A Day With Marlee Matlin
A LOOK INSIDE THE LIFE OF THE OSCAR AWARD WINNING ACTRESS
BE SMART. SHARE SMARTS.
OBAMACARE & HOW IT IMPACTS SMART GIRLS p. 14
smart life is a
balanced life NEWS • EMPOWERMENT • HEALTH • STYLE • AND MORE!
SMART GIRL SPOTLIGHT
HOW THIS GIRL IS CHANGING THE WORLD FOR THE DEAF p. 72
BE STYLISH & SAVE! p. 26
FOLLOW THE FOOD PYRAMID
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hey smart girl! A N O T E F R O M E M I LY
We can’t have it all. I mean, “all” is a pretty big word. What we can be is wellrounded. We all know that girl who seems to have it all going on. She is the President of her class. She volunteers at the inner city children’s program. She is the captain of the tennis team. She always looks put together. And, best of all, she is a genuinely nice person. We all know her and we may even envy her. We can all be that girl. What makes her so remarkable isn’t that she is necessarily perfect-- after all, no one is-- it’s that she simply embodies what it means to live a full life. Being well-rounded is no easy feat, but it is something that we should all be fiercely pursuing. Being well-rounded means being aware about the world around you and the world that came before you. Articles that inform young women about the difference between the Sunnis and the Shi’ites or how a nation’s budget works is not seen in most magazines for people our age. However, it is vastly important that we as Smart Girls know just as much about our world’s affairs as we do about the fall’s hot TV shows (which, by the way, were 2 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
curated very nicely by some of my Smart Girl Sisters in this issue). This magazine, as with all Smart Girl’s Guides, is our effort to provide young women with a field guide for not only living successfully, but living enjoyably. I truly believe that we love life most when that life is full. We may not be able to have it all, but we can be wellrounded. Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Smart Girl’s Guide! I hope it helps you carve your path to living a full, smart life.
Emily Raleigh Founder & Smart Starter @emilyeraleigh
ISSUE NO. 15
OCTOBER SMART FEATURES 36 MEET THE COVER GIRL
Meet Elizabeth Tell, a new New York City college girl, studying neuroscience!
We know it’s confusing. Bridget Brennan has you covered.
26 FALL STYLE & SAVINGS
Have you ever shopped consignment? After this style spread, you will!
79 A DAY WITH MARLEE
Smart Girl Sister, Leah, spent the day with Switched at Birth actress, Marlee Matlin.
50 FOOD PYRAMID FEASTS Nutrition can be a tricky balancing act. Sara is here to show you the ropes.
72 SMART GIRL SPOTLIGHT
This 15 year old invented something that is changing how deaf people watch movies. Oh and she’s in high school and college at the same time.
“The world simply does not evolve around you but you are very important and you are the one who sets up a reputation for yourself.” Marlee Matlin OCTOBER 2013
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OCTOBER agenda BE SMART. SHARE SMARTS.
THE SUNNIS & THE SHI’ITES
FEMALES & FILM
They aren’t so similar and every Smart Girl needs to know the difference.
Women are being poorly represented in film and Quincy will tell you why.
16 A NEW ENERGY IN ENGINEERING
Women continue to break glass ceilings. Netia tells us why we need to do that in engineering.
THE WOMEN’S MARCH ON VERSAILLES
Learn how women impacted the French Revolution. Talk about girl power.
“Have you ever made something to solve a problem? Then you are an engineer.”
SMART STYLE & SAVINGS 26
We headed to Jane Consignment to learn a thing or two about saving while shopping.
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48 SMART HEALTH 44
You don’t need a gym membership to get in shape. Annie will tell you why.
46 TRICK OR TREATS
We all need some treats every once in a while. Brittany shows us the best choices for Haloween.
BREAKING THE BUBBLE
The balancing act involves your social life, too. Not that outgoing? Don’t worry, Maggie has you covered.
57 IMPRESSING THE IMPRESSIVE
Networking doesn’t work unless you do. Mimi will tell you why.
CULTURE & LIFESTYLE PICKS Smart Girls from all over the world weigh in on the smartest things to do in September, from farmers’ markets to films.
WOMEN IN THE WORLD
Check out Women in the World, our Opportunity of the Month, and learn how this organization is changing the world for women and girls.
61 SISTERHOOD SWEET BRIAR COLLEGE 68
Take a look at the life of a Sweet Briar College Smart Girl, Rebecca.
SMART GIRL SPOTLIGHT: 72 ALEXANDRA KUKOFF
This is no ordinary 15 year old. This girl is making some serious moves that you have to hear about.
HELLO FROM ENGLAND 76
Explore the beautiful countryside with our Smart Girl Sister, Beckie!
SEE HER SMARTS 84
Check out our new column, all about Smart Women in the workplace.
DEAR SMART GIRL 89
This YouTube star knows a thing or two about natural beauty and she has a note for you.
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the guide girls MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS
AMBER AUSLEY smarts sharer alabama
HALEY ROYAR LOFLIN smarts sharer virginia
JENNA FRATELLO smart selector new york
MONTANA MACRAE smarts sharer maine
MEGAN ROGERS-REILLEY smarts sharer illinois
CHRISTINA CHUNG smARTy pants new york
SOPHIE RALEIGH smarts sharer new jersey
GABBI OPPENHEIMER smarts sharer illinois
BRITTANY PETERS smarts sharer california
ALESSIA GRUNBERGER smarts sharer maryland
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ANNIE PHELPS smarts sharer rhode island
BRIDGET BRENNAN smarts sharer california
the guide girls MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS
MIMI WARNICK smart-perator pennsylvania
JULIA MATTOX smARTy pants florida
ELEANOR HARTE smARTy pants massachusetts
QUINCY BULIN head of smarts sharers texas
BECKIE MARTIN smarts sharer england
RECEBBA MILL smarts sharer virginia
SAM DUGAN smart selector delaware
ERIN CHANCY smart shooter texas
MAURISSA WALLS smarketer washington d.c.
MEGAN BECKER blog brains michigan
TORI WILBRAHAM smarts searcher pennsylvania
MAGGIE CHAQUETTE smarts sharer rhode island
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the guest girls THE GUEST CONTRIBUTORS
1. Lizzie Velasquez
Motivational Speaker & Author “#TheNewSmartGirl is a girl who lives by her own definition of beauty and uses that to help inspire others in everything that she does.” Article: Dear Smart Girl
Researcher & Social Media Editor at She’s the First Being #TheNewSmartGirl means keeping your mind open to allow new people and experiences in as you learn and grow. Believe in yourself and your passion, let that drive you to your highest dreams. Nothing is impossible or hopeless. Article: Women in the World
Founder and Executive Director, Mbadika “#TheNewSmartGirl is a girl who thinks like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” Article: Energy in Engineering
Founder, The Filthy Freedom Project “#TheNewSmartGirl is an introspective and innovative multi-sector leader; she is our future!” Article: Women in the World
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved today.
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OPEN DAILY 10-10 10 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
INTERNATIONAL | WOMEN’S ISSUES | POLITICS | ENGINEERING | HISTORY
Women in Film
While women are all over the big screen, they are not typically center stage. We think that it’s time to change that. OCTOBER 2013
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the Sunnis and the Shiites not so similar!
BY HALEY ROYAR LOFLIN
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t seems like almost every day there are news stories from the Middle East of car bombs, deaths, and chaos in the Muslim world. The origins of Islam lie with Muhammad, who lived from 570 to 632 CE in present day Saudi Arabia and served as a political and religious leader, as well as the head of the military for the area he ruled, known as Arabia. He is viewed by Muslims as the last prophet chosen and sent by God to the earth. Muhammad’s conversations and signs from God make up the Qu’ran, the essential book of Islam. This book, along with the five pillars of Islam and following Islamic Law, also known as Sharia law, ensconces nearly every aspect of life. While they might be the two most recognizable names in the Muslim world, the Sunni and Shiite sects could not be more different.
Shiite Muslims are also still concerned with the disappearance of a leader in 931 CE, and did not believe that there was a just ruler until Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came to power in Iran in 1978. The Sunni sect, the largest division of Islam, believes that they are following the true teachings of Muhammad, and follow every rule to the letter, and are often called the orthodox division. In Iraq, Sunni Muslims view themselves as descendants of the Arabic Golden Age. Sunni Muslims believe that the Muslim community was able to select the next leader of Islam, and that the 4 leaders who ruled until World War I were justly elected. They also emphasize Sharia law much more heavily than other sects, as well as relying on the power and will of God. The two largest divisions in fact make up the largest divide. Fighting has existed since the death of Muhammad. In Iraq, the the struggle between the Sunni and Shi’ite is not only religious, it is socioeconomic and political. Under Saddam Hussein, the Shia religion was persecuted until they revolted during the Gulf War of 1991. The Iraq War helped some of this, however the success of Iraq as a country will be decided in the next few years as America is no longer there to help. Other countries such as Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen have seen a sharp uptake in violence due to this struggle in recent years, and the landscape and peace in the Middle East and North Africa will be determined by exactly how well these two groups can get along.
The Shiites only hold 8% of the total Muslim population, but reign over major land factions and are the second largest sect. In Arabic, Shiite or Shi’ia, means sect or party, which is reminiscent of their split from the strict teachings of Islam. This term was first used to describe a group that began after the death of the prophet Muhammad, and they were identified through their belief of some of the teachings of Ali, the late Prophet’s cousin. Shiite Muslims believe that Ali is the rightful successor to the Prophet. Since this incorporation, they slowly became a conglomeration of Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism, which is an ancient Iranian religion. They believe that God has only the power to choose a new leader of the religion. SGG
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WSBIO AITIQI OBAMA CAREII DBDJS SDIFIV BY BRIDGET BRENNAN
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O W A I V
ell, it’s finally happening—after years of drama on Capitol Hill, a Supreme Court ruling, a presidential election, and now a government shutdown—a provision of the Affordable Care Act went into effect on October 1, 2013. The Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare, was signed into law in March of 2010. One of the provisions outlined in the law was that a marketplace was to be opened on October 1st that would allow Americans who do not have health insurance to purchase affordable health care insurance plans. This marketplace consists of “exchanges”—literally lists of insurance companies on a state-by-state basis offering levels of health care coverage at different rates. Now, regardless of whether or not we Smart Girls agree with the government mandating the purchase of healthcare plans, Obamacare is here and its time we brush up on some facts of what is really going to happen with this new insurance coverage regimen. Both the individual mandate and the health insurance marketplace will only affect those Americans who do not yet have health insurance. As for the 85% of Americans who already have health insurance, the majority of Obamacare’s changes are already in place. Under Obamacare, there are many new protections for all Americans, but some are notable, especially for women.
Insurancecompanies will no longer be able to deny any American the right to health care coverage or charge them more for coverage if they have had a “pre-existing condition”. That means that women who have survived domestic violence, breast cancer, or even have just given birth to a child can no longer be charged more or denied coverage because of these “pre-existing conditions”. Every American will now also be able to receive free preventative care. These preventative care benefits include yearly checkups, mammograms, STD checks, and maternity care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that by next year, 47 million women will receive preventive care with no out-pocket costs. Since the law now requires insurance companies to cover certain preventive care without co-pays, women can now save up to 600 dollars a year on birth control costs alone. And don’t worry, no taxpayer money is used to fund privately insured birth control. These provisions, and all provisions under Obamacare, are about making sure your insurance company covers the care you need. So despite how scary the new changes in our healthcare system may appear in the news or on TV, there are some pretty awesome advantages placed in it for all Americans, but especially women. We as Smart Girls should embrace this policy as a step in the right direction to end previous patterns of discrimination against women in the purchase of insurance
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WOME IN I
f you’re watching a movie, chances are there’s a female involved in the plot somewhere. Action film? The heroine may be rocking six-inch heels and a ripped tank top, à la Angelina Jolie in almost every work of hers ever. A romantic comedy? She might be trying to figure out why a certain male just isn’t into her. Coming-of-age? She’s perceived as either pretty and popular, or an outcast (still pretty, though).
the female body is attractive. And it’s okay to be into finding a relationship. And however people perceive you, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re yourself. What’s wrong with these characters is that they are all that Hollywood has to offer us, giving no real diversity to the viewer’s experience. Actors, on the other hand, have many more options when it comes to choosing roles.
It’s a common theme in films these days: In 1985, Alison Bechdel, a comic strip artist, Unrealistic expectations of women, whether it created a little something called the Bechdel be expecting too much or too little. Test. It was designed to see if a large amount of gender bias is present in movies. In order You may already be thinking, “Hold up! Why to pass, the movie much satisfy the following are these bad? What if I do something a female requirements: character in a movie does?” 1. It has to have at least two women in it. The roles that actresses are assuming really 2. These women have to talk to each other. aren’t a negative representation of females. Yes, 3. They must talk about something besides a man. 16 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
EN N FILM BY QUINCY BULIN
Seems simple enough, right? It’s actually harder to pass than you may suspect. Famous film failures include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II, Avatar, and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. But just because a movie does pass, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a gender bias present. Popular films such as Les Miserables and Alien make the grade, but many will agree that there’s nothing particularly empowering about them for females.
hilarious, and inspiring movies that we Smart Girls adore, but there are still some “cute” girls and a budding romantic relationship for the people who haven’t quite figured feminism out yet.
2. You are people who currently have a lot of influence on society. Think about how unique and cutting-edge you would be if you just considered this: What kind of person do you want your daughter to become? I think that will It’s important to remember that, like in school, make several of your decisions for the future a it’s not the specific tests that matter; it’s whether little easier to make. or not you’re learning from your mistakes. Hollywood, clearly, is not. Smart Girl’s Guide Hollywood: The second wave of the feminist is kicking the silver screen out, but not without movement has already begun in organizations, two little suggestions: books, and magazines. Heck, it’s what The Smart Girls Group is all about. Please consider 1. Remember Legally Blonde, Bridesmaids, jumping on the bandwagon before the third Pitch Perfect and Hairspray? Consider them a wave! compromise between us. These are the quotable, OCTOBER 2013
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Netia McCray, Founder of Mbadika
Energy in Engineering by Netia McCray Meet NETIA MCCRAY, studying electrical engineering & Founder of Mbadika, a social enterprise that explores possible solutions to the challenges that aspiring young innovators and entrepreneurs face in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Always thought you werenâ€™t an engineer? This Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) senior is about to prove you wrong.
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As a young girl, the words “scientist” and “engineer” were not foreign concepts to my little ears. I was fortunate to grow up in a household where everyone was a scientist or an engineer in some form or another. My father’s definition of a scientist was someone who looks for a solution to a problem; and an engineer was someone who makes a solution for a problem. In his eyes, my siblings and I were aspiring scientists and engineers. One example was when we were rebuilding our patio, and my sister accidently broke the measuring cup for the cement. We couldn’t use the kitchen measuring cup so we were at a loss on what to use. I came up with the idea that we needed to find a container of a fixed measurement. My
Being an engineer doesn’t mean that you necessarily build rocket ships or have a fancy degree, rather, you have the ability to create a solution to tackle a problem that you or your community is facing. sister found a nearly empty milk jug in the refrigerator that could be used to measure the cement. My father was so impressed
that he treated us to ice cream and called me his “little scientist,” and my sister his “little engineer.” When we became old enough to go to school, we realized that being a scientist or an engineer were not popular career choices, especially for little
I always like to say: “Have you ever made something to solve a problem?” If they respond with a “yes,” I responded with, “You are an engineer.” girls. In my kindergarten play, which was about what we would want to be when we grow up, there was not a single kid who dressed up as a scientist or an engineer. Even I dressed up as a 1960s-era school teacher. Luckily, even though I wasn’t exposed to science and engineering in school, my parents made sure to maintain such an environment at home. As I grew older, I realized that I had a strong desire to develop and make solutions, or become a scientist and an engineer. When I was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), I was overjoyed to be going to a university known OCTOBER 2013
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for training some of the best scientists and engineers in the world. Every semester, I’m excited to brainstorm solutions to challenges facing governments around the world, to start tinkering with a computer program, or to start building a new gadget. As a student, I’m encouraged to continue pursuing my dream of being a scientist and an engineer on and off campus.
such as building portable manufacturing centers, in order to turn these aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs’ ideas into reality.
Every semester, I’m excited to brainstorm solutions to challenges facing governments around the world, to start tinkering with a computer program, or to start building a new gadget.
I always like to say: “Have you ever made something to solve a problem?” If they respond with a “yes,” I responded with, “you are an engineer.”
Currently, I work as both as the founder and executive director of Mbadika, a social entrepreneurship venture I launched a few years ago. I’m exploring possible solutions to the challenges that aspiring young innovators and entrepreneurs face in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. I’m also developing solutions to these challenges,
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During my time building my company, I’ve come across hundreds of promising young minds, who didn’t consider themselves engineers, develop solutions.
If there is anything that my parents have taught me, it is that being an engineer doesn’t mean that you necessarily build rocket ships or have a fancy degree, rather, you have the ability to create a solution to tackle a problem that you or your community is facing. That is what being an engineer is all about. Do you have a passion for science, engineering, technology, or math? We are looking for more superstar Smart Girls to be guest contributors for our Smart Girls in STEM column. If you are interested, please send an email to email@example.com.
MBADIKA FOR IDEAS AND THOSE WHO CREATE THEM We are a platform for aspiring your innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to share and collaborate on innovative ideas, inventions, projects, organizations, and start-ups with their peers through our blog and web series. Interested in getting your ideas off the ground? Check us out on our website or on Twitter. Copyright Mbadika, 2013
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women’s march on
BY TORI WILBRAHAM 22 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
During the late 18th century, France was a country in turmoil. With new ways of thinking, those of the “old world” were seen as unjust and ancient. The lavish lifestyle of the court in Versailles and wealthy aristocrats needed to come to an end. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were criticized for being too distant form their people and not helping them when great famines were spreading throughout their country. However, a group of women brought their complaints directly to the King and Queen. How did they do this? They stormed into the palace and moved the king and queen back to Paris. The Women of the October Storm of Versailles would go on to change the history of the world. During th late 1780’s, there was a massive population increase in France which lead to a shortage of food. The population of France had increased from nineteen million to about twenty-five million people in a short span of time. Unfortunately the nobility was not making the necessary changes to adapt to this growth. Instead the distant King and Queen continued to live a lifestyle that could not be supported economically. Many people started to starve because there was not enough food. For women during this time, their main role was to take care of their families. With the food shortage and their families starving, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
the King and Queen what they really thought. Many of these women were tough and were already noted for starting the riot within the markets of Paris. These women were motivated by the shortage of bread, the anger towards the monarchy, and the potential ability to be free citizens of France. The march gathered around 7,000 Parisian women, consisting of housewives, shop owners, and fish market workers. Once at Versailles, the women were unafraid to open fire on the troops and mock the king. The women demanded a meeting with the king to ask for wheat supplies to be brought to Paris. King Louis refused to talk to the women. Unable to wait any longer, the women stormed into Versailles and took their king captive back to Paris. There he would live until he and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were beheaded during the bloody Rein of Terror. The women who participated during the March to Versailles were unafraid to break the expected roles of French Women during the 18th century. However, without their assistance during the French Revolution, the world would not be the same. These ladies were able to take their personal matters directly to the king and demanded change. Although things in France would get much worse before they would get better, the women of the French Revolution helped to change the world forever.
On October 5th, 1789, a group of Parisian women decided to march to Versailles to tell
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The one-stop-shop for Smart Girls.
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 girlsâ€™ education
an online community, exclusive to Smart Girl Sisters 24 smart girlâ€™s guide | OCTOBER 2013
Be Smart. Share Smarts.
AFFORDABLE FASHION | SHOPPING
Style & Savings
We are about to let you in on a pretty awesome secret that will save you hundreds! You can thank us later.
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26 smart girlâ€™s guide | OCTOBER 2013
We have always prided ourselves on empowering Smart Girls to be stylish and financially savvy. This month, we have taken that one step further. With a few Smart Girls, we headed to Jane Consignment, a super cute consignment shop in Princeton, New Jersey. Never shopped consignment? Trust us, after you see what these girls are wearing, youâ€™ll be a regular. by Emily Raleigh
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Greetings from Princeton University! All of these pictures were taken just steps away from Jane Consignment at Princeton University.
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beautiful clothing, accessories, furniture, art, & princeton ephemera www.janeconsignment.com 7 spring street · princeton, nj · 08542 609-683-jane (5263) follow us on facebook: www.facebook.com/janeconsignment 34 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
MEET THE COVER GIRL: ELIZABETH TELL
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Elizabeth Each month, we don’t just choose covergirls. We choose Smart Girls, whether their smarts are in the lab, on the court, or in the studio. Meet our October featured Smart Girl, Elizabeth Tell. This superstar college freshman is new to New York City, but we have a feeling she’s about to make a name for herself in the city that never sleeps. interview by Quincy Bulin photography by Emily Raleigh
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AGE: 18 YEAR IN SCHOOL:
freshman in college
HOMETOWN: Bay Head, NJ
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NEUROSCIENCE IS INTENSE. HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO MAJOR IN THAT? I love the way the mind works. I think it is so fascinating and I have always found myself getting caught up in the cognitive reasoning of animals and humans that I really wanted to learn more. When I learned about Fordham’s new Neuroscience major, I was thrilled to take part in it. WHAT KIND OF DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF MAKING IN 10 YEARS? As of now, I would really enjoy it if I had the opportunity to help a person with personal issues of social disorders. I want to be the person they can trust and vent to and seek out advice because I know how important it is to me to have someone like that present in my life. Knowing there is that one person that I can always rely on for anything lets me go through life that much more confident and I would really like to fill that role for somebody else later in life. DO YOU HAVE A “LIFE PHILOSOPHY?” Be confident in your personality and opinions because there is always someone out there feeling the same way, you just have to speak out to be heard. WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO THAT GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING? Honestly, the thing that gets me up in the morning is a good workout and a big breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and if I have time to make myself
a nice, hearty breakfast, I will certainly do so. Workouts add a nice touch because they balance out this potentially amazing breakfast. HOW DO YOU SHARE YOUR SMARTS WITH OTHERS? I am really conscious of how I am perceived by others. I make an effort to really treat other people with the respect and genuine kindness that I look for in others. I know what it is like to have friends who can leave you behind or are not always there for you and so I try and surround myself with people who I know will always be there for me and I for them. I am willing to confide in others and share who I am with people who will do the same to me. IF YOU COULD LEAVE ANY KIND OF LEGACY, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would want to start a sailing foundation in the Bahamas that would offer up the chance to learn and sail from island to island. Sailing is my passion and what is a better place to do it other than in the Bahamas? WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A SMART GIRL? When I hear “Smart Girl”, I think of a levelheaded girl who can be spontaneous and outgoing, but has a goal in life and is determined to achieve it. The smart girls in this world make mistakes and sincerely learn from them, and then go even further by applying their new knowledge throughout life. This may sound cliche, but learning from our mistakes is harder than it sounds, and taking responsibility for our mistakes is even harder. OCTOBER 2013
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SHOP Be Smart. Shop Smart.
Welcome to Smart Girlâ€™s Shop, our online shop selling limited edition Smart Girls merchandise. With every shirt you buy, a portion of its proceeds will go to sponsor a girl to go to school at the Kopila Valley School in Surkhet, Nepal. Click here to shop now! 42 smart girlâ€™s guide | OCTOBER 2013
FITNESS | COOKING & RECIPES | NUTRITION
Finding Balance: How to Actually Eat Healthy
We all heard about the Food Pyramid in grade school, but how do you actually eat a balanced diet? Sara is here to tell us how.
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We get it. You’re busy. Gym memberships are expensive. Maybe it’s just not your scene. Have no fear, you don’t have to brace the cold this winter just to break a sweat. Annie is here to tell us how we can use every day household items to exercise right at home, HIIT style! By Annie Phelps. 44 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
Do each numbered exercise hard for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times, then move on to next exercise. WARM UP: Jog in place (2-3 minutes) 1. STAIRS: Run up and down those stairs as FAST as you can! Without falling, of course. Swing your arms for momentum and an extra calorie burn. 2. UP-UP, DOWN-DOWN: Find a stair. It could be the one you just ran up and down or a porch step. Now the move is exactly what it sounds like: step up with 1 foot, then the other, then step down with 1 foot, then the other. Again, do these as fast as possible. Get a rhythm going, these are fun!
innovative exerciser be an
by Annie Phelps
3. WALL PUSHUPS: All you need is a sturdy wall! Place your hands flat on the wall, with your feet further out than the rest of your body. Bend your arms at a 90 degree angle as you move toward the wall, the back to start. 4. TRICEP DIPS: Find a sturdy chair. Place your hands on the chair, fingers facing forward. “Sit” in front of the chair with your knees bent and bend your arms at a 90 degree angle as you dip toward the ground and then return to start.
the heavy object through your legs, then stand and swing it back up. 6. RUSSIAN TWISTS: Hold that same heavy object in front of your chest and do russian twists. 7. REAR LEG LIFTS: This is the same move as in last month’s workout, except this time hold a water bottle, canned good, or if you have one, a dumbbell, in the crook of the back of your knee.
8. JUMPING JACKS: Hold 1 water bottle or canned good in each hand and proceed to do jumping jacks 5. SQUAT SWINGS: Find a heavy object, it could like normal. be a book, a water bottle filled with sand, a canned good, a medicine ball, anything. With your feet in a Don’t forget to stretch! wide stance, toes turning out, squat down and push OCTOBER 2013
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TREATS recipes by Brittany Peters
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PUMPKIN SPICE POPCORN TIME TO PREPARE: approximately 5 minutes SERVINGS: 1 medium-sized bowl INGREDIENTS: popcorn (approximately 4 cups popped) coconut oil or canola spray 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar (optional) DIRECTIONS: 1. Pop your popcorn as you usually do. 2. Once kernels are popped, let cool for a minute and then add the popcorn to a large Ziploc bag or container. 3. Add in the oil and shake the bag/container. 4. Then, add in all of the spices and shake bag/ container. 5. For added sweetness, add in maple syrup or agave and shake until evenly distributed.
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HALOWEEN COOKIE DOUGH BITES TIME TO PREP: approximately 35-40 minutes MAKES: 20-25 pretzel bites INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/4 granulated sugar 2 tablespoons of milk 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon of salt 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips 40 - 50 pretzels ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate ½ cup of white chocolate 4 - 5 drops of yellow food coloring 1 drop of red food coloring DIRECTIONS: 1. Set aside a cookie tray with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. 2. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer (with paddle attachment), throw in softened butter and sugars.
3. Mix until fluffy and add in the milk and vanilla extract. 4. Turn off mixer and add the flour and salt. 5. Begin mixing on low speed, but gradually move up to medium speed. 6. After the mixture is completely mixed, add in the mini chocolate chips 7. Roll the dough into small balls and sandwich the dough between two pretzel pieces. 8. Freeze pretzel bites for around 10 minutes. 9. Melt the semisweet chocolate and the white chocolate in two separate bowls. Microwave the chocolate for approximately 1 minute each, making sure to stir every 20 seconds or so. 10. Add the food coloring to the white chocolate until a desired orange color appears. 11. Dip the pretzel bites into the melted chocolates and place back on the cookie sheet. 12. Refrigerate the bites for at least 10 minutes.
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B alance g n i d n i F How to Actually Eat Healthy
text by Sara Beisel photography by Erin Chancy Growing up in a household under the influence of a registered dietitian has taught me the importance of establishing a balanced diet. My mom focused on teaching my siblings and me that it’s best to eat in moderation. Even though she studied nutrition, she never deprived us of snacks or foods that other kids were eating on a regular basis. Instead, she gave us healthy alternatives that usually turned out to be organic. She taught us how to make ‘better’ decisions for ourselves. Deprivation is the worst thing you can do when it comes to your diet. Dieting in general is not ideal, because it ultimately limits what you can and cannot eat. Depriving yourself of certain foods, like cookies, will only make you want 50 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
them more. If you’re craving something, eat it! Just keep in mind that moderation is the key to a balanced diet. Eating ten cookies for a snack is never a good idea, but it’s okay to have one or two as long as you pair them with something that has nutrients, like a piece of fruit (berries go really well with chocolate cookies). The major food groups are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Eating something from each food group at every meal will ensure that your body is getting adequate nutrients. Smoothies are great for breakfast because you can use all sorts of fruit, fruit juice (100% fruit juice is best), and even yogurt. Just make sure to look for yogurt that does not contain high fructose corn syrup, which your body doesn’t
recognize or digest like a regular food. Nuts are great because they are filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Whole grains provide fiber, and carbohydrates for energy. Eating natural fat, found in milk, nuts, eggs, and meat, at every meal will help you feel satisfied, so you won’t crave sugary snacks an hour later. Finding balance is about making the right choices. It’s smart to snack on vegetables instead of empty carbohydrates, and to choose whole food instead of processed foods. It’s important to keep your diet diverse and to make sure that you focus on including a variety of food groups at every meal.
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SMART opportunities OCTOBER 2013
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!
STAFF POSITIONS AVAILABLE
We are looking to expand our management team. If you are interested in start ups and have a passion for SGG, email us to find out more information about our current openings.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERS Are you a social media guru? Well we are looking for Smart Girls who know the ins and outs of social media strategy. Contact us with your resume if interested.
We are growing our magazine team again! We are in need of the following directors: Style, Health, Lifestyle, & Creative. If interested, email us with your resume and area of interest.
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.
SMART WOMEN’S NETWORK! Send all involvement emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT | EMPOWERMENT | CULTURE | SERVICE
Pumpkin Patches, Good Reads, & More! Our Culture & Lifestyles section is filled with fun things that are sure to make this the best fall ever. OCTOBER 2013
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bubble a guide to being outgoing
text by Maggie Chaquette illustration by Christina Chung
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E seems effortless.
ither you are or know that person who is a complete social butterfly . In a room full of people she’s never met, within minutes, she can carry on a conversation with anyone, about anything. It
Being outgoing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. In fact, it takes a huge amount of daring and confidence to be outgoing. The good news is, with practice, you can also become a social butterfly. The easiest first step is to find a place where you feel comfortable—a classroom, dance studio, soccer field, or even the line at Starbucks. Start small: introduce yourself, make small talk, shoot a smile at the person sitting next to you. Enlist the help of your more outgoing friends, if you want! This way, the pressure won’t always be on you to start up the conversation. At first, being outgoing may feel unnatural, especially if you are shy or introverted, but in time you won’t be able to stop connecting with everyone! Your confidence and self-esteem will skyrocket, which will really push you to get out of your
comfort zone and apply for that incredible job or internship you were once too scared to even talk about. People around you will notice that you’re more open and your relationships will become stronger. With such change, you’ll be an unstoppable Smart Girl! But perhaps you are not the shy and introverted type. You have no problem starting up a conversation or putting yourself out there for different positions. If this all comes naturally to you, then your goal should be to get out of your comfort zone. Start by making a conscious effort to care more about who people are and their interests. Ask questions about who or what something is and answer confidently when you’re asked the same questions. Doing so, learning more about the environment around you, will allow you to build upon already existing relationships. If you know you have true, meaningful connections rather than superficial ones, your self-esteem will be much higher. Start new relationships as well. Smile and compliment friends and even strangers, and try to make someone laugh every day. These small little gestures will prove to everyone how OCTOBER 2013
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outgoing you are. And the odds are in your favor to receive a smile or compliment back, which will give you a little boost of confidence to get through the day.
the process of doing so, finding out more about yourself. One thing you will never regret is finding the real, incredible you. So whether your next move is to start your transformation into a social butterfly or to build upon the outgoing Inside each one of us there is an amazing personality you already have, get started! Break person that the world is missing out on. By the bubble and let your new and improved self being outgoing, youâ€™re sharing that confident take off. Smart Girl with everyone around you, and in 56 smart girlâ€™s guide | OCTOBER 2013
BE IMPRESSIVE to IMPRESSIVE PEOPLE There’s always that one girl you know that has the ability to command attention just by saying a single word. It seems like big opportunities practically arrive on her doorstep. There’s a key to this, though. This girl knows how to impress the impressive. You may think you could never be that girl. Well, the good news is that you can and we will show you how in 5 simple steps. by Mimi Warnick OCTOBER 2013
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ith the new school year in full swing, it is time to build your contacts and get yourself out there. As Smart Girls we are probably invited or go to different conferences/ meetings based on our interests where influential people in our field are present. Usually these people are key note or guest speakers. These people are role models to Smart Girls, and hopefully one day we can be in their inspiring shoes. However, to get there we have to make connections and contacts! What better way to do that then to introduce yourself to the guest or at least to their team/staff. Here are some polished tips to introductions and
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being remembered when meeting some big names in the business!
FIND THE OPPORTUNITY
Whether it is a meet and greet after a lecture or a special event, take the initiative to attend. No matter who you meet, you will come out of there with new lessons and, hopefully, new opportunities. Need ideas for opportunities? Check our the opportunity board in Smart Girlâ€™s Sister Hood, the online community exclusively for Smart Girl Sisters.
FIND YOUR HOOK & TALK ABOUT IT
This person probably will not have a lot of
time to chat with you individually because so many others are probably trying to do the same thing you are, and their time is limited. To make yourself known, say something unique about you (“I am passionate about empowering Smart Girls in the visual arts.”). That is your hook. You may then go on about how much you appreciate the person and how they impacted your life, but do not speak for too long. Tell them what you are doing and how their contact could be a help to you. It is also wise to say how your work can benefit them if possible. Always make it a two way street when you can. This all may seem pushy, but with a majority of super impressive people, you will have limited time to share your latest endeavor with the person.
contacting time so that you seem proactive (which, as a Smart Girl, you are by nature).
With the contact you receive, make sure you follow up within 24 hours if it is email or if you need to set up an appointment with the person. Remind them who you are. It may be wise to remind them of what you looked like at the event (i.e. “I was the college student in the red dress who spoke to you about global warming.”). Thank them for their time. This is a good chance to remind them how they influenced your work or life. If you have a specific endeavor, share this with them again and provide links if possible. Keep in mind that most important people do not answer an email if it is longer than 5 sentences, or they simply do not make it a first priority. Be super concise. Finally, make sure that there are no typos and that you have a signature on your email. If you need ideas for a signature, check out The Smart Girls Group staff email signatures!
Make sure you bring something of what you are working on to give to the person or their staff member. This can be a resume, business card, CD (for performers!), etc. If you are in contact with them later on, they will have something tangible that will remind them of While networking and meeting influential you. people can be intimidating, it is how the world works. Just think: the people you look SECURE THEIR CONTACT up to were once in your shoes, trying to make it big. We know that this is just the first step INFORMATION! for you, and we are here cheering you on! This might be the most important tip. With their contact, you have a connection. This If you are looking for more specific person and their team could seriously help networking tips visit my article from April you. Treat that contact information like 2013. gold! When asking for contact information, present yourself in a very confident manner and tell them exactly when you will be OCTOBER 2013
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Culture Lifestyle smartliving
SEAN SAVES THE WORLD
Saves the World.” The “Will & Grace” veteran will play the leading character, a divorced gay dad who takes full custody of his 14-year-old daughter in this multi-camera comedy. A new coming actress, Samantha Isler, will play the young daughter; and you can expect a host of other colorful characters, played by actors such as “Smash’s” Megan Hilty. Look out for this funny family show this fall!
ABC. After deciding to go on a road trip (like all toys do), the gang unexpectedly ends up at a motel that leads to a missing toy and a series of other mysterious events. I’m not sure how it ends, but I’d put my money on Cowgirl Jessie saving the toys any day! I’ll definitely be popping popcorn and sprawling out on the couch to relive my sandbox days for this one!
TOY STORY OF TERROR (NBC) - If you are anything like me (and my mother), you probably love watching old reruns of NBC’s hit sitcom “Will & Grace.” This October, NBC favorite, Sean Hayes, returns starring in “Sean 60 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
(ABC) - Just when you think it’s not possible to get any more excited than you did after the release of “Toy Story 3,” you find out that Pixar decided to air a “Toy Story” special this fall! The “Toy Story of Terror” special is set to air mid-October on
by Maurissa A. Walls
by Maurissa A. Walls
Kimberly Peirce recreates the classic horror tale, “Carrie,” in theaters Oct. 18, just in in time for Halloween. “Carrie” tells the story of a sheltered high school girl who discovers telekinetic powers and uses them against her small town after being pushed too far when a prank played on her at the senior prom goes too far. The 1976 movie is brought back to life by leading actress, 16-yearold Atlanta native, Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays Carrie White. The original “Carrie” was played by Sissy Spacek, who you may remember as Hilly Holbrook’s corky, yet clever, mother in “The Help” (2011). Moretz is said to keep up with Spacek’s act and is definitely one of Hollywood’s newest talents to look out for. At 15 years old she became Aéropostale’s first celebrity ambassador and has starred in films like “Kick-Ass” (2010), “Hugo” (2011) and “500 Days of Summer” (2009). Be sure to check out this Smart Girl in action this fall.
One of my favorite stories growing up was the tale of Dorothy Gale in the “Wizard of Oz.” If you loved this 1939 classic as much as I did, then you’ll definitely love the 1978 musical adaptation, “The Wiz,” and maybe even more than the original. Motown Productions and Universal Pictures teamed up to bring the Broadway musical, “The Wiz,” to life by telling the story of now Harlem school teacher, Dorothy Gale, who is transported to the magical Land of Oz, now a Time Square-inspired New York City. We’re not in Kansas anymore! The lead singing supreme Smart Girl, and all around diva, Diana Ross, plays the iconic character. A younger “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, who lights up the screen alongside Ross, plays the Scarecrow. If Diana Ross and Michael Jackson aren’t enough to get you excited, the movie features a phenomenal musical score, incredible costumes, and tons of unforgettable songs and dance numbers. You’ve never seen Dorothy and the Land of Oz like this! OCTOBER 2013
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Smart Smart Events Summits
By Emily Raleigh
by Megan Becker
by Emily Raleigh
WE ARE GIRLS CONFERENCE
This Austin, Tex. conference is perfect for our high school Smart Girls. Covering vast topics pertaining to girls, including building financial and media literacy, strengthening parent-daughter relationships, and promoting positive body image, this conference is jam packed with inspiration and lessons. And the best part? Our very own Smart Girl Sister and Smart Girl’s Guide’s Editor at Large, Quincy Bulin, will be leading a workshop called, “5 Steps to Finding Your Inner Smart Girl.”
ASHOKA U EXCHANGE Are you a budding college social entrepreneur or leader looking to create impact? Well this conference is for you! This conference unites 650 individuals from all over the world who are all By Amber Ausley passionate about using business to do good and encouraging social innovation on college campuses. The opportunities By both Rainbow Rowell for leaders and entrepreneurs are endless! The conference will take place at Brown University on February 20-22, 2014, but applications are available now. Click here for more info.
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Cider, donuts, and other treats are a fall staple. Turn to apps such as Yelp to help you determine whether you have one in your area! A lot of farmers markets will feature apple cider as well.
Some of the best cider mills in the United States are listed in an article in NBC Today’s Travel section. (Click here to access). So bundle up in your comfy sweaters and scarves, and head to a local cider mill to pick up some delicious fall treats! PUMPKIN PATCHES One of the best parts of October is pumpkin carving, pumpkin decorating, and using pumpkins in all sorts of recipes. Check out http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore. org/ to find a local pumpkin patch. This also makes a fun girl’s day out! There are normally rides, games, and other fall activities to partake in. Start a contest to see who can come up with the most creative pumpkin designs! “Read My Mind” by The Killers “Say Anything (feat. Jill Andrews)” by Anderson East “This is War” by Ingrid Michaelson “Wait for Me” by Motopony “Below My Feet” by Mumford & Sons “Steve McQueen” by M83
1 EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
by Amber Ausley
Daniel Coleman’s central hypothesis in “Emotional Intelligence” is that managing emotions is more important to professional success than intellectual capabilities. Since women are often criticized as relying too much on emotion versus rationale, Coleman’s book serves as a valuable resource to contemplate just how essential emotion is in the workplace. Coleman contends that emotional intelligence is not fixed, but variable, and also serves as a measurable indicator for future success. If you are interested in exploring a fairly new facet of success, “Emotional Intelligence” is a
2 HALF THE SKY
3 LEAN IN
This renowned bestseller follows the discrimination of women, and closely examines how this pejoratively impacts nations as a whole. The authors make the case that even fractional female involvement in the labor force can help mitigate issues, such as poverty and hunger. Kristof and WuDunn take a moral stance to prove that women will be a positive game changer in the future. “Half The Sky” is a great, inspirational option for Smart Girls that want to learn about women’s rights through an international scope.
Written by the chief operating officer of Facebook, “Lean In” encourages women to actively apply themselves in the workplace and life in general. The message of Sandberg’s book is to urge women to participate in dialogue and collaborate, in order to have more women in the professional world. Sandberg contests that women have all the skills and more to overcome the stereotypical “glass ceiling.” (Please clairfy what you mean by this sentence). “Lean In” is a great book for Smart Girls that want to learn more about the attributes of a successful, professional female.
“Something Like That” by Tim McGraaw “Lasso” by Phoenix “Dear Marie” by John Mayer “Yamaha” by Delta Spirit
Click here to listen to Sophie’s playlist now! OCTOBER 2013
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photos courtesy of Women in the World
OPPORTUNITY OF THE MONTH What do women want? While this provocative question may immediately conjure uncomfortable images of a young(er) Mel Gibson exploring womanhood through cross-dress, this question is a relevant one that expands beyond debates on female sexual desire and the ambiguity of women. So again I ask you; what is it that women want? Better yet, what do college women desire? How about this; what do young 64 smart girlâ€™s guide | OCTOBER 2013
women in Sierra Leone who wish to be educated want? In a global community increasingly dependent on technological advancement, we have become obsessed (and rightfully so) with the digitization of social movements and the concept of mass media as a dynamic mode of change, rather than an impenetrable entity existing for passive consumption only. This is a good thing. Compelling, vivid storytelling, blogging and live
journalism are, indeed, powerful mechanisms of change that are proving particularly useful for advancing the well being of women and girls across the globe - helping us fully realize what it is that women want. For example, digital platforms, coupled with an increased emphasis on the personal narrative, have allowed localized twitter movements like #solidarityisforwhitewomen, #blackpowerisforblackmen, and #POCforculturalenrichment to morph into thought-provoking, transnational debates that illuminate the diversity of the female experience. The internet has had a funny way of making enlightenment and intersectionality, well, sexy. That, again, is a good thing. But social media platforms constitute only a portion of the breadth and depth of digital activism; a number of local and national institutions have made it their mission to explore and advocate for what women and girls want through the practice of media advocacy. One such organization is the newly formed Women in the World Foundation (WiW Foundation). An initiative born of Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s renowned Women in the World Summit, the WiW Foundation leverages the power of young leaders, authentic storytelling and online communities to help advance the status of women and girls nationally. Their Get On The Map! for Women
and Girls online mapping tool drives collaboration among groups on a global scale while their recently piloted Women in the World On Campus program connects young female leaders here in the states, providing leadership development, internship opportunities and mentoring. I had the
privilege of attending the Foundation’s inaugural Next Generation Leadership Academy. Held at one of its pilot campuses, the full day conference featured inspiring intergenerational panels of women who often left you thinking what am I doing with my life?! And how can I do more? In my hours spent at Barnard College that day, I was provided not only motivation, but practical resources I could harness to develop professionally and advance my own theories of change. You can get this, too. I would suggest that what women want is what any rational person would desire; the freedom to express and explore themselves without fear of reproach. Women want their authentic voices to be heard; women want full inclusion and the privilege of non-speculation. Women want women to be leaders; you are what women want, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out and lead collaboratively.
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My Day at the Next Generation Leadership Academy by MaryBeth Bognar
It’s not always easy finding our “Smart Girl” voice and confidence. Having support is essential, and luckily something other women and girls are often open to providing. I found examples of this throughout the Women in the World’s Next Generation Leadership Academy where I was fortunate enough to spend the day with both successful women and young women like me still finding their paths. Starting off, I found it ironic that the first panel’s title was “Portrait of a Woman Leader,” since it proved that there is no exact picture of what a leader looks like. Some women knew what they wanted and how to get there right away, while others found that a career will have many zigs and zags. It is important to give yourself permission to redefine success and know it will change. A lesson that I learned throughout the summit was that fear tends to hold us back. After hearing so much about the impact of fear that morning, Zainab Salbi climbed onto the stage and stated, “If I was fear, I’d be so content for dominating the hearts and minds of everyone.” She went on to discuss women around the world who she met through her organization Women for Women International. These women from different conflict zones had experienced unthinkable violence in their lives and were able to look the worst fears in the face and choose to move forward. They teach us the real meaning of courage. Salbi encouraged us to remember the bravery they showed and reach for that within ourselves as we put our fear into perspective. When an opportunity does present itself, Tina Brown dared us to say yes, take risks, and learn everything possible. We took a time to reflect on Eleanor Roosevelt’s contributions as a leader and some of her final written words: “Staying aloof is not a solution, it is a cowardly evasion.” A panel of young women entrepreneurs gave advice on how to start achieving your dreams. They left us with words of wisdom including, “be OK with dreaming big.” It also doesn’t have to be perfect to get started. “The world is moving fast, nothing is static, including your ideas. Flexibility is key.” The day ended with strong words from the founder of Vital Voices. “Power expands the moment it is shared. You can’t do it alone.” An important reminder of the strength that can come from a community of women and girls, together nothing is impossible! 66 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
SMART GIRL SPOTLIGHT | COLLEGE | HELLO FROM HOME | DEAR SMART GIRL
Ever thought about allwomen’s college? You’ll definitely be applying after taking a campus tour in this College Spotlight article! OCTOBER 2013
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the typical sweet briar woman takes 18 credits, is the president of two clubs, participates in three other organizations, has two campus jobs, earns an amazing GPA, and does it all while wearing pearls and a bow in her hair. Our mascot, Indiana the Vixen, can even be seen with with
Sweet Briar College
pink bows around her ears, and occasionally a strand of pearls. Sweet Briar is a small private womens’ liberal arts college nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether it’s on the athletic fields, at our nationally ranked Equestrian center, in the theater, or relaxing on the Dell with a good book (or sometimes, a textbook), there’s room for everyone on our 3,250 acre campus. But Sweet Briar is more than the facts and figures, it’s a place that I call home. I might be five and a half hours from Lancaster, PA,
by Rebecca Mill
but the moment I drive back on to campus after an extended time away, it’s like coming back to a family and place that knows me better than I even know myself. What keeps me coming back? It’s not the traffic I inevitably hit while driving around D.C. It’s the traditions and the community. It would be impossible to cover every tradition here at SBC, so instead, I’ll talk about two of my favorites.
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Without a doubt, my favorite tradition is our big sister, little sister program. Fun fact: Sweet Briar does not have any kind of Greek life. Instead, the junior class serves as the freshman classes’ sister class, and each junior chooses one or two freshman to be their little sisters. In the spirit of fun, the sophomore class is the freshman’s rival class. Fall 2013 marked the beginning of my junior year and the beginning of an amazing relationship with my littles! I’ve served as “life counselor”, took one to the pharmacy, tailgated and watched football at our brother school, and ate many meals with littles and we’ve only been at school for a few months now!
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My second favorite tradition happens during a Sweet Briar woman’s senior year. At the end of her junior year, she is given a senior robe that is handed down through the classes. Some robes date back to the 1970s! These aren’t just any plain black senior robes...they are decorated with feather boas, stuffed animals, pins, patches, ribbon, and practically anything else that can be attached to the robe. Each senior has a freshman add a little something to their robe. Whether it be a puffy painted horse because they are members of the equestrian team, or a patch of the flag from their home state, each senior has a little part of them added to their robe. These robes are worn each month on the numerical date of their commencement ceremony. At the end of the day, Sweet Briar is more than a college. It’s home. It’s home with my 700 closest sisters, a community of professors, faculty, and staff that treat me like their own children, and a sisterhood full of [most of] the most fabulous women I’ve ever met. 70 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
EVER WANTED TO START YOUR OWN SISTERHOOD OR FIND MORE SMART GIRLS ON YOUR CAMPUS? WELCOME TO SMART GIRL’S SOCIETY. CLICK HERE. OCTOBER 2013
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SMART GIRL SPOTLIGHT
At only 15 years old, Alex Kukoff has already accomplished what many of us have only been able to dream of. While attending high school and college simultaneously, she has had the opportunity to write for publications such as Lean In and Seventeen, as well as develop a pair of glasses that help those that are hearing impaired. Here’s what we haven’t mentioned: She actually suffers from hearing loss herself! But, as every Smart Girl knows, you can’t let anything stand in your way, and she certainly hasn’t. Meet this month’s Smart Girl Spotlight. By Montana MacRae. 72 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
HOW IS IT SIMULTANEOUSLY ATTENDING HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE? It’s been an amazing experience simultaneously attending high school and college; I’ve learned so much in everything I’ve taken, and my college courses have actually taught me skills I can apply to my high school classes. I also didn’t know much about the modern-day struggles women currently face until I took a class in Women’s History, and after making that my major and really educating myself, I became a true Smart Girl. YOU’RE A VERY ACCOMPLISHED WRITER, HAVING BEEN FEATURED IN SEVENTEEN AND A CONTRIBUTOR TO LEAN IN. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WRITING? My favorite part about writing is definitely the story you get to tell. Everything from fiction to non-fiction has various angles, and the best part about being a writer is deciding which angle is the most interesting, or the most informative, and which angle needs to be heard the most. My story in Seventeen is fiction; with that, it was more about what would appeal to the reader, whereas my piece in Lean In, which is non-fiction, was about what was true and relatable -- in everything I write, I try to fashion something I know will really resonate with people. HOW WAS IT TO BE HONORED BY CALIFORNIA ART AND WRITING AWARDS THROUGH SCHOLASTIC FOR YOUR WRITING?
Scholastic for my work; reading helped to inspire my love for writing, and I believe Scholastic publishes some of the best books out there. HOW DID YOU BECOME CONNECTED WITH LEAN IN, THE ORGANIZATION SMART GIRL SHERYL SANDBERG CREATED? A friend of a friend was kind enough to connect me to an intern at Lean In, who reached out to her boss with my story, and I was fortunate enough to write a piece for them about “leaning in” in adolescence and about my experiences as a result. Writing for Lean In was such an amazing experience, and I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity. WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE, NOT ONLY LIVING WITH DEAFNESS BUT ALSO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE STRUGGLES OF DEAFNESS? I’ve always felt like the struggles of deafness were understood in the most technical way (i.e., not being able to hear), and that the social ramifications of having such a disability go largely unaddressed. Because I couldn’t hear in one ear, I didn’t have many friends growing up (only a couple of close ones), and when I explained to people that I couldn’t hear, I was regarded, quite frankly, as weird. This was when I decided I needed to help other people like me, people who were misrepresented, and educate others about the true struggles of deafness.
It was amazing to be honored by the California Art and Writing Awards through OCTOBER 2013
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“Something I’ve learned from my accomplishments is that they don’t mean anything if they don’t help people.” HOW DID YOU GET CONNECTED WITH GRABCAD? My brother is a TechStars alum, heard about GrabCAD while he was in the program (GrabCAD is a TechStars graduate), and told me about it. I was also fortunate enough to have contacts in Boston (where GrabCAD is based), and those contacts put me in touch with Sara Sigel, GrabCAD’s Community Manager, in December 2012. Several months (and Skype calls) later, we were working to develop a prototype, and as of today, we’ve finalized our prototype and are in the crowdfunding stage of the project. YOU THOUGHT OF CREATING A PAIR OF GLASSES THAT PROVIDE CLOSED CAPTIONING FOR MOVIES IN THE THEATER. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THAT IDEA? 74 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
Growing up, my hearing loss prevented me from taking part in conventional social activities, one of which was the cinema. It was nearly impossible to understand the plot of a movie when it was obscured by heavy accents, soft dialogue, and loud explosions, and as a result, I found I had nothing to contribute to the post-movie conversation. I developed these glasses essentially to solve that problem, but it came to be about so much more; my glasses can also help the elderly and people with disabilities such as Auditory Processing Disorder, and in addition, I’ve found that people with no disabilities whatsoever enjoy having closed-captioning when watching a movie. My glasses may seem like a small step amidst other efforts to help the hard-of-hearing community, but it’s certainly in the right direction.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR ALL OF YOUR HARD WORK, DEDICATION, AND WRITING TO HELP THE HEARING IMPAIRED COMMUNITY? It’s an incredibly touching experience to be recognized for my work; a deaf girl in Los Angeles, who went deaf as a result of a brain tumor (which was removed), recently reached out to me regarding my glasses and how they’d inspired her to rekindle her love of playing the guitar, and the mother of a deaf racecar driver separately reached out to me with her appreciation of my efforts. I continue to be more and more touched as my work helps more and more people, and I hope I’ll continue to make a difference when my glasses go to market (we’re aiming for Spring 2014). WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR WORK WITH THE HEARING IMPAIRED COMMUNITY BEING IN FIVE YEARS? In five years, I hope my glasses will be in movie theaters, schools, old-age homes, hospitals, and in centers for the disabled, and I hope I can greatly improve the lives of the hard-of-hearing and other disabled communities everywhere. WHO IS A SMART GIRL WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU GROWING UP? Growing up, I’ve been inspired by many Smart Girls; as a little girl, I tried to pattern myself after Mulan (of course, I wasn’t all that great at karate and instead set my sights
on Belle from Beauty and the Beast), and as a young woman, I loved learning about the courageous, groundbreaking journalism of Nellie Bly and the revolutionary work of Gloria Steinem. And, of course, my mother continues to inspire me every day :)
YOU’RE 15. WHAT IS ONE THING YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM ALL OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS? Something I’ve learned from my accomplishments is that they don’t mean anything if they don’t help people. I’m thrilled that my writing and my work with GrabCAD have resonated with so many people, and I hope to accomplish something that’ll really have an impact on the world.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR THE SUPERSTAR SMART GIRLS OF THE WORLD? I’d say to always look to broaden your horizons and gain knowledge, and never dumb yourself down--let your true smarts shine.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS TO BE A SMART GIRL? A Smart Girl searches for opportunities everywhere, and looks not just to educate herself, but to educate and support fellow Smart Girls, and to overall contribute to her community. She looks to better herself while recognizing that she is a unique individual and should hold onto her truest self. OCTOBER 2013
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. . . m o r f hello
ENGLAND by Beckie Martin
It was almost 11 years ago that my family made the decision to move from a cosmopolitan Surrey to a tiny and quiet village just outside Cambridge. The locals were strange, the accent was bizarre, and it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. Yet today, I truly appreciate how much of a blessing it is to have grown up in the heart of the beautiful (though often rainy) English countryside with all that it has to offer. England: is that a country? But I though it was the U.K.? What’s Great Britain then? I often see a lot of confusion (even by people who live here) about England/U.K./Great Britain and what’s what. The United Kingdom is a country made up of England, Scotland, Wales (collectively known as Great Britain) and Northern Ireland, each with varying degrees of autonomous devolved power and controlled under a unifying U.K. parliament. We have three distinct legal systems of English law (which applies to England and Wales), Scots Law and Northern Ireland law. Food Yorkshire puddings and apple crumble. Need 76 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
I say any more?!. We have a huge amount of traditional English dishes (and even more across the rest of the U.K.) that are all equally well-loved. However, it is our adventurous nature with different cuisines, that makes us unique as a nation. For curry has been voted time and time again the nation’s favorite dish, and you only need to look at any high street to see an array of different dishes being enjoyed. Working in a restaurant that serves everything from snails to sausages and mash has really highlighted to me this diversity, and it is this willingness to try new food that has allowed British cuisine to adapt and evolve over the years.
Culture I think one of the things that makes the U.K. so special is our culture and history. Everything around you has a story to tell. The church in my village is over 800 years old and still retains many of its original features, whilst many of the buildings in Cambridge are even older. Symbols of the monarchy are everywhere, from on our money to our post boxes, and I think in many ways it is the monarchy that is central to our culture and traditions, even today. I was very lucky this year to be able to attend Royal Ascot, which is not only the highlight of the social and sporting calendar for many, but is also an example of British culture at its finest. There is so much that makes this meeting such a special occasion from the sometimes bizarre fashions, the world standard
jockeys/horses to the presence of the royal family. It is an experience like no other, and I look forward to going back next year. Growing up in Surrey, which is so close to Windsor Castle, the Queen always seemed so much more real and tangible to me. When I was 6 years old, she even replied to a letter I had sent her (along with some drawings). She has the power to bring people together from around the world through her speeches, charity work and even her jubilees. Yet, she uses her power to bring happiness to others. To me she is a epitome of a Smart Girl!
young women as a whole. Helena was the one who confirmed my desire to study law and specialise in medical law.
The book illustrates the prejudice against women in the legal system, and how women, including Helena, have risen above them. This is shown through Helena’s rather witty anecdotes on her road to becoming one of the Literature most successful barristers in Where to begin? We have Britain. She has also recorded so much amazing literature a selection of some of the that has accumulated over most intriguing cases, written hundreds of years, from in such a way that you feel Dickens to J.K. Rowling. By far my favorite book is called, you could be sat in the “Eve was Framed.” I stumbled courtroom yourself. across this gem as part of a School pre-law reading list I found In English state schools, you online, and have re-read it usually attend two schools multiple times since it’s that primary (ages 4-11) and good .The author, Helena secondary (ages 11-18). I Kennedy, is, perhaps, one have just finished upper of the most inspirational sixth which is the latter of women out there, not only the 2 years of the A-Level for future lawyers, but to
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University of Sussex
Programme, which are a series of exams for university preparation. Sixth form has by far been my favorite years in education, having not only been given so much more freedom in what and how I study, but also the friendship between my year group. At the end of the two years we have Leavers Day, which is like a graduation day, though more informal. It’s about celebrating all the amazing times we have had with people most of us have know for at least 7 years. A huge mass of photos and videos are turned in to be part of our final assembly, which always leads to some great laughs, as well as some tears being shed. Following Leavers Day, we then sit our A-level exams (think of the IB for comparison). The Saturday following the last exam is our prom. We have two proms at school, one for 16 years of age and one for 18 years of age. The sixth form prom is much more informal than the lower school one, with short summer dresses rather than ball gowns. The vast majority of sixth form students then go to university, though a few will take gap years. In England, you pick your major before you even start your degree and it is difficult to change it once you are there. Though, education from ages 4-18 is free. At university level, tuition fees cost up to £9,000 per year for English students (though this is different for Scottish, Irish, and Welsh students). Future So where to next? Well this September I will be off to the the beautiful seaside, to start my law degree at University of Sussex, though it was not originally my first choice, I can really see myself being happy and successful there; and in the end, that’s all that matters . Following my degree, I am plan to sit my bar exam and become a barrister, and follow in the footsteps of my idol, Helena Kennedy. 78 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
my day with
MATLIN by Leah Kashar
It’s not everyday that I get to hang out with an Oscar winning actress so when the opportunity came up, I couldn’t resist. Marlee Matlin, now starring as Melody Bledsoe on the popular TV show Switched at Birth, has had quite the career. At 21 years old, she was the youngest person ever win an Oscar for best actress for her role in the movie Children of a Lesser God. More recently, she has been a regular on The L Word as Jodi Lerner, was the runner up on Donald Trump’s show The Celebrity Apprentice, appeared in The West Wing as Joey Lucas, and voiced herself in Family Guy, among many more TV shows and movies. On March 4, 2013, I was fortunate enough to be join Marlee around as she prepared and appeared on the ABC News show, Good Morning America. OCTOBER 2013
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photo courtesy of ABC Family
Marlee on Switched at Birth She came to New York to help showcase the historical milestone of the first ever TV episode to be entirely in American Sign Language. It was an incredible experience just to be on set and learn a bit about how the news industry works. The studios are surprisingly small and have the biggest elevators I have ever seen! After wondering for quite awhile about why the elevators were so big, I found out that they are used to transport very large set pieces and furniture.
was smiling and clapping and that is when I became hooked! The rest is history!
Next, I got to go with Marlee as she did a photo op at the top of the Empire State Building. I had never seen so many people taking pictures, even those who were not part of the press! Our last stop was the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains, New York, where Marlee did a Q and A with the students there. They loved it, as did I. Besides all of this, I was fortunate enough to learn about Marlee’s life as an actress.
LK: DID YOU EVER SEE YOUR DEAFNESS AS A LIMITATION IN THE INDUSTRY? MM: Sure. When I came into the industry at the ripe age of 19 while filming the Children of a Lesser God movie, I saw how most people on the set had no clue how to communicate with the deaf actors. They didn’t know to face us when they talked, things like that. I knew there was a lot to be taught within the entertainment industry. Fast forward, today a lot of casting directors, directors, writers and agents have a much better understanding about what being an actor who happens to be deaf really means- communication, understanding, and learning Deaf culture, or some, and I have noticed that on almost every set I have worked on, most of the crew are interested in learning American Sign Language. That always makes me feel great.
LEAH KASHAR: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN ACTRESS? Marlee Matlin: When my camp counselor introduced me to stage at the age of 7, I had no idea what performing on stage would be like. On the opening night of our musical, I saw how everyone
LK: IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 16 YEAR OLD SELF? MM: Oh boy.... do we have time for this? Let’s see... Listen to yourself. Listen to your parents. Listen to your teachers. Listen to what is around you. The
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world simply does not evolve around you but you are very important and you are the one who sets up a reputation for yourself. Respect yourself. Respect others. I wish I did at 16 years old.
MM: I do not think having Jack speak for me affects me as an actress. When I appear on a talk show, I am not being an actress, I am being Marlee Matlin. I show the audience who I really am and having Jack speak for me helps me 110 percent so I can LK: HOW IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING understand what is being said to me and for the ON SWITCHED AT BIRTH DIFFERENT audience to understand what is being said to them THAN WORKING ON OTHER SHOWS OR as well. I am truly lucky to have Jack on my team. PROJECTS? He is a blessing. MM: I love working on Switched at Birth because it feels like home. American Sign Language is LK: WITH SWITCHED AT BIRTH BECOMING everywhere on the set, left and right. It is very MORE POPULAR, ESPECIALLY THE different than other sets I have worked on. It is not TEENAGE POPULATION, HOW DO YOU necessarily better but the use of ASL does change THINK THIS HAS AFFECTED THE DEAF a lot. It makes it easier to communicate. All the COMMUNITY? HOW HAS IT MADE AN writers on Switched at Birth have a very good IMPACT ON THE HEARING COMMUNITY? understanding about Deaf culture and ASL. They are all open minded and willing to talk, learn and share. They do their homework very well. LK: WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING ON THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE? HOW WAS IT DIFFERENT THAN WORKING ON OTHER SHOWS? WHAT LESSONS CAN YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THAT EXPERIENCE? MM: Celebrity Apprentice was something that I really did not expect to work on. I honestly never saw the show before I signed on. I only heard a little about it... But I am a go-getter. I take risks. I like challenges. I am glad I did it because I raised $1 million dollars in a single day for my charity, Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids to people in third world countries. I learned a lot from doing the show. I learned how to communicate with people within the group, how to work together as a team, and alone, how to do fundraising, programming, designing, showcasing, etc. LK: ON MANY SHOWS YOU SPEAK THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, JACK. HOW DO YOU THINK THIS AFFECTS THE WAY PEOPLE SEE YOU AS AN ACTRESS, IF AT ALL? OCTOBER 2013
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Marlee with the students at the New York School for the Deaf
MM: The show has really made a huge impact in the teen community as well as the general. Sign language is now widely used in schools and out in the community. The show has really taught a lot of people about Deaf Culture and ASL and when someone sees anyone signing, they do think of the show. It is really exciting for all of us, both Deaf and Hard of Hearing, as well as the mainstream because we are finally acknowledged, as people who simply are just like anyone else. LK: ON A RECENT EPISODE OF SWITCHED AT BIRTH, THE EPISODE FEATURED A PROTEST AT A DEAF SCHOOL. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS PROTEST AND HOW DOES IT RELATE TO PRIOR EVENTS? MM: The protest portrayed a very important milestone in real life. Students at Gallaudet University did a protested the appointment of a new hearing President for the school and made the school realize that deaf people are able to run the school in any position and should be in charge of their own school. It was a long time coming for them to have their very own Deaf president and the Deaf community made it happen. They made history and the school has been very well respected ever since. 82 smart girlâ€™s guide | OCTOBER 2013
you’re invited to The Smart Girls Group’s October Twitter Party!
OCTOBER 17 AT 8-9PM EST We will chat about all the exciting things coming up for The Smart Girls Group and we want to hear your ideas! stay smart, @smartgirlsgroup
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See Her SMARTS text by Eleanor Harte interview by Emily Raleigh
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photo courtesy of mikiagrawal.com
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MA We are pleased to present our newest column, See Her Smarts. This is the place where we will introduce you to superstar Smart Women like Miki Agrawal, who are leading successful careers and are totally Living the Smart Life. Be prepared to be inspired, Smart Girls! Miki Agrawal is a shining example of a true Smart Girl. As an entrepreneur, business owner, and writer, Miki is making big things happen in her life for the good of others.
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iki’s passion for social entrepreneurship was sparked in college. She went to Cornell University, and though she loved her time there, she realized that most college students don’t surround themselves with enough inspiring people.
guy. I’m not interested.” Cutting out negative relationships can be difficult, but it’s been a no brainer for Miki.
Though she always wanted to do something important, Miki’s path to social good wasn’t direct. After graduating in 2001, she worked for two years at Deutsche Bank, a global banking company on Wall Street. She hated it almost the entire time, but wasn’t until two of her “You’re as good as the company you keep,” she colleagues died that she had a wake up call. said, “and the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So it’s really important “It forced me to think about what my passions to think about who they are.” Friends should were,” she said. Even though it gave her be supportive, but they should hold you credibility, “banking was letting my fire die out, accountable too. “I remember thinking, I want and I had to do an internal examination. I asked to build something, to create something… I myself what am I really good at and what am I want to do something meaningful and have passionate about?” meaningful conversations,” said Miki. She wrote down three goals: play professional “I want to change the world, and I can’t do that soccer, make a movie, and start her own if I’m talking about what happens on the show business. She did play professional soccer, but Lost or about what girl broke up with what after multiple injuries, she had to make the OCTOBER 2013
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We have Angry Birds and every other tech startup on earth, but 2 billion women on the planet go through this and there’s no innovation for it. decision to hang up her cleats and move onto something new.
That led to her starting WILD, a farm-to-table sustainable restaurant in New York City that serves gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan pizzas. The restaurant now has two more locations, with a third set to open in Los Angeles in just a few weeks. Then she got involved in Super Sprowtz, a multimedia company started by her twin sister dedicated to teaching young kids about nutrition and healthy eating. Miki’s next project was THINX, a revolutionary underwear company for women that protects them during their time of the month. The underwear is leak and stain resistant, and provides women with a worry-free way to deal with their periods. “I thought about it, and I realized that we have Angry Birds and every other tech startup on earth, but 2 billion women on the planet go through this and there’s no innovation for it.” “100 million girls drop out of school every year because of issues with their periods, and that’s not okay. And I felt it was up to me to make the change.” The project was funded through a Kickstarter campaign in February 2013, and through a partnership with AFRIpads, every pair of underwear sold provides 7 re-usable cloth pads for women in developing countries. This means these women can stay in school because their periods are easier to manage. Not only does Miki have three businesses, she is also a TEDx speaker, has been featured in the New York Times, The Huffington Post, and ABC, and most recently is a published author. Her book, DO COOL SH*T: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After, was published in August 2013 to glowing reviews. Miki has words of wisdom for fellow Smart Girls: Start something now, whether you’re in high school or college. “All my friends who started businesses in college held each other accountable, which was amazing. They are now very successful today. They had a leg up and made all their mistakes in college.” Miki is a fantastic example of what it means to decide on your dreams and go after them. She could have stayed in banking, but like any true Smart Girl, she followed her passions, took a risk, and is much happier because of it. 88 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
l r i G t r a m S r a e D
a motivational letter from YouTube star LIZZIE VELASQUEZ
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A Note from the Desk of Lizzie
Dear Smart Girl, First off, I feel like it’s very important to let you know that I am currently writing this with a pen and paper. I know, I’m taking it back old schoolthese days it’s all about texting, blogging, and being on Facebook. When I was a little girl, not only did I want to be Harriet the Spy, I loved writing in my not-so-secret diary every day. I loved stationary, writing things down personally, and the simplicity of a pen and paper.
and be disgusted by my reflection. I wasn’t pretty like the stars in the movies, I couldn’t fit in the popular clothes, and I was blind in one eye, on top of everything else. Even though I didn’t look like them, I was still Lizzie and it was in my hands to either live a life of happiness, or live my life sad and alone in my room. I couldn’t take a shower and wash off my syndrome, no matter how hard I scrubbed, so I knew I had to finally make decide whether or not I was going For those of you who don’t know my story, my to live each day to the fullest. My syndrome, my name is Lizzie. I was born with a syndrome so physical appearance, and my visual impairment rare that no matter how much I eat or whenever were not going to define me. I eat, I can’t gain weight. I know you’re probably thinking I have the best diet in the world, and let me tell you, it is pretty awesome! In all honesty though, being 24 years old and only weighing 60 pounds isn’t the best thing.
“I’m just a girl who has been faced with so many obstacles from day one...I have never felt more confident and happy in the skin I’m in at this moment.”
Of course, I dealt with a ton of bullying growing up. The best advice my parents had ever given me was that everyday, I should continue to be myself and never change. In turn, that would show the other kids that I was just like them, just a little bit smaller. I have followed that With the help of my strong support system, I advice every single day since then. There were decided I was going to make the best of what many, many days I would look in the mirror I do have. I realized I needed to truly love the 90 smart girl’s guide | OCTOBER 2013
A Note from the Desk of Lizzie skin I’m in before I could do anything else. I had to start off by breaking the biggest and worst habit that almost everyone has, and that is comparison. I would compare myself to anyone and everyone I would see. Breaking that habit was so difficult but whenever I would think, “That girl has a perfect body,” I would immediately think in my head, “But, at least I’m having a great hair day!” There’s nothing wrong with a bit of personal encouragement!
“Start your own foundation and use your hopes, dreams, and goals as the building blocks to the person you were meant to be.” Once I was able to look in the mirror and love what was looking back at me, I knew it was time to start the foundation for the rest of my life. I wrote down a list of a ton of things I wanted to do or become in my future, no matter how far fetched they were. I was so determined to prove to myself that I could at least accomplish one of them. I started college in 2007 with a new leash on life and was ready to work my little butt off and do absolutely everything I could do to scratch off one of my goals.
goals before the age of 25. Looking back I’m so thankful for all the hard times I had because it lit my fire to become a motivational speaker, write two books and to be working on my third, graduate college with my degree in Communication Studies, and have a foot in the door to my dream career. I’m just a girl who has been faced with so many obstacles from day one, but with my faith, my family, and my friends I have never felt more confident and happy in the skin I’m in than at this moment. It’s hard to put into words what that feels like, but it’s something that each and every one of you reading this can feel. Start your own foundation and use your hopes, dreams, and goals as the building blocks to the person you were meant to be. Expect bumps along the road, but always keep in mind that no matter what, the number one best revenge to anyone who has ever doubted you or who has told you that you can’t do something is using your accomplishments to show them that their words will not define you. You are smart and capable and loved, no matter if you believe it or not. You were placed on this earth for a reason and use that reason to share it with the world. Don’t ever doubt your abilities because there will always be help out there for you, and remember, you got this!
I’m a very determined person, so I knew I had the inner drive in me to keep going. Fast Yours Truly, forward five years since then, after being in and out of the hospital for medical issues, being blind in one eye, and waking up every morning not knowing if something life changing was going to happen to me, I checked off my top 4
Lizzie OCTOBER 2013
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Goals of the Month
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 __________________. My voice is a powerful tool that can cause great change. I see __________________ as a problem, so I will use my voice to change it by ________________________. Living the Smart Life is living a balanced life. This month, I will try to bring more balance into my life by taking time to ________________________ and stop doing so much of ________________________. Healthy living is essential to Living the Smart Life. As a Smart Girl, I will ________________________ to stay healthy this month. Marlee Martlin, Lizzie Velasquez, and Alex Kukoff have taken set backs as opportunities to transform otherâ€™s lives and their own. I will make a difference this month 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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The Smart Girls Group is rising! With each issue, we go where no Smart Girlâ€™s Guide has ever gone before. We Smart Girl Sisters know that we have a lot of people to thank for making this issue, and all of our issues, a reality, but here are a few that deserve an extra special thank you for their help on our October issue. ELIZABETH TELL, for being such an outgoing and fun covergirl. We had a great time exploring the Botanical Gardens and wish you the best of luck in college! Thank you for being such an integral part of this issue. LIZZIE VELASQUEZ, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to write such a heartfelt letter and inspire us all. You are the true definition of a natural beauty. We are so grateful for being a part of this issue. NETIA MCCRAY, for helping us explore the world of engineering. Someday, the field will be 50/50, men to women, and we know this article only further helped that. We wish you the best of luck with Mbadika! BEA HINTON, MARYBETH BOGNAR, REBECCA MILL, AND BECKIE MARTIN, for sharing your smarts in this issue. You are all such remarkable Smart Girls, and we are so excited to have superstars like you in our magazine.
ALEXANDRA KUKOFF, for just being awesome. Seriously girl, you rock. Thank you for inspiring all of us through this issue. We are lucky girls to be able to call you a sister. Wherever you go, we will always be cheering you on! LEAH KASHAR, for believing in SGG and for making this issue sparkle. We are so happy that you are a part of The Smart Girls Group! WENDY JAMES, for never ceasing to be our big sister on this journey. You are an amazing advisor and we are so grateful to know you. And of course, we thank all of our SMART GIRL SISTERS, whose tireless efforts have made this magazine and relaunch 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.
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I am not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.â€? -Queen Victoria
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