valid and worth you constructive criticism if this person has the exploring! right to. Bosses, teachers, directors, parents, coaches, and experienced co-workers are usually valid people to deliver thoughts on your performance. All of these people want to help When receiving criticism from multiple people you and become better at what you are doing. or over a period of time you might notice that You should always show them respect even you all the feedback might have similar themes. This do not feel the same way. If they seem to be is a good thing! This means there is common too harsh then you can intervene, but usually issue that can be fixed and you know what it people who are delivering criticism have your is. Having common themes in feedback is very useful because you know for the future you best overall interest at heart! must immediately change what you are doing to grow closer to your goal.

Who is this person?

What is trending?

Listen to everyone!

All the people surrounding you in your field can help you. You obviously do not want to make it a “hate fest” on you, but receiving the most feedback can sometimes be the most helpful. You want the most opinions as possible so you have the most ideas on how to approach your goal in the future.

Respond!

The most important thing you can do when receiving criticism is responding. You do not want to look scared or what I like to call the “dead fish”. You must be active in the conversation and show confidence in your work. Usually people are giving you criticism because they believe in your work and want you to bring into the next level. Even if you feel overwhelmed or do not After your receive the feedback you must analyze believe in the feedback, you should always give it. After all you know your work best. You must a respectful response.

Are they valid?

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The Logic of Written By Melissa Riordan Photography By Elizabeth Hansen

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It has been a rough week: you did not do too well on that test, and you got into a fight with a friend. What do you do? Maybe pick up that wallet and head to the mall for some quality shopping time. This self-prescribed remedy better known as retail therapy supposedly helps you feel better. Swiping a credit card or clicking a purchase button is said to give you an emotional boost and take your mind off of your troubles, but why do we turn to shopping when we feel down, and does retail therapy even work? Shopping gives you control. You get to choose what you like, what you want, and what you buy, so professors at both Northwestern University and the University of Michigan say that this sense of control calms the buyer. You feel better having this small sense of power. These professors also say that having something new is distracting and therefore uplifting. By focusing on products, you are not consumed by whatever originally made you upset.

According to a study at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, it does. When female test subjects were shown a video on bullying and then given the option to shop. 44% of the participants chose to buy, and their sadness levels were significantly lower than that of those who did not buy anything.

could either choose items and “imagine” buying them, or they could simply browse. Those who imagined buying the products again were happier than those who just looked at the website.

In retail therapy, you just shop for the sake of shopping, but as a Savvy Smart Girl you usually think long and hard about what you buy. You have also been saving some money each month. If you want to put this money towards retail therapy every once in a while, that is okay, but do not let your emotions always control your financial decisions!

The best way to reap the positive benefits of retail therapy without it hurting your wallet is to follow the University of Michigan’s second study. Go to your favorite online store and add a few things to the cart. Imagine yourself buying it, but do not actually purchase it. The Ross School did a second study Exit the window and ‘leave’ everything in in which all participants watched another the store. Hopefully you will feel better without spending a penny! sad movie clip, and afterwards the subjects went to an online store. They 62 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

s


smartpicks smart shows

smart events

2014 Winter Olympics

Thank a Mailman Day

Pi Day

The world’s premier sporting event is back and will be kicking off in Sochi, Russia. This year’s Winter Olympics games will include winter sports competitions in ski jumping, figure skating, ice hockey and more. Did you know that women were not able to compete in the Olympics until 1912? Be sure to cheer on theses sporty Smart Girls as they make us proud; Katey Stone will be the first female coach of a US women’s ice hockey team, Ashley Wagner, who is expected to be a leader in figure skating competitions this year, and Jessica Jerome will be the first female ski jumper to compete for the US. Which country will you be cheering for this games? Cath the 2014 Winter Olympics between Friday, February 7th and Sunday, February 23rd, check your local listings for channels. by Maurissa Walls

February 4th is “Thank a Mailman Day!” Slip a gift into your mailbox with a little card telling your post woman why you are so thankful! If you’re anything like me, your post woman went above and beyond to deliver all of your packages and presents from Christmas shopping.

I don’t love math, but I do love pie. So on March 14th, instead of thinking about how much you dislike calculus class, spread the Math joy with a pi day celebration! Bring some of your favorite pies into math class, and make a party out of it!

A small gift card to Starbucks would certainly make your post office workers day a bit brighter. Plus, a hot coffee would help them warm up after their rounds on these blistery winter days!

Your teacher will be impressed with your newfound joy of pi, and a sweet treat will make the formulas a little easier to handle. by Rebecca Mill

by Rebecca Mill

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smart films

The Shop Around the Corner

Love & Basketball

If you’re a sucker for romantic old movies you’ll love The Shop Around The Corner. This black and white film tells the story of two bickering gift-shop employees who accidentally fall in love with each other through anonymous pen pal letters. Think pre-internet Catfish with a happy ending or Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. Either way its the most perfect Hungarian love story between Alfred & Klara.The movie features a host of other quirky employees at the Matuschek & Company store in Budapest. by Maurissa Walls

Another classic romantic drama for Valentine’s Day is the effortless Los Angeles love story of Monica & Quincy. Love & Basketball tells the fictional story of 2 teen friends who grow up next door to each other, and share dreams of playing professional basketball. They fall in and out of love over the years as they both work towards their dreams of playing for the NBA. This movie includes lots of appearances by great actresses like Sanaa Lathan, who plays Monica, Gabrielle Union, and Tyra Banks. by Maurissa Walls

smart summits

Washington DC, New York City, London and many more worldwide! Sign up registration begins January 8th, and if you are unable to attend, it is live virtually as well. Click here for more info.

Are you social media obsessed? This conference is for you! The Social Media Week conference goes from February 17th- 21st. A huge focus of the conference is trying to bridge the gender gap between women and men in the social media industry. It takes place in cities such as Chicago,

Calling all online video fans & creators! A YouTube conference in Orlando, Florida from March 21st-22nd, 2014 teaches producing skills with the best of the web. Not only is it informational, it is a way to network in a fun way. In addition to live panels and concerts, there are meet ups to meet your favorite YouTube stars. Tickets are currently on sale. Click here for yours. by Maggie Royce

Social Media Week Summit

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Playlist Live


smart reads

experienced. Just Because He Says You’re Beautiful is an ideal gift for young Smart Girls everywhere who are beginning to discover themselves and the complexity that comes with inviting someone else into the equation. While it is important to learn from your own experiences, those combined with Redd’s anecdotes are sure to make you a little more heart-smart. by Amber Ausley

Just Because He Says You’re Beautiful: Five Things Every Head-Smart/ Heart-Dumb Girl Should Know As Smart Girls, we tend to think we can figure everything out. If we can figure out the laws of physics, surely there must be similar laws we can apply to relationships. However, in Stephanie Rochelle Redd’s non-fiction book, she maps out dating mistakes that she made and the lessons she learned from them. First, Redd discusses the truth behind something as simple as a compliment. Then, explores the importance of dating, and discovering what you want before you even dive into a relationship. Have you ever wondered why paper-perfect guys can still leave you disappointed and hurt? From over-analyzing relationships to being ignorant of toxic ones, Redd makes the advice that Smart Girls hear every day very relatable. Coming from a background similar to many Smart Girls, each story that Redd describes seems to mirror something a friend or I have

This is a sponsored post written by Amber Ausley. All views are 100% her own.

smart songs

Step Out Jose Gonzalez

Telephone Line Electric Light Orchestra

The Ghost in You The Psychedelic Furs

Lay, Lady, Lay Bob Dylan

Long Highway The Jezebels

How Far We’ve Come Matchbox Twenty

Kiss from a Rose Seal

The Great Escape Patrick Watson

Neopolitan Dreams Lisa Mitchell

XO Beyonce

by Sophie Raleigh Listen to Sophie’s playlist here! FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Richard’s R wanda What was your day like today? You probably struggled to balance that scary term paper you have due on Friday at midnight with your best friend’s birthday, your field hockey game, and your newspaper editors’ meeting. Jessica Markowitz, junior in high school and ultimate Smart Girl, had to deal with all of the above plus running her successful nonprofit organization, Richard’s Rwanda. When she started this incredible foundation at the young age of 11, Jessica dedicated herself to educating and helping young girls growing up in this plagued country. Jessica proves that any Smart Girl can make a meaningful difference in the world, regardless of age. Read on to learn more about her truly inspirational story! Interview by Jessica Blum. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH RICHARD KANANGA AND HOW HE INSPIRED THIS ORGANIZATION. In 2006, when I was eleven years old my family hosted Richard Kananga, a Rwandan human rights advocate working with children whose lives were devastated by the genocide. As Richard spoke about the tragedy and the importance of rebuilding hope and forgiveness in the country, I was inspired and determined to find my own way to reach out to Rwandan girls my age. Richard connected me to girls who live on a dollar a day, without running water or electricity. Richard also related to me that girls have historically been marginalized and denied educational opportunities, especially in the rural areas. Girls are much more likely to drop out, even in the best of times, and barely half of those who enroll in primary school complete their education. And since girls have traditionally struggled in Rwandan society even more than boys, it made sense to make them the focus of my efforts.

opportunities. I have engaged US students into the group, motivating their participation and keeping up their interest. I hope to start a global movement that highlights the importance of loving one another and giving back.

I began generating support from my local community, talking with fellow students and organizing bake sales and school supply drives. I founded Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE with the mission to support educational opportunities for girls in the rural district of Nyamata. Currently, we are supporting girls to finish secondary school. The Nyamata girls will give back to their community by, helping their village, decrease child marriage, prevent HIV/ Aids and so much more. Because of Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE many teenagers in the U.S. know about these girls plights and have united to help.

Grace is one of the original girls Richards Rwanda IMPUHWE began supporting in 2006. She is remarkable, tenacious but incredibly compassionate. She has not only started her own sub chapter of the organization but has become an older sister to the other 39 girls providing them endless love. She was voted president of IMPUHWE by the Nyamata girls, ultimately showing their trust in her leadership abilities. Grace is very concerned for the wellbeing and success of all the girls. She has gone above and beyond to help them improve their academic performance in school.

Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE has several chapters across the country. Boys have also started to engage in the project understanding the value of supporting girl’s educational 68 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART ABOUT YOUR WORK WITH RICHARD’S RWANDA? I’m inspired and feel rewarded and honored by the girls in Rwanda and their incredible strength to work hard and become leaders in their community despite the many difficulties they face on a daily basis. I met the girls when I was twelve years old and I’ve watched them become leaders in their own right. They have all told me their stories; after seven years of growing up together they have become my sisters. We will remain connected for a lifetime and I feel such gratitude for the opportunity to have this experience with such incredible girls my age living across the world.

Grace has endured incredible challenges in her life starting with the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Grace was born a few days before the horrific Rwandan genocide began. She was hidden in the forest with her aunt and never


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had an opportunity to see her parents again. Grace does not even know what her mother looks like because no photos exist. Grace was raised on a dollar a day and still struggles living in dire poverty. Her aunt has been unemployed; they live in a mud hut without electricity or running water. Grace is a role model through her ability to persevere and remain strong despite the challenges in her life. She is always smiling, telling her sisters not to worry, and encourages everyone to work hard. She’s magnanimous but reaching out to her fellow peers so they can also be successful. It’s important to Grace that all the girls perform well in school, not just herself. She believes the village will thrive if all the girls become leaders. The connection between 70 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

secondary students in the US and Rwanda has been transformative for both groups. It is their first opportunity for cross-cultural exploration of people their age in different countries. I’ve been able to increase the awareness within our generation of global problems to amplify the message we can take action to make the world a better place. One of the most important outcomes is to enable Rwandan girls to stay in school who would otherwise be at home or on the streets. TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE TEACHING ENGLISH LITERACY TO IMPOVERISHED HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS IN NYAMATA. IT SOUNDS INCREDIBLE! My experiences in teaching English in Nyamata,


Rwanda every summer for the past seven years, have led me to believe an investment in a girls education will bring forth tremendous positive change and it’s one of the best ways to enhance a community. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Rwanda since I was twelve years. I established a service-learning trip for US students in 2010 so the members of Richard’s Rwanda IMPUHWE would also have the opportunity to teach English but most importantly bond with the girls in Rwanda. My experiences teaching English was transformative. I certainly have learned just as much if not more from the girls themselves. We have a beautiful partnership. Its amazing to see how motivated these girls are to truly learn and dedicate their time and energy to improving and learning English.

ARE YOUR PARENTS, EXTENDED FAMILY AND FRIENDS SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR GOALS? My parents, especially my mom has been incredibly supportive and active in the organization from the beginning. Both of my parents serve on the board of directors, my mom as the President of the board. As an eleven-year-old student I needed adult support and the Seattle Girls School community more than rallied to my cause. My friends have been invaluable; they joined the organization right away in 6th grade and have never left my side. One of my good friends, Ellie, has been an incredible supporter contributing so very much to Richard’s Rwanda –IMPUHWE. She has organized several fundraisers and recruited many members to the organization. Her mom, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Emmy has been instrumental as well; an incredibly dedicated parent. I’m fortunate to have so many phenomenal people believe in me and go out of their way to support my vision. WILL YOU CONTINUE YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH RICHARD’S RWANDA WHEN YOU GO TO COLLEGE? I’m dedicated and committed to these efforts for a lifetime. The girls are sisters to me and I will continue to see them at least once a year. I still serve as an advisor to the Richard’s Rwanda IMPUHWE chapters even though I graduated from high school and now am taking a gap year in Israel. This organization has shaped my life since I was eleven years old. I hope to bring it to college with me but it is hard to say what the future looks like. HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHECK IN ON THE CHILDREN THAT YOU’VE MET/ HELPED? I communicate weekly through facebook or the Internet. I have traveled to Rwanda to see the girls for sevens year and hope to continue my yearly visits. Richards Rwanda IMPUHWE has achieved many of its goals, including providing for the basic needs of many girls to attend school, while also inspiring students in the US and Rwanda to help their fellow sisters. Our fundraising efforts have grown exponentially and currently we’ll be able to sustain our project on average with the hope of adding more girls yearly and to continue supporting them through their secondary educational needs. This includes funding their school fees, uniform, school supplies and insurance coverage for the next six years. On my first trip to Rwanda I visited the Forum of African Women Educationalist Girls School and developed a friendship with a few students at the school. One student in particular had 72 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

lost family during the genocide and asked if I could be her sister. When I returned to Rwanda the following year my new sister had a surprise waiting for me. She had decided it was important for Rwandan city girls to reach out to the rural girls less fortunate and she started a chapter of my organization in her school. I was overwhelmed with joy because the FAWE students gave me their pocket money and have now committed to volunteer for my organization for a lifetime. They told me if an American could do it, then so can we! The school has subsequently adopted my program as a community service mentoring project and over 80 FAWE students have signed up to participate. IN YOUR OWN WORDS, WHAT IS RICHARD’S RWANDA’S MISSION? Richards Rwanda IMPUHWE works to empower girls in Rwanda to become leaders in their community while also creating friendships and cross-cultural relationships with US students that last a lifetime. IN REGARDS TO THE ORGANIZATION, WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGE THAT YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME? There were many challenged that I faced such as doing work across the world was very difficult simply because Rwanda is so far away from Seattle. However a deeper issue for me was dealing with the negative people in high school that were rude and always making fun of me for my work. However by Junior year I truly started to embrace it and it no longer got me down, it was what defined me. I left my mark by making my yearbook quote “IMPUHWE” just to make sure everyone knew it was forever apart of my life.


SPOTLIGHTS | COLLEGE | HELLO FROM HOME | DEAR SMART GIRL

sisterhood

Barnard College

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Barnard on the Brain: Life at the Liberal Arts College for Women in New York City By Emma Arett

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It’s like living anywhere else in New York. Outside my window, the 1 train rumbles past, taxis speed through yellow lights, and hordes of people zoom by. The only difference is that, every so often, someone pauses to examine the intricate gates that announce they are in front of Barnard College of Columbia University, the liberal arts college for women in New York City. Sometimes they scoff, sometimes they shrug, and sometimes they realize that within these gates are some of the most bold, beautiful women they will ever meet. This is my first year at Barnard, and I am completely smitten.

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arnard College is one of the four undergraduate schools at Columbia University, along with Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of General Studies. It began as a women’s college, back when educating women in anything other than cooking and cleaning was taboo. But now that Columbia University accepts students of all genders, Barnard’s community of amazing people is even more unique. We live in dorms across the street from the Columbia campus and have our own dining hall, student center, and academic buildings. But Barnard students are welcome to enroll in courses at Columbia, and many Columbia students take Barnard classes. It’s a complicated relationship to characterize-the two are only separated by a walk across the street, but sometimes it feels like they are so far apart because of how small and tight-knit the Barnard community is. Women’s college can give some people pause-- I never saw myself living in an all women’s dorm, let alone enrolling in one of the most famous Seven Sisters schools.

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But the community here is incredibly diverse-I have met Barnard students who identify as all genders (and sometimes none!) and people from all walks of life. Still, my school is as “women’s college-y” as you choose to make it because of our close relationship with the rest of Columbia. There are boys in almost all of my classes, and I have made some great guy friends in my time here so far. Almost every extracurricular offered is open to every school, and it’s impossible to distinguish which student is from where. I even have lots of great female friends from across the street, and my Columbia friends don’t see me as any different from them. I just live a little further away! The academic life here has been one of the most difficult and rewarding parts of coming to college. I currently plan to double major in Urban Studies and English, with a concentration in political science andcreative writing. It’s constantly challenging, obviously, but there is no feeling like getting an A on a midterm you had to put your life (and commitment to hygiene) on


hold to study for. Many of the most specialized classes are relatively small, and even in the larger ones, professors are excited and willing to speak with their students during office hours. All Barnard first-years have to take Freshman Foundations courses-- one semester of English, and one semester of a seminar course. These are small classes of 12-15 students also in their first year at the school, and focus on developing critical reading and writing skills. My English class last semester was Women in Culture, and I was constantly amazed by the level of discussion and the intellectual brilliance displayed by my classmates. Every student is matched with an academic adviser as well, and one of the most wonderful parts about being such a small school is the intense bond you develop with your adviser. I couldn’t imagine my life without Professor Schor-Haim, who has guided me so expertly through my time here. The class deans are also an amazing group of people-- the first year dean knows almost all of us by name and can tell you just how many harried e-mails I’ve sent her panicking about what gym class I’ll be placed in.

advantage of here are the endless extracurriculars offered. There are tons of opportunities for freshmen to become really involved in everything that they are passionate about. I only have enough time to devote to two, but I have absolutely love both of them. I am a DJ on WBAR radio, Barnard’s free-form online radio station. My show last semester, 742 Evergreen Terrace, played weekly from 4-6AM on Thursdays, and I made playlists for characters from The Simpsons. WBAR puts on two events a year-- a themed “winter formal” where all kinds of cool bands play, and a barbecue later in the year. Winter formal this year had an intergalactic swing--“Space Prom 3013”--and featured Diarrhea Planet as its headliner. I also sit on the editorial board of 4x4 magazine, the University’s only publication dedicated solely to publishing the work of undergraduates. It was an especially important year for 4x4 because of our Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $10,000 to fund its future. The magazine also puts on monthly open mic nights cohosted with campus groups. My favorite was the one we cohosted with WBAR, of course-- “Punk Poetry” featured both student readers and student bands. But if you’re not into music or literature, you’re guaranteed to find your place here somewhere. Whether it’s through a glee

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club or a religious organization, there are so many excited people that are more than willing to invite you into their worlds. While it can be difficult to find a place in what seems like an incredibly daunting environment, clubs have helped me find lots of like-minded individuals who I would hate to never have met because I was too shy to try. But if you’ve got your MetroCard in hand and are looking for an adventure, living in New York means that there are millions of resources at your disposal. No matter what you’re looking for, whether it be amazing food or a great concert, it’s impossible to be “bored” living here if you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking

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for. Bowery Presents is a great website to find concerts going on every night-- get a group of friends together and see a band you’ve never heard of! Often, shows are pretty cheap and tons of fun. If you’re really savvy, like some of my friends are, you can find secret shows and ways to get tickets to them. A friend and I were able to talk our way into an intimate concert Vampire Weekend (Columbia alums!) did for Artists’ Den, a program on PBS. There were tears on my face before they could even get out the opening chords of “Diane Young.” Besides concerts, there are some great student discounts on Broadway shows to be found at the Columbia ticket center and cheap AMC passes available at the Barnard store. There are even lotteries


you can enter that give you a chance to win free tickets to things like sports games, symphonies, and art openings. Speaking of art, your student ID gets you into a host of many of New York’s most famous museums! You should also make time to integrate yourself into the world that is New York, especially if you’re from out of town. Barnard has a great office of community engagement, and they send out a weekly newsletter that gives tips about internships and volunteer opportunities for us. I became involved with the New York City Urban Debate League, and spent a couple of Saturdays last semester volunteering to judge middle school tournaments. It wasn’t a huge time commitment, and I got to see an area of the city that I never would have visited before. Plus, it really makes a difference to these organizations--one day of your involvement can mean the world.

anything for. I said “yes” to visiting Chinatown with my roommate and ate some of the best dumplings I’ve ever had. I said “yes” to applying to 4x4, and now I get to hang out with some of my campus’ most creative minds-- people I never would have met otherwise! I would tell you it’s like living anywhere else in New York, but it’s not: at Barnard, we are forced to bring our A-games every day, and to be the brightest, baddest babes on the Upper West Side. Barnard it is an environment that encourages you to say “yes.” I’m so glad I did.

I tell every young woman I meet to consider Barnard for her undergraduate education. It’s not an easy school, and it’s definitely not for everyone. There are tons of great schools, and only you can find the right one for yourself. There was a week my first semester that I spent laying in bed all day and crying, skipping a full day of classes and trying to figure out the cheapest way to get from New York back to my home in St. Louis. I struggled to keep up with the readings and essays that piled up on top of me and felt like I would never be able to find a group of friends-let alone someone to eat dinner with that night. But after my tenth weepy phone call home, my mother told me the secret. She told me there is no shame in eating alone, or being homesick, or feeling like you just aren’t right for a place. She said you have to keep trying, and keep saying “yes” to things for at least a little while. I said “yes” to the girls I met during orientation week when they asked me if I wanted to grab lunch sometime, and now I have a group of people I adore aggressively and would do basically FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Meet of Miss O & Friends

Interview By Leah Kashar What inspired you to start your website, Miss O & Friends?

Miss O & Friends was inspired by drawings that I did when I was ten years old. My mom, Hermine, who is a graphic designer took the drawings and brought them to life on the computer. For years my mom, sister Olivia (the real Miss O), and I just played around with the Juliette and Olivia characters and had them do activities that we liked to do. For Olivia’s 8th birthday party (I was 13), my mom 80 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

made “Miss O-like” characters for my sister and her friends, making them almost life-size for them to see when they came in the house. Her friends absolutely loved them and kept saying how the girls were just like them! Since Olivia and her friends were getting close to the middle school years and I was still currently in them, I wanted to create something for my sister and her friends to help them through these hard times. Hence, Miss O & Friends. With the continuing help of Photo Credit: Missamazingpageant.com


my mom and new help of my dad, Paul, Miss O & Friends was created with it’s official launch in April of 2005. In 2009, the Proctor & Gamble Company invested in Miss O, which helped us gain momentum.

What do you hope that girls gain from your website?

To help girls know that they are not alone and what they’re going through isn’t as strange as they think, it really helps them to build confidence and overcome those obstacles at the time.

What advice do you have for girls who want to start a business?

It’s hard work, but if you believe in it and The tween years are a crucial age for girls are passionate about it, you can get others because a lot of what happens during this to believe in it and in you too. It’s always time sets the stage for the rest of a girl’s important to understand your target life. Girls go through A LOT audience and determine the gap you are during these years; boys start come into filling with your company. Make sure to the picture, their bodies are changing, determine the importance of your cliques begin to form, bullying increases, company, how it’s different from other school becomes more serious, and girls things out there and why you think it’s struggle with self-esteem and the needed. This is cliché, but it’s still the pressure to fit in. With Miss O & Friends, best advice out there: Don’t give up. If we want to create a safe environment there is a will, there is a way and I am where girls can just be themselves. By so happy that I didn’t give up even after providing 100% COPPA-compliant safe people told me it wouldn’t be successful, socialization, the Miss O users have built they didn’t get it and I should just stop. a community of girls who offer advice Not everyone is going to believe in you, and support to one another while also but you have to find the people that do having fun and talking about everything and you will be successful. in the “girl world”. Questions range from, “Does it make me a loser if I still like this What have you learned from startmovie and my friends don’t?” or, “My best ing a business at such a young age? guy friend likes my friend and I think I’m I’ve learned so much throughout the starting to like him!” or, “I’m so scared whole process. I didn’t study to get my period- I don’t know what it entrepreneurship or business in college, means!” so everything I’ve learned is from I think it’s so important for girls to have a place where they can ask those uncomfortable questions and feel supported by their peers, instead of intimated or bullied. Girls always feel like they are alone in whatever they’re going through and that no one has ever experienced what is happening to them.

actually experiencing it. I’ve been able to learn and soak things in from the people who are around me and the people I work with who are experts in their fields. It was really important for me to always be learning from people… Even when I wasn’t actively “trying” to learn! Being so young when Miss O started, I learned that I needed to believe in myself if I wanted FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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other people to believe in me too. Just because I was young, it didn’t mean I didn’t know what I was talking about or that I didn’t have a good idea. Sometimes people can think that because they are young, people won’t take them seriously… But make them take you seriously, because once they do, they will have a whole new respect for you because you are young.

out there, they didn’t understand the difference between having multimillions and being valued in the multimillions. I constantly need to clarify that today… Especially when “lifestyles of the rich and famous” shows approach me.

What were some challenges that you faced in starting Miss O & Friends?

There have been a lot of challenges, too many to name, and they are always hard. I have already dedicated 8 years of my life to Miss O, and I love and care about this The company officially started when I business so much. With that being said, was 16… And I say officially because that my life and Miss O are one in the same. is when we launched our website, but It’s hard to not let setbacks in the there was still so much to be done in the company upset me personally, but as they early stages. I was 19 and in college when are so intertwined, they do. I’m a very the company was valued in the emotional person and I end up getting multimillions. My friends and people who overly emotional about the company if cared about me were proud and excitsomething doesn’t go as planned. That’s ed, but those who didn’t really know me something I’m always working on and has would sometimes make comments that proved to be the hardest thing for me. were just obnoxious. Like many people

How did having a multi-million dollar business at age 16 effect your personal life?

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inspiring to me. When she was younger, Try, try and try again. But every time each she played sports, but she was also very into art and fashion. She told my try fails, try it differently the next time. You can’t do the same thing over and over parents that she wanted to stop afterschool sports so she could focus on and expect a different result. her art. They agreed to it, but made her promise that the time afterschool that Who are your role models and would have been spent doing sports, why? needed to be dedicated time to her art. My mom, dad and sister, all for different They thought they would have to force reasons: My mom because she’s an her to do it, but instead they had to force incredibly talented artist, but also an her stop! She would go downstairs to her incredibly talented multi-tasker who is so studio she created for hours and hours… hardworking while still able to balance It’d be past dinnertime and they literally life. Before she was working on Miss O had to drag her upstairs. She knows what “full time”, she had another full time job she wants to do and will do everything to and when she got home at 6 or 7pm, she get there and we can both relate on that. would have dinner and then be up until 11 or 12 doing what she needed to do for What is your definition of a Smart Miss O. She really does it all and it’s the Girl? way I want to live my life too. No one is perfect, and I think being a Smart Girl means that you realize you I learn the most from my dad and he can’t be perfect. Instead, she learns from teaches me things without even her mistakes and takes that knowledge realizing he’s doing it. I’ll find myself on a call with a potential partner or sponsor with her moving forward to do better and I’ll say a sentence that I’ve heard him next time. say while he’s on the phone and it’s always effective. The most important thing my dad has taught me is to believe in myself. When I doubt myself or say I can’t do something, he will always say to me, “Do you believe in me?” to which my response is always, “Yes,” and he then says, “Well, believe in me that I believe in you.”

What is your life philosophy?

And then there’s my sister, who is my younger sister, and the inspiration behind Miss O & Friends. Usually a younger sister would say her older sister a role model, but Olivia is so mature, driven and focused that it is so FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Hello from Home:

By Erin McAdam 84 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


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With Canada being the second largest country in the world, with a population of over 35 million, there is a lot of range in what is considered “normal.” Today, we’ll talk about Toronto.

Culture

Education

The Canadian education system is fairly similar to the United States’. Primary and Secondary education systems have no tuition, and the curriculum varies by province. Primary education is generally considered Kindergarten – Grade 8, but some areas have middle schools for students in grades 6-8. High school takes 4 years to complete, with some students choosing to spend an extra year to get Toronto is also the location of many events, from Nuit Blanche, an all-night art extra credits or upgrade the ones they festival, to concerts of all types and sizes, already have. This is often referred to as a “victory lap.” to the Toronto Pride Week, which is one of the biggest LGBT celebrations in the Post-secondary schools (Colleges and world. With a population of over 2.6 million, Toronto is Canada’s largest and most diverse city. Actually, Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. Nearly 50% of Toronto residents are part of a minority group, and that is shown in the cultural neighborhoods that include Greektown, Little Italy, Portugal Village, Little India and two Chinatowns.

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Universities) in Canada have educational models that are usually very similar to American schools. Universities such as the University of Toronto are very prestigious, with many international students seeking admission. In Canada, a University always refers to a 4-year & Graduate institution where you receive a bachelor’s degree or higher, and a College is a 2-year school where you receive a diploma. One major difference from America in the Canadian education system is tuition fees. One year of university at nearly any school in Canada usually costs less than $10,000 for Canadian citizens.

Food

Due to the diversity of Toronto, there are many different types of food available to hungry residents. There could be Chinese, Italian, and Indian restaurants within only a few minutes walking distance of each other.

Another well-known Canadian food is peameal bacon, known as “Canadian bacon” in the United States. Peameal bacon originated in Toronto, and is made of boneless pork loins, sweet pickle-cured and then rolled in cornmeal. It is often served on a bun or as a breakfast meat.

Weather

Toronto, has four very distinct seasons, with humid and warm summers and cold winters. While Canada is often recognized for its snow and cold temperature, the most populated parts of Canada actually get quite warm. In southern Ontario, which is the most populated part of Canada, summer temperatures reach as high as about 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and snow usually only occurs from December to early March.

Canadian cuisine is also very similar to food in the United States, but Canada’s most notorious food is undeniably poutine. What is poutine, you ask? It’s French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Simple, fatty, and delicious. It is so popular that most fast food chains have begun selling it, including Burger King, Wendy’s, and most recently, McDonald’s. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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Social

One of the great advantages of Toronto being such a large and diverse city is that there is never a shortage of things to do. The Greater Toronto Area holds many of Canada’s largest shopping malls for those who love to shop, and if you are looking for a more unique and cultural experience, you can visit any of the cultural neighbourhoods to so cultural activities, shop for unique items and eat authentic cultural cuisine. Some big attractions in Toronto include Canada’s Wonderland, which is Canada’s biggest and one of its most well-known amusement parks, and home to the Leviathan, which is Canada’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, as well as the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre, the CN Tower and Casa Loma. With diversity also comes a wide range of arts. While visiting Toronto, at any given time you could be watching a play, attending a sports game for a local team such as the Blue Jays or the Toronto Maple Leafs, visiting an art gallery, or going to a concert for any genre and size. Toronto draws in concertgoers from near and far, because it is often the only Canadian stop on many American tours. There are many venues in Toronto, ranging from small venues like the Opera House (approximately 550 capacity) to massive venues such as the Rogers Centre (up to 55,000 capacity).

Holidays

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day (A.K.A. Veterans Day), Thanksgiving, and Christmas (with the exception of people who celebrate alternatives to Christmas, such as Hanukah). Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are often spent with families, and are considered “family holidays.” With the exception of Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in October in Canada, these holidays are celebrated on the same day as they are in the United States. Most families make a turkey or ham dinner on each of these holidays and serve the food buffet-style. Of course, gifts are handed out at Christmas as well. Halloween is supposed to be a spooky holiday, where people decorate their homes with decorative ghosts, spiders, witches, etc. Children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door “Trick-orTreating,” where they receive candy from the homeowners. One of the biggest holidays that are specific to Canada is Canada Day. It occurs every year on July 1st, and events draw large crowds of proud citizens wearing the colours red and white, carrying little flags, and sometimes even donning painted faces and bodies. Larger Canada Day events are found in cities near most towns and often include carnival rides, food vendors, local business booths, concerts, and fireworks to end the night.


See Her Smarts: An Interview with Jennifer Pozner

Interview by Leah Kashar Questions and Transcription by Eleanor Harte

J

ennifer Pozner is the Founder and Executive Director of Women In Media and News, the first national organization dedicated to transforming the media for women through media literacy and media monitoring and analysis. She sat down to talk with us about her organization, book, and the future of feminism! What was your first job out of college?

My first job out of college was working as a staff member at the Center for Campus Organizing, where I learned a whole lot that would later help me when I founded my own non-profit 10 years later, but not in the way that you might think. I unfortunately learned that even in the most progressive groups there can be problems with sexism and racism. I was hired to work in a

non-hierarchal, social justice-oriented collective, where everyone was dedicated to doing the work of helping campus activism across the country achieve social justice goals. I get there, and it wasn’t what I expected at all. It turned out they expected me to be their secretary, which wasn’t what I thought I was there for. I eventually had to quit because I was being harassed. I learned you really have to judge every organization on its own merits, and match mission and vision to organizational leadership and action.

How does what you studied in school relate to your career?

I went to Hampshire College, which is very liberal arts and doesn’t have majors or core curriculum. We designed our own educational plan. I focused on journalism, feminist studies, and media criticism. So pretty much everything I do today is grounded in what I did as an undergrad, because I always knew what I wanted to do.

What led you to starting Women and Media in News?

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There was no other organization in the country dedicated to a holistic approach to transforming the media for women. By that I mean there were groups that did advertising analysis and how it negatively affected women and girls’ self-esteem, and other groups that looked at things from a PR side, but nothing that looked at women as a core constituency needing media reform and trying to do something about it. I thought it was important that we highlight women’s representation as key to our survival, our physical safety, and our ability to thrive.

“[When I started Women in the Media and News], there was no other organization in the country dedicated to a holistic approach to transforming the media for women.”

women and girl in the media. The information is available at realitybitesbackbook.com. We want people to start to understand that every issue is a women’s issue, not just stereotypical ones. We also support advocacy journalism, calling attention to representations of women and girls in the media in ways grounded in deep research. That’s something we see more of these days. People are talking about it, but it really wasn’t being done when I founded WMIN. One of the reasons I started the group was to help build the movement around women in media, and that has happened, so I feel very proud.

What do you think are currently the biggest barriers to women and how can we overcome them? I think economic justice issues across the board are extremely right now. It’s hard to pick just one. Right now we’re politically in this moment of intense anti-feminist backlash, where there’s many attacks on women’s healthcare rights, reproductive rights, etcetera. When I was in college I never thought nearly 20 years later this would still be going on. That combined with lack of inequality and economic issues makes it very difficult for women to thrive right now. It’s all connected with racial injustice, and we can’t achieve any of our goals without tackling racial, gender, and economic injustice at the same time.

How does Women and Media in News specifically achieve its goal of increasing women’s presence and power How has the media and women’s presence in it changed since 2001 when in the public debate? you started WMIN? We do it through media literacy and media criticism talks, lectures, and trainings at schools. We also have lectures and workshops to teach people how to change and diversify the quality and quantity of representations of 90 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

When I started WMIN we had never had a primetime news anchor on a network newscast that was a woman. It was years later that Rachel Maddow got her show and we had an


actual announced, admitted feminist hosting a talk show. It was only a couple years ago that Melissa Harris Perry became the first black feminist to host a news show. There are now at least several strong feminist voices in broadcast news that didn’t exist before, and that has started to change the landscape of the news cycle in very specific ways. Before R broadcast and cable news cycles did not report very regularly on attacks on women’s reproductive rights, for example. But because that was a pet issue of Rachel Maddow’s and something she regularly covered, that started to effect the news cycle so that other print and television journalists almost felt forced to cover it. She brought news to the forefront that until then was generally either in print news or online feminist spaces.

What led you to writing your book ‘Reality Bites Back’ and what were your findings?

In the year 2000, I was running the women’s desk at Fairness and Accuracy Reporting. There was a show called “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?” that was the first major reality TV show. It was basically a Miss Universe meets Mail Order Bride where they married a woman on air, a legally binding wedding. I looked at that and thought there was just something so strange about it. A few months later Survivor started. People thought these were fads that were going to pass, but I was seeing the same gender stereotypes in these shows that I had been seeing in the news media over the years, but it was being sold to us as reality. I worried that it would be really bad news for women if this started to dominate the TV landscape. The Bachelor, America’s Next Top Model, Wife Swap, Nanny 911, all

these shows had negative representations of women. I kept waiting for a book to come out, but it never did, and in 2008 I decided I would do it. The real takeaway is that reality TV has been functioning as backlash against women’s rights and social justice, and it’s taking place under the deeply manipulative lie that this is real. The other finding is that reality TV has been able to achieve a vision of the world where women not only appear to have no real choices, but we don’t even appear to want any.

“It can be very difficult to be true to who you are if you mostly follow media messages about who you’re supposed to be.” What words of advice do you have for high school girls and college women?

I think one of the most important things is to learn who you are, what you believe, what your values are, and to always be authentic to your own values. Because the corporate media and social media are all around us now and it’s almost impossible to escape the messages of what we’re supposed to be, and almost all of those messages are controlled by corporate agendas that don’t have our dignity and value at heart. It can be very difficult to be true to who you are if you mostly follow media messages about who you’re supposed to be.

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dear

smart girl The world today is full of uncertainty and excitement. Although the millennial generation is faced with many hardships, we live in a time where we are encouraged to think outside the box. Technology allows us to take matters into our own hands and create our own opportunities. The new normal is that there is no normal. This generation is pushing boundaries; we are incredibly entrepreneurial and we have the opportunity to build our brand and following through social media. Thinking within the lines never got me anywhere. Do you know how crazy people thought I was for thinking I could produce and host an hour long radio talk show at 16 years old? I was told that it was never going to work, people would never take me seriously, and that I was just too young. I believed in myself enough to at least try before I succumbed to the negative chatter amongst my peers and elders.

define your target audience or market, and decide what mediums will work best to help spread your message. Never assume that something can’t be done. Instead, challenge yourself to explore alternate options that can ultimately lead you to the end goal. Before I launched my first radio series, I had the opportunity to pitch my show concept to the one and only Kelly Ripa. After I gave her my one minute show pitch, she pointed her finger in my face and said, “Chelseapersistence, persistence, persistence, I know I will be interviewing you someday.” Those words chime in my head whenever I start to doubt myself. If I could take Kelly’s encouraging words and add my own twist I would say, “Be persistent, surround yourself with a positive support system, challenge yourself to think outside the box and you will ROCK IT OUT!”

Now, seven years later, I’ve realized that you have to color outside the lines in order to follow your dreams. In order to color outside the lines effectively you must be passionate, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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printable!

Goals of the Months

We believe that if you are going to take time to do something, you deserve tangible proof that you got something out of it. That is why we created the Goals of the Month page. This page is where we tie in pieces of the magazine to create a fun fill-in that will empower you to Live the Smart Life. We leave it up to you to determine exactly what the Smart Life means to you by having the goals be fully customizable. Smart Girls are all different, so our goals are, too. I am smart. This month, I will share my smarts with ____________ by __________________. This issue is all about living outside of the lines. This month I will __________________ to take risks and further discover myself. Tiffany Dufu has pursued her passion with gusto. This month, I will pursue my passion by __________________. Health can fit into even my busiest days with Mandy’s workout tips. This month I will make fitness more of a priority by ________________________. I can think outside of the lines through my style, too. This month, I’ll do that by __________________. I am part of the Smart Girl Sisterhood. This month, I will show sisterly love by _______________________. The Smart Girls Group is all about inspiration. This month, I will be inspired by _______________________ and inspire by _______________________. Smart Girls are ambitious girls. They look toward the future and start working towards their goals now. I aspire to _______________________, so this month, I will _______________________ to work towards that.

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Thank You

This month’s theme is about going outside the lines. We have so many people to thank for supporting our creativity and helping us take risks. As with all Smart Girl’s Guide issues, there are a few people who we want to thank in particular. ANA CORDERA, for being an inspiration to all of us to pursue out dreams and for being a wonderful cover girl. Thank you for making this issue so special! TIFFANY DUFU, for taking time out of your incredibly busy schedule to give us your insight into women empowerment and all of the amazing work you have done. JESSICA MARKOWITZ, for thinking outside the lines and making an impact in Rwanda. You are the true definition of a Smart Girl and we are blessed to have you in this issue. JULIETTE BRINDAK, for being our Smart Girl Spotlight and creating such a wonderful business for girls.

JENNIFER POZNER, for being our See Her Smarts feature this month and telling us your amazing story. Thank you for empowering women through Women in the Media and News.

CHELSEA KROST, for writing our Dear Smart Girl letter for our February/March issue. We are so inspired by what you are doing for our generation. LAURA GILLIGAN & LINDSEY FENDER, for taking such beautiful pictures for this issue. Thank you for making this magazine sparkle with your talent. And of course, we thank all of our SMART GIRL SISTERS, whose tireless efforts have made this magazine possible. Thank you for believing in this mission and the power of smarts. Finally, thank you to all of our SMART STORY SPREADERS AND SUPPORTERS. You are uniting the next generation of superstar women and we could not be more fortunate to have people like you cheering us on.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

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“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” -Fabienne Fredrickson 96 smart girl’s guide | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014


Issue No. 19