When Gabelli School of Business junior Emily Raleigh was in grade school, she’d put on her school uniform and ask her mom if she looked “smart.” Her mom, of course, said yes. Raleigh said her parents raised her to be a smart girl.
But by the time Raleigh got to high school, she said she began to notice a change among her peers.
“A lot of girls were trying to be what they were seeing in the media” instead of being themselves, she said.
She soon realized that media was not only hard on women, but on girls too. Concerned for her little sister, she wrote an essay for her that she described as a “field guide to surviving high school as a smart girl.”
She also began Smart Girls Group, a for-profit social enterprise that Raleigh said is intended to empower women through products, services, and various ventures, like the Smart Girls Summit, which will be held at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus on July 9 and 10.
Raleigh said the theme of the summit is “be smart and live smart.”
“We’re trying to show girls that being smart isn’t just your SAT score, and that you can turn anything into a successful career—maybe it’s making cupcakes or maybe it’s medicine.”
With bold-faced names like former New York Times editor Jill Abramson, FEED Projects’ CEO Lauren Bush, and the first female NYFD firefighter, Brenda Berkman, the summit will no doubt pique the interest of many—regardless of gender.
Attendees can register up to the opening of the summit at www.smartgirlssummit.com. The $80 fee includes breakfast and lunch for the two-day event.
Smart Girls is a member of the Fordham Foundry partnership between the Gabelli School of Business and New York City’s Department of Small Business Services.