Girls Build Leadership Summit fosters positive change in young women

Elizabeth Cortez and Maria Ruiz
Keynote speaker Hilary Clinton is an inspiration for the program’s purpose to inspire success in young women and spread awareness of the obstacles the face in society.


As passionate follower of the women’s rights movement, sophomore Nicole Gabino was overjoyed to learn that she was one of the 100 students chosen to go to the Girls Build Leadership Summit on Dec. 15.

“I was very excited,” Gabino said. “It’s helping with women’s issues and it will be a really nice experience.”

The Girls Build Leadership Summit will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center with Mitu co-founder Beatriz Acevedo, marketing executive Tara Deveaux and Senator Kamala Harris are among many of the remarkable women who will be speaking at the event. Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and ex-presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker. Clinton embodies a lot of this program’s purpose; therefore the LA Promise Fund is extremely honored for her to take part in this journey.

“It’s really amazing because she is always fighting for women’s rights,” Gabino said. “Seeing her in person and her speaking will be a huge honor.”

The LA Promise Fund created the program Girls Build hoping to raise awareness of the numerous obstacles women face to succeed in this society. They empower girls from public middle and high schools by challenging them to use STEM principles and the 21st century curriculum to effect social change.

To join Girls Build, aspiring young women are asked to identify an issue they face and to come up with an effective solution that would create a positive change in their community. Then the LA Promise Fund gathers 50 teams to compete by creating a website, developing social media campaigns and using professional communication tools to address an issue they wish to change. Six winning teams are awarded with $50,000 in college scholarships.

“I was super excited,” math teacher Leslie Hicks said. “What I’m hoping is that we have this shared experience and that we all have a little bit of fun. I’m hoping we have a little feeling of hope.”

Unfortunately, the 100 selected student representatives will not be competing this time around. School administrators believed to have applied to Girls Build but were not sure as to which application had been submitted. Nonetheless, the girls will be attending the first ever Girls Build Leadership Summit in just over a week. Program chaperons Hick and English teacher Leah Pevar are thrilled to be apart of this program.

“I’m just hoping that the girls who were chosen to go on the trip bring something back with them that will really inspire them,” Pevar said . “(I hope they think) I can do something big too, even though I’m just one kid from the valley. That you’re someone that can make a difference in the world too, even in a little way.”