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Meet the team

The Girl Possible family extends far and wide, engaging hundreds of workshop facilitators, volunteers, and girls in 15+ countries. We are activists, designers, and educators—all united towards the mission of empowering girls through design thinking.

 
 

Founding Team

Girl Possible was founded in 2015 by four young women who first met as students at Stanford’s design school (d.school)—Jenna Leonardo, Rachel H. Chung, Katie Kirsch, and Natalya Thakur. What initially began as a “passion project” for empowering girls through design thinking has now evolved into an established 501(c)3 non-profit that engages hundreds of workshop facilitators, volunteers, and girls in 15+ countries.

 

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Jenna Leonardo

Jenna grew up as a craft-making, baton-twirling bookworm in Long Beach, CA. After graduating from Stanford, she brought her love of reading to Seattle and worked as an experience designer at Amazon Kindle. Now, she lives in Brooklyn and works at Kickstarter–the platform where Girl Possible got its start! Jenna also believes that everything is better with sound effects.


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Katie Kirsch

Katie is a designer filled with ideas and energy. She grew up in a feminist Bay Area household, spent 7 years at an all-girls school, and came to Stanford looking for a creative way to impact girls—and found her answer in a room filled with post-its at the d.school. Today, Katie is putting her Product Design Engineering degree to work as part of IDEO’s “Design for Play” team—which is fitting, since she’s always believed that “work” can be incredibly fun. Katie loves traveling, learning new languages, dancing in public, standing on her head, and being wrong. She is also still watching Grey's Anatomy, 15 seasons later.


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Rachel H. Chung

Rachel grew up as a competitive classical concert pianist, igniting her desire to lead a creative professional life and to help others find their most creative, out-of-the-box voices. While studying at Stanford, she researched design cognition and started 2 companies, one of which is Girl Possible. After graduating, Rachel's work has brought her to New York, Berlin, and back to San Francisco, where she consulted for established brands and growing startups and nonprofits on innovation strategy. Currently, Rachel is a product designer and strategist at AngelList's Venture team, connecting capital with startups.


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Natalya Thakur

Natalya is passionate about the intersection of financial inclusion, innovation and female empowerment. Her superpowers include empathy for others, incorporating humor into learning and designing curriculum. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and MPP at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to school she worked at BlackRock, hosted leadership workshops for women and helped launch Stanford's financial literacy program. Natalya enjoys golfing and watching improv, but more importantly, loves being a part of the GP team, exploring new ways to connect with girls and applying design thinking to social change.


 

2019 Fellows

Meet our inaugural cohort of fellows, each bringing a breadth of expertise and fresh perspective on how we can expand upon the Girl Possible mission and programming in strategic ways.

 

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Jenny Nguyen

Jenny has set her goals on making a social impact in tech. From her early interests in AI at Stanford Research Institute, she then studied pre-med and psychology at UC Santa Barbara for a better perspective on mental health in today's digital world. Fueling that passion, she pursued an MPH in Global Health at USC and UMass Amherst. Today, she is a change-maker in product management at Change.org, where she helps build a platform that empowers others to rise to their fullest potential. In her free time, she's working a creative cooking/art project, or collaborating on one!

At Girl Possible, Jenny is exploring: How might we communicate the impact, value, and stories of Girl Possible in creative ways?

 

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Célynne Shipley

Célynne is keen for connection and driven to help people spark ideas and a path forward for change. With a background in behavioral psychology, ethics, design thinking, and client experience, peers often look to Célynne for ways to inspire new ways of thinking and testing assumptions. The creative juices run deep with one - she also has a side hustle sewing throw pillows!

At Girl Possible, Célynne is exploring: How might we give facilitators the right tools to create impact in their communities?

 

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Kayla Maxey

Kayla is a doctoral student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research interest focuses on how to improve the culture of STEM disciplines to support students’ historically underrepresented. She has conducted research about the influence of informal STEM learning experiences on diverse students’ attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of engineering, and the relationship between students’ interests and career aspirations. In addition, Kayla has 10 years of experience as a biomedical engineer. As a former division I track athlete, Kayla obtained her Bachelor’s from Syracuse University in bioengineering and her Master’s from Marquette University in Healthcare Technology Management.

At Girl Possible, Kayla is exploring: How might we build impact measurement into our program curriculum, for both our current and upcoming offerings?

 

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Lauren Mobertz

Lauren is a self-proclaimed data and research nerd. By day, she helps translate program outcomes into actionable insights for eBay's Global Impact team. By night, Lauren is pursuing her Master's in Organization Development at the University of San Francisco. Lauren was once the reigning champion of her hometown's crab walking race, for which she won a blue ribbon (and a lot of bragging rights).

At Girl Possible, Lauren is exploring: How might we define measurable outcomes for girls who participate in our programs?

 

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Joanna Chou

Joanna is a curious maker passionate about reimagining education for modern learners. Her superpowers are her intuition and empathy for others, desire to help people uncover unique strengths, and ability to turn lemons into strawberry lemonades. Joanna is also fascinated with neuroscience and has had the privilege of holding a human brain this year.

At Girl Possible, Joanna is exploring: How might we connect girls to each other and to the Girl Possible organization to create moments that last?

 

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Sofia Lopez Nunez

Sofia deeply believes the only way to solve today’s complex problems is by connecting the dots from a wide array of experiences. She is a naturally curious and creative explorer who has intentionally developed her career by taking on very different roles. Born in Panama, Sofia has lived in 7 countries and worked across the world. Her favorite movie? Finding Nemo!

At Girl Possible, Sofia is exploring: How might we create sustainable impact in low-income communities in the Bay Area and overall?