Ways to Inspire and Empower Girls and Tweens: The Waverly Project, TIA Girl Club, Tinker Crate and More!

I am inspired by women empowering girls.  I am so lucky to be surrounded by innovators and entrepreneurs and fortunate to live in a like-minded community.  I also happen to be the proud mom to two daughters (9 and 10) and a son.  There are so many transformative “transitions” that girls and boy go through in adolescence.  Of course, since I am a woman and have been through all of these stages, it’s so important to me to spend time ensuring that my girls go through these phases in the healthiest way possible.  I would like to give a shout out to two women I know who are trying to make a difference in the lives of girls as they go through these key “tween” and teen years — and I have also included a new company that is encouraging STEM learning (for boys and girls) via a monthly subscription.  Also below is a list of great books for girls and moms alike that are key to navigating these years.  Take a look:

I was introduced to Molly Wills and her braindchild, The Waverly Project, within its second year of inception by a close friend who knew Molly. The idea of a smart, fun, young twenty-something out of the College of William and Mary spending time after school running a program for girls that she developed piqued my interest.

The Waverly project inspires and empowers young girls by pairing innovation and creativity and exploring cultures through the art of cooking.  Her tagline is Inspire. Educate. Illuminate: Inspire girls to find their purpose…Educate girls on cultures around the world  Illuminate women’s stories and their passions.  Molly has pulled together a creative program for young girls and tweens and created “tours” where she takes groups of girls on a tour of activies inspired by locales and countries around the world. It is currently based in Greenwich, CT where I am — but she has also done tours in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Greenwich, NYC and the Hamptons. She creatively exposes them to art, fashion and culture — has set up specialty tours allowing the girls to interact with leaders from the community and more.  She also started an e-mailed newsletter called “The W Report” which is a daily does of news, culture, candy, sports, jokes and inspiration that is suitable for young girls to subscribe to.  Think of it as Daily Candy meets GOOP scaled down for girls.  It’s cute!

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Another woman in my community, Vanessa Schenck, is passionate about the issue of “camouflaging” in tween girls.  I wasn’t aware of what camouflaging was until last year when we had lunch and she talked to me about her plan to start the TIA Girl Club.  During the tween years, girls start to “camouflage” whereby they hide who they truly are in order to blend in with those around them.  It’s a time in a girl’s life where friendships mean everything, and she will do almost anything to fit in with her peers.  In doing so, many girls lose their authentic voices, and any real sense of who they truly are or what they believe.  Psychologists say a girl who loses her voice during her tween years won’t get it back for up to three decades.  It’s called the “30-year-power-outage”.  So Vanessa launched the TIA Girl Club in October 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign.  Her club gives girls tools to combat camouflaging and to keep their authentic voice alive through their TIA statement of “Today I Am…” She introduces girls to positive female role models – the TIA Trailblazers – through a TIA Treasure Box, which is a monthly subscription box available to tweens.  Girls start with an initial welcome kit once girls join the club and then they can continue with a monthly subscription that sends a box that will introduce tween members to inspiring female role models.   Click here to read more about what’s included and how the club helps tween girls.



Here is a curated list of books from Amazon that I have pulled together that are in the genre of tween years.  The books towards the top of the list are appropriate for
girls themselves to read — and the ones father down are great guides for moms to read.  I started my girls on the American Girl guides around age 9 and they were a hit in my house!  Take a look:

If you want to encourage a love of innovation, science, technology and math in your children (and I am a big fan of encouraging STEM with girls especially) check out out Tinker Crate.  Tinker Crate is STEM in a box, delivered to your door each month with creative science and innovation based learning kits.  You can subscribe or give this as a gift.  These boxed kits are great rainy day activities!image image

Post your ideas for inspiring tweens…


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