Jul 16
July 16, 2015

“I Only Surround Myself with People Who Lift Me Up”


We know that progress for girls and women is possible. But in order to reach full participation, we need to focus on the challenges that still remain and cultivate the power, potential, and motivation of the next generation.

To help harness that potential, No Ceilings and Girls Inc., a national organization supporting the empowerment of young female leaders, have teamed up to host Participation Parties in select cities nationwide. The first event was held on July 8th at the Urban Institute of Math and Science for Young Women in Brooklyn, New York. Bringing together 60 middle to high school aged girls, No Ceilings shared powerful data and stories from and the tools that can help inspire change.

The event was an opportunity for girls to talk with each other openly about the challenges they see in their lives and community. Together with members of the No Ceilings and Girls Inc. staff, they explored perceptions of girls’ and women’s full participation, the issues and facts they felt resonated most in their lives today, and ways in which they can make change.

For many of the participants, the conversation and statistics were eye opening, learning for the first time about issues like child marriage, and women’s unequal access to resources like Internet access in the developing world. One of the participants was shocked to learn about the “unfair treatment faced by girls” around the world, while others chimed in feeling that they themselves were “held back because they are born girls.” 

The conversation was also a chance for these young women to learn from each other. One group focused on the challenge of combatting the often crippling stereotypes and obstacles that many girls face where they live and go to school. One girl said, “I only surround myself with people that lift me up,” underlining the importance of strong role models and motivational voices for young girls’ empowerment. 

We’re so thrilled to work with Girls Inc. and other organizations like Girl Up in this way to help expand the reach of the No Ceilings data and highlight the importance of gender equality in through Participation Parties around the country.  With our second and third parties happening this last week in Washington, D.C. and Santa Ana, CA we’ve already reached 200 girls in three cities across the country. Our next Party will be in Orange County, CA on July 15 followed by one in Fort Worth, TX in August. Partnering with other organizations like Girl Up, we’ve already reached 200 girls in three cities. We believe that every person – girl or boy, woman or man – when equipped with the facts, is better able to change them. Whether it’s checking out the stories on, participating in the 30 Day No Ceilings Challenge, sharing #NoCeilings message on social media, or supporting those around us, we all have a role to play in advancing the full participation of girls and women worldwide. 

To learn more about No Ceilings, the data and stories, visit