ABOUT US


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Girls Health Ed. began as a volunteer effort. Sarah Hillware, former America’s Miss District of Columbia, began visiting schools (public, private, charter and religious) in the DC area during her reign to promote her platform on health education. She collaborated with established health advocacy organizations, and handed out information pamphlets catered to kids (grades K-12) and parents. She used the tools provided to give scientifically-based talks to students and teachers. After each talk, she received great feedback from teachers and administrators and was always asked to come back. She recognized a need in the DC area for basic education on daily health habits. After 5 months of regular visits to schools, she decided to take it a step further and envisioned creating a project that would be sustained long-term and would cover a wide spectrum of health issues, including nutrition, body image, physical activity, personal care/hygiene and reproductive health.



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MISSION


    Girls Health Ed. is a volunteer community-based effort that seeks to educate girls 8-17 about their health and wellbeing. We exist to help girls and young women make healthy, informed choices throughout their lives by having teaching fellows from relevant fields teach seminars in metro area schools and community centers. We are different from other health-related organizations that serve young women because instead focusing on one particular aspect of a healthy lifestyle, we realize that true health comes from equal emphasis on many aspects.

    Our four modules are nutrition and body image, physical fitness, personal care/hygiene and reproductive health. We focus on girls and young women who are not able to obtain information about their changing bodies from their school or home environments. We instill confidence through knowledge and aim to ensure that girls walk away with a valuable reference they are able to use throughout their adult lives. We use health education to maximize the positive impact that girls and young women are able to have on their communities and empower them to change their lives for the better.



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CURRICULUM



Module 1: Nutrition and Body Image
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a. Discussion of USDA's MyPlate and healthy proportions
b. Discussion of healthy body weight and BMI
c. Discussion of food groups

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Module 2: Physical Activity
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a. Discussion on physical activity standards, how to supplement P.E. in school
b. Discussion on how to incorporate fun activities (dance, yoga, martial arts, etc.) into one’s daily routine

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Module 3: Personal Care
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a. Discussion on routines for skin care, personal hygiene, and menstrual care
b. Discussion on hygiene practices for changing bodies during puberty


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Module 4: Reproductive Health (ages 12+ only)
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a. Discussion on making smart choices and being an advocate for one's self
b. Discussion on healthy sexual behavior, contraception, female and male anatomy and condom use


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FAQs



Body Image & Self-esteem

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Approximately 15-25% of girls worldwide have experienced physical or sexual trauma before or during adolescence.

6 in 10 girls will stop participating in sports they love due to poor body image.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight.

80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight.

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Nutrition & Fitness

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According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.

People aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits.

Healthy eating helps reduce one’s risk for developing obesity, osteoporosis, iron deficiency, and dental cavities.

Most US youth do not obtain the proper nutrients daily.

The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.

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Personal Care & Hygiene

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According to the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), skin problems can lead to embarrassment, lowered self-esteem and self-confidence, anxiety and even depression. Furthermore, the skin of the face is often sensitive, and therefore more susceptible to damage and skin problems. In fact, experience with serious skin conditions can have lasting psychological effects, which can lead to social withdrawal. Clinical depression, social phobia, and certain anxiety disorders have been associated with skin problems.

Menstruation is a natural process. However, in most parts of the world, it remains a taboo and is rarely talked about.

UNICEF reports that “in countries where menstrual hygiene is taboo, girls in puberty are typically absent for 20% of the school year”. Most girls drop out at around 11 to 12-years-old, and miss school not simply because they fear being teased by their classmates if they show stains from their period, but also because they are not educated about their periods, and their need for safe and clean facilities is not prioritized.

Nielsen reports that only 12 percent of girls and women in India have access to decent sanitary protection while menstruating.

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Reproductive Health

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In 2011, there were 54.5 pregnancies per thousand to girls 15 to 19 years old.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in women, and is the main cause of cervical cancer.
Young girls and teens who do not have knowledge of their own body anatomy are more likely to be taken advantage of sexually.

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Founder & Board Members

Sarah Hillware

Founder & Executive Director

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Sarah is a longtime champion of healthy eating and living. As a young girl, she suffered being overweight. She was not able to run with her friends, or be the first pick in sports, or shop in the same stores that other little girls shopped in.

One day, at the doctor's office one summer, when she was 11 years of age, her pediatrician told her that at 152 lbs., she would have to lose weight in order to be healthy and grow properly. Sarah and her family did research on the best foods to eat, and together, they helped Sarah change her lifestyle.

She stopped consuming red meats, fried foods, and soda, and began to eat more fruits and vegetables. She also re-enrolled in gymnastics and swimming in order to become more physically fit. Sarah went through many ups and downs, and coming from a broken household, losing weight was both an emotional and physical battle.

Nevertheless, she came out triumphant, and at age 12, she weighed in at 128 lbs. Not only did her body change, but her self-esteem morphed along with it. She grew to be more confident, more attentive in class, and more self sufficient. Needless to say, it was clear when she won the title of America's Miss District of Columbia in early 2012, that she had an obligation to help empower girls through health education. During her year of service as Miss DC, she recognized a growing need for health education in the education system.

Ms. Hillware decided to help develop Girls Health Ed. because she believes in the power of education and the power of women. Through her global studies of health and her life experiences, she has learned that the empowered girl is unstoppable.

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Amina Gilyard, M.Ed., CHES

Director of Operations

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Amina holds a M.Ed. in Health Education from the Pennsylvania State University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). After moving to Washington DC to pursue a career public health, she continued her education and received a Certificate in Grief, Loss and Life Transitions Counseling from the George Washington University. In addition, Amina is currently pursuing a doctorate in Human and Organizational learning from the George Washington University. Amina works as a Project Manager at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the areas of learning and professional development and organizational excellence. Moreover, Amina is the Founder and CEO of INFLUENCE by AG- a talent and organization development company. " I decided to join the Girls' Health Ed. Team because our young girls need us- they need our guidance, our strength, our wisdom, and most of all our voices!"

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Jeff Hoffman

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Christine Horansky, M.Ed.

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Chrissy is an award-winning advocate for global education and champion for women and girls, who has been named a Global Shaper by the Waorld Economic Forum. She has worked to support the UN Millennium Development Goals to end global poverty by campaigning for universal education and gender equality. She also served as a moderator for the World Bank's Open Forum on Gender and Secretary Hillary Clinton's Women in Public Service colloquium. As Founder of Ivy & Airwaves, she specializes in helping international organizations tap the power of communications to advance global and social impact. Her thought leadership on global affairs has been featured in the Huffington Post, MTV and other major media outlets. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in International Education Policy from Harvard University. In 2012, she was named one of the “99 Most Influential Foreign Policy Leaders Under 33.” She is the author of Girl Power in the Age of the Millennials: Essays on Women, Youth and Global Social Change, now available on Amazon.

Twitter: @MissMillennial Website: www.missmillennial.com

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Melissa Jane Kronfeld, PhD

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Melissa Jane Kronfeld is a Ph.D. candidate in the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University, where she is currently completing a dissertation on American national security and threat prioritization in the Twenty-First Century. A New York City native, Melissa received a B.A. in International Relations from George Washington University, as well as a M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University and Rutgers University. Melissa has lectured on American foreign policy and national security issues in the Political Science department at Rutgers, as well the Center for Global Affairs at New York University. In 2012, she was awarded the first place in the Richard A. Clarke National Security and Counter-Terrorism Scholarship contest. Her winning monograph, “Killing Them With Kindness: A Softer Approach to Preventing Violent Extremism and Countering Radicalization in the War on Terrorism,” was featured in the Journal of Terrorism and Security Analysis and was presented at the annual Syracuse National and International Security Conference in 2013. In 2014 she was awarded the Rutgers University Walter F. Weiker scholarship celebrating student who posses both academic excellence as well as a commitment to exceptional extracurricular activities or contributions to the University or society. A journalist and editorialist, Melissa has been featured in the Politico, The Daily Caller, Government Security News, Fox News, Fox News Channel, Fox Business, World Jewish Daily, and the New York Post, and in 2013 she was named one of the “36 Under 36” by The Jewish Week. Melissa is also engaged in numerous community endeavors including serving as the New York Development Coordinator for Nexus; an Advisory Board Member for the Nomi Network and Strength to Strength; a Board Member and Consultant for Girls Heath Ed; the founding member and she is the co-chair of the Nexus Global Youth Summit’s Working Group on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. She also served as the Vice President of the Young Leadership Group at Save A Child’s Heart for four years. She joined Girls Heath Ed. because Sarah Hillware is an inspirational leader and because the world is a better, stronger and healthier place when women and girls are empowered to achieve their dreams and goals.

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Sandy Salinas

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Isandra “Sandy” Salinas Sandy has over 20 years of experience in the banking and investment arena. She is originally from Texas, and is a graduate from the University of North Texas(UNT) with a concentration in Finance. She started her career in wealth management with Smith Barney in Dallas, Texas with a focus on Equity Compensation. After ten years as a financial advisor, she progressed into a management role spending two years in Arizona. Now in the Mid-Atlantic, she is currently a branch manager in D.C., running Morgan Stanley’s Resident Financial Advisor Program under the Client Advisory Center Division. In the community, she currently sits on Morgan Stanley’s local diversity council and over the years has been involved with various organizations listed below: Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - 2010 Board Member, Treasurer UNT FIREL Advisory Board - Past Member UNT Alumni Selection Committee - Past Member Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting - Past President DFW Chapter, Past National Board Member Collin County Committee on Aging – Past Trustee St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Auction Committee Dallas, TX Make a Wish Foundation Hispanic Advisory Council Dallas, TX Dallas Symphony Hispanic Advisory Group In 2007, she received the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 1st Annual "La Cima" Volunteerism Award For fun, she is devoted to Pure-Barre, is a huge baseball fan and a classical music enthusiast. Her golf game is a work in progress.

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Marisa Westbrook

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Marisa Westbrook is a public health research professional interested in chronic disease prevention and lifestyle change, currently pursuing an MPH in Health and Social Behavior at the University of California Berkeley. She believes that health and wellness are essential to successful communities, and practices this personally through sharing her story and healthy, accessible recipe ideas through her blog (http://uprootfromoregon.com). She joined the Girls Health Ed team to continue to remind girls that there is a wide community of health professionals eager to support the next generation, and that healthy eating and exercise can be enjoyable and fun.

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Natasha Yousaf, MD

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Natasha Yousaf, MD, is a physician who is passionate about health education. She is board certified in internal medicine, and specializes in acute inpatient care. She currently practices in the state of Virginia, where she participates in both clinical and administrative duties. Dr. Yousaf completed her residency at Washington Hospital Center/Georgetown University program in Washington DC. In addition, she has a bachelors in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Florida. She has participated in health fairs and patient awareness seminars in a wide variety of settings, including international locations. Her most recent endeavor was in Kenya, where she worked with girls facing female genital mutation. Dr. Yousaf strongly believes a healthy lifestyle starts at an early age. She comes from a background where she has tutored students of different ages and education levels, from elementary school students to college level students. She has also mentored medical students, and graduated with high honors from Ross University School of Medicine. She has an overall vision for utilizing her talents to help increase nutrition education in our youth

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Staff & Special Advisors

Bhavna Bhatia, MS

Associate Director of Marketing

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Bhavna is a digital marketing professional who is passionate about health education. Bhavna completed her M.S. in Public Communication where she focused her research on how to enhance the effectiveness of patient-provider communication. She has served as a professor at George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College, instructing on various communication skill enhancement courses for young adults. She believes that understanding change is the key to growth. Throughout her career, she has aimed to understand how the evolution of technology has impacted our ability to learn and grow, and hopes to translate this knowledge into successful marketing strategies that will increase awareness of the Girls Health Ed and increase engagement of its followers.

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Genevieve Cowan

Associate Director of Finance

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Bio

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Marissa Mattar

Expansion Coordinator

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Bio

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Roxana Muzzammel

Associate Director of Development & Fundraising

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Roxana Muzzammel is the Director of Development and Fundraising Chair for Girls Health Ed. Roxana comes from a background in event planning and fundraising for nonprofits. Roxana currently serves on the Leadership Committee for the National Capital Area (NCA) Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) since 2013. Roxana has garnered the title First Runner-Up 2013 LLS Woman of the Year back in June 2013, where she had raised over $96,000 for cancer research in 10-weeks. She had been inspired to fundraise and promote awareness for cancer research through events after the loss of her father to leukemia in 2011. Roxana is also an active board member for Ladies America and NetSAP DC. Roxana currently works as an IT Consultant for CRGT Inc. Roxana is a graduate of Northeastern University where she had earned her Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems. Roxana is currently seeking fellowship as a participant in the 2015 Class for the Women’s Executive Leadership Program at the Impact Center.
Why she joined our team: I have joined Girls Health Ed to empower younger girls to instill confidence and in overcoming issues relating to growing up in different cultures and environments that can hinder their potential. I am thrilled to be part of this amazing group to make a huge impact on adolescent women that require all the help that they can get to overcome obstacles during this period of their life.

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Anna Oguhebe

Asscociate Director of Community Relations and Special Initiatives

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Anna is a Masters in Public Health candidate at George Washington University. She graduated from Vanderbilt University where she double majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Medicine, Health, and Society with a minor in Chemistry. Her passion for girl's health education stemmed from her courses in medicine, health, and society that exposed to her a world full of health disparities and marginalized societies. She began volunteering at tutoring centers and organizations emphasizing prevention and healthy living for minority populations. Education and empowerment are key ingredients for catalytic change, and GHE offers those ingredients to young girls. Since early 2014, she has served as the Director of Community Relations and Special Initiatives with the vision to build GHE’s relationship with like-minded philanthropic organizations in innovative ways. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, singing, reading, and dancing.

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Kenisha Salvary

Associate Director of Outreach

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Kenisha has completed 3700 hours of community service with AmeriCorps; a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Through AmeriCorps, Kenisha has a proven success record in community organizing efforts. She has successfully strengthened many nonprofits and community organizations by bringing them together to maximize the success of their neighborhood’s youth and young adults. Kenisha has connected communities with resources to ensure the prevention of poverty and created the first Neighborhood and Youth Committee in Manassas, VA. As a second year AmeriCorps member, she moved to DC and began working with the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) teaching Grammatical English to 6th, 7th and 8th graders. She often mentored young girls and offered inspiration through her own story of hardship, overcoming many years of homelessness and discovering self empowerment. Today Kenisha continues her efforts in schools and communities through Girls Health Ed. and starting her own nonprofit, Kenisha Smiles, with hopes to cause ripple effects of smiles and happiness wherever she goes. She assist with expanding our reach in schools nationwide and changing girls’ lives.

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Pavita Singh

MPH, Associate Director of Programs

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Pavita is a recent graduate of Yale University where she received her Master of Public Health in Social & Behavioral Sciences. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender & Sexuality Studies, Linguistics, and Child & Adolescent Mental Health from New York University. Pavita has wide-ranging passions and interests, including mental health, youth development, education, empowerment of girls and women, and creative arts. One of Pavita's favorite quotes by the famous French fashion designer and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Coco Chanel is “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” Pavita joined the Girls Health Ed team because she believes in the organization's mission of teaching girls about health, wellbeing, and self-care as a means of empowering them to make an impact in their communities and to become the women they want to be. She is excited to continue to advance Girls Health Ed's efforts and achievements.

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Deborah Capra



Courtney Fitzhugh, MD



Pamela Jackson



Heather Lawson JD, MPH



Flora Lerenman



Sarah MacLellan



Tara Magalski



Ashley Stahl, MA



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DC/Baltimore

Angela Young
Ebone Gaskins
Laura Rosenwinkel
Meredith Damore
Roni Zelivinski
Aida Murad
Rashi Kapoor
Santhia "Sandy" Varatharajah

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NYC

Lawrese Brown
Tara Magalski
Shari Jardine
Devin Sullivan
Chelsea Doub

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LA

Leah Luong
Jennifer Layne
Tiffany Tedesco
Jessica Winterstern

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Denver

Kasey O'Leary
Markie Keelan
Genevieve Burkhalter-Miller
Sharyn Greenberg
Nicole Harty

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Kenya

(to be announced)

Partners & Sponsors





 Heathy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF)

 Together Counts

 Mama Sarah Obama Foundation (MSOF)

 JBC Events

 Coalition for Adolescent Girls

 Boys and Girls Club Greater Washington

 Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC

 Junior League of Northern Virginia




 Fitness Together Central Georgetown

 Ladies America

 Tigerlily Foundation

 Social You

 Millennial Week

 Stella and Dot

 You Successful You

 Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)

 United Nations Population Fund


News & Events

  • News

    • MenstrualHygieneDay.org

  • News

    • George M. Ferris Clubhouse #6 Inspires Members with Wellness & Career Programs

  • News

    • CONFIDENCE + A CAUSE: Sarah Hillware Share Her Empowering Journey Towards A Healthy Life
  • News

    • The Scene: Sip with Socialites fundraiser for Girls Health Ed



  • News

    • #GenYNot’s Young Global Girl Leaders #DayOfTheGirl

  • News

    • Recap: GLAMFEST Benefitting Girls Health Ed

  • News

    • Summer Glamfest



  • News

    • GLAMFEST for Girls Health Ed on July 10th
  • News

    • GHE's One Year Anniversary

  • News

    • A Hot Pink Celebration

  • News

    • Hot Pink Health!

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    • Inside Girl’s Heath Ed’s HOT PINK First Anniversary
  • News

    • Spring GirlTalk 2014 Retreat with the Boys & Girls Club

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