By Annie Sciacca
East Bay Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The founders of the “WorldWideWomen” festival didn’t want a static lecture series that girls would have to sit through, but instead an interactive and engaging event where girls could get hands-on with a variety of activities.
Hundreds of girls flocked to Santa Clara University Saturday to participate in an event that was all about them.
The third annual Girls’ Festival, hosted by Mill Valley-based company WorldWideWomen, assembled a collection of activities, performances, vendor booths and workshops geared toward helping girls succeed. That included things like one-on-one career mentoring across business, science, sports, arts and advocacy professions, a “maker space” that allowed for making art and food, a pop-up shop that allowed girls to sell goods they had made, and performances from local women’s and girls’ dance and chorus groups.
“The goal is to instill in the girls that they can do anything,” said Mary Stutts, a co-founder of the festival and a member of the advisory board for WorldWideWomen.
Stutts and the other festival founders, including WorldWideWomen founder and CEO Maureen Broderick, didn’t want a static lecture series that girls would have to sit through, but instead an interactive and engaging event where girls could get hands-on with a variety of activities aimed at empowering them, Stutts said.
In one session on Saturday morning, young women and girls packed into an auditorium to hear from a panel of women business owners, where they could ask them questions about their own path as an entrepreneur and then get one-on-one career mentoring.
Just outside, girls got to kick and scream their way through a self-defense workshop put on by Krav Maga instructors Andrea Cronin and Patrice Lagrange of the Academy of Self Defense in Santa Clara, in which they practiced getting out of the tight hold of a potential assailant and throwing punches in a way that won’t break their hands.