Importance of Female Role Models

Providing girls with dynamic mentorship and real world strong female role models are at the core of everything we do. One way we like to introduce girls to these positive, professional female role models and vice versa is through what we call the “G.L.O.W. Show”— an open and honest dialogue where diverse women visit one of our program sites and share the challenges and successes of their personal and professional journeys. This particular G.L.O.W. Show was a special one in that its guest speaker, Katie Rootlieb, would later join Global G.L.O.W.’s team of passionate women as executive director.

What is your message to young girls?

Listen to yourself, listen to your voice and watch for defining moments.  Open yourself to these moments and have the confidence to know that you can succeed, no matter your path.

“I wanted to reassure them that the journey will be very different than they expect.  And that’s ok.”

Katie’s Journey

When I arrived at NOVA academy, I could see the hope in their eyes.  I would see the excitement for what’s to come and the thrill of the beginning of a journey.  I also saw apprehension about the unknown.  These girls are high-achievers.  So, in addition to hope, I saw pressure and an anxious energy about college applications, job interviews and the path ahead.

In my time there, I wanted to share with them my unexpected journey.  I wanted to reassure them that the journey will be very different than they expect.  And that’s ok.

So, I told them about my passion for architecture as a young girl and about my adoration of Julia Morgan, the first woman architect to be licensed in California.  I shared how hard I worked to get into an architecture program at Pratt as a senior in High School. And then I shared how frustrated I felt when I stood in the hallway of Pratt and I realized that architecture wasn’t for me.  I still vividly remember that moment, looking down the hallway and feeling lost. That fall, I entered UCLA as an undeclared English major.

As the details of my journey unfolded, and they learned of the turns and changes that came to me, I advised them to watch for defining moments.  The moments like my moment in that hallway. These are the moments that stop you in your tracks, stand out and chart a new course for you.  These are the moments that are the most scary and the most rewarding. These are most moments that define your journey.

Many of them asked questions like, “how did I know what those moments were?” or “Who were the mentors who helped you through the journey?”  As I answered each question, I reassured them that they are the ones who will know what is the right path. Deep in their guts and in their soul, they will know. They must believe in their own voice and have the confidence to take an unexpected turn and follow a new passion. And most of all, I encouraged them to watch for those defining moments that will shape their future.

Two For One

Lucky for us, along with the addition of Katie to the G.L.O.W. family, we scored the Magnificent Maddie, her daughter. Maddie attended this year’s Global HerStory Summit, joining 60 other woman and girls from 10 different countries around the world in NYC for a week. She fit right into the group of Global Girls and glows with fearless curiosity and positivity wherever she goes.

“I have seen, first hand, the positive impact that the organization makes on the lives of young women, their families and communities.”

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About Katie

In her new role as executive director, Katie Rootlieb is responsible for overseeing Global G.L.O.W. operations, programming and curriculum, development and marketing. She is also tasked with expanding the reach of the organization and its program, the HerStory Campaign, throughout the United States and globally. Kylie Schuyler, the founder of Global G.L.O.W., will remain actively involved in the leadership of the organization as the CEO and Founder.

Prior to joining Global G.L.O.W., Rootlieb led the Surfrider Foundation’s mission advancement efforts, combining development, marketing and partnership strategies to accelerate growth. Rootlieb began her career in the nonprofit sector with the Illumination Foundation, a grassroots organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Orange County. In this role, Rootlieb helped the organization achieve remarkable revenue growth, achieving a $6MM operating budget in just six years.

“I am thrilled to join the Global G.L.O.W. team and the HerStory Campaign to help girls pursue a secure future and become independent. When women and girls are strong, communities flourish. I have seen, first hand, the positive impact that the organization makes on the lives of young women, their families and communities.”

If you are interested in visiting one of our Southern California program sites in Santa Ana, Long Beach, Compton or Los Angeles please email Toni at t.hynes@globalgirlsglow.org.