Girls’ Leadership Worldwide Alumnae

Meet our alumnae and see how they continue to #LeadLikeEleanor

Here’s to the brilliant women who continue to channel the compassion and tenacity of Eleanor Roosevelt in everything they do. Their stories are inspirational and their determination awe-inspiring. We could not be more proud of their accomplishments.


Lexi Kennard, GLW 2013
I am currently a Junior at NYU studying social and cultural analysis with a concentration in gender and public policy and minoring in politics. I have been lucky enough to intern this past semester with Secretary Hillary Clinton and work for the small staff she now has since the election.  I am currently interning with Lady Parts Justice League, a boots-on-the-ground reproductive rights advocacy group.  “GLW is honestly the reason I’m doing what I’m doing right now, it gave me the confidence and tools I needed to move to New York City and pursue my dreams.”
Sarah Rodriguez, GLW’15, is a senior at Rhinebeck High School, graduating this July as valedictorian, and attending Harvard University in the fall. She served as class president, Spanish Club president, Band President, Model UN fundraising chair, National Honor Society member, and peer mentor.  She volunteers weekly at an English as a Second Language Program, where she assists local hispanic immigrants in learning English and adapting to American systems, as well as spearheads service and cultural projects. She was selected to attend the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogota, Colombia this past February, where she served as a youth delegate.
“GLW was truly a watershed experience in my life. It fed my passion for justice and equality, empowering me as a student, citizen, and agent for world-change!”
Samantha Thomas, GLW 2009
After GLW, I took a gap year to serve as an AmeriCorps Member for the educational non-profit City Year. I provided near peer mentoring and academic support for middle school classroom.  I’m currently enrolled at the University of Milwaukee Wisconsin studying Community Organizations: Policy and Leadership with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. While pursuing my degree, I’m also working for the Boys and Girls Club as group leader in an after school program.
“GLW taught her about the vast diversity and unique power young women hold. Through her experience, she learned the importance and need for storytelling, honesty, respect, and community.”
Alyssa Barefield, GLW 2013
Alyssa attends the University of Alabama majoring in Psychology on the pre-medical track with a minor in social innovation and leadership. She is a part of a leadership and service organization known as the University Fellows Experience. She is an Honors College Ambassador, and volunteers in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham communities. She hopes to attend medical school upon graduation and pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. “GLW really pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I met some of the most incredible women through this program who pushed me those 9 days to never settle for complacency. I really learned the importance of using my voice and how I can be a change agent in my community. There isn’t a single girl in my session who isn’t doing amazing things in her community and I’m so thankful that I can call them friends.”
Francesca, GLW 2009
Francesca is interning for the New York State Planned Parenthood advocacy branch/lobbying headquarters in the Albany capitol. Starting in August she will be attending Columbia University studying international social welfare and policy in the MSW program! GLW and Eleanor inspired her to realize that “what you don’t do can be a destructive force”; if you want something done, it’s up to you to get out there and do it! 
Sierra Pizzola, GLW 2010
After GLW in 2010 Sierra was awarded her Girl Scout Gold award by raising $30,000 for a new softball field at her high school. She went on to study Communications at Syracuse University. At Syracuse, Sierra was busy being on the executive board of her student run advertising agency. She studied abroad in Florence and Greece. Sierra attributes her networking skills and more to GLW. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet up with so many GLW friends from around the world, all who inspire me everyday to keep living life in the moment and standing up for what I believe in” 
Xonatia Lee, GLW 2010
Xonatia is an alumna of GWL who is currently a student at Barnard College of Columbia University. After GLW she created a club at her high school called “Girl Up”. Last summer she entered at Microsoft developing iOS apps and more. She will be working with them again this summer focusing on getting more women involved in STEM. “Girls’ Leadership Worldwide taught me to turn my ideas and passions into something more tangible. It emphasized using my leadership skills to empower others.”
Katherine Fleming, GLW ’13, is now a sophomore at Princeton University majoring in History with certificates (minors) in Gender & Sexuality Studies, American Studies, and Humanistic Studies. She is the co-president of Princeton Students for Gender Equality (PSGE) as well as a member of Princeton Students for Reproductive Justice. Her work with PSGE is informed by her summer at GLW and by the time she spent volunteering at Rosie’s Place, a shelter and food pantry for women and their children in Boston. Right after her summer at GLW, she was inspired to start a Feminist Alliance at her high school. Now, she uses the lessons she learned at GLW and from Eleanor Roosevelt to inform her role as a leader of a student group with a mission of gender equality, women’s empowerment, and feminist community-building. 



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Eleanor Roosevelt: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 22 Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.