The Future Of The Girl

Girls are the Future. Girls have the power to shape their futures – and the future of our world. But no one can realize their potential alone – that’s why it’s critical that girls receive the insight and support of the generations of strong women who have come before them.

Caterpillar Foundation, together with Glamour, The Girl Project and other partners, is leading an awareness campaign called The Future of the Girl. Created for girls and by girls, The Future of the Girl elevates girls’ voices and celebrates their power to help us learn from our history, understand our present, and create a better future for all.

A Message From Michele Sullivan

The Future of the Girl aims to provide girls from Illinois to India with the support they need to achieve their dreams and change the world for the better.

A Message From Michele Sullivan

The Future of the Girl aims to provide girls from Illinois
to India with the support they need to achieve their
dreams and change the world for the better.

Kirstin Hotelling Zona, PhD, a master life coach

Kirstin Hotelling Zona, PhD, a master life coach and award-winning professor of English at Illinois State University, where she empowers women to thrive by creating lives of purposeful meaning, passion, and contribution.


Essay by Kirstin Hotelling Zona

Today, women in the U.S. earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. Today, 62 million girls around the world are denied education because of their gender. Today, 1 in every 4 girls will be married, often against her will, before she’s 18.

These stats are sobering… If we decide they are.

Thing is, we get to make these numbers mean anything we want to. We get to make them mean that being a girl is hard, that the odds are against us, or we get to make them mean that being a girl is an opportunity.

An opportunity to look history in the eye, and with a knowing smile walk right through the gates of fear into a future created, not received: to get real about who you are. To pay attention to what it is you’re passionate about, what you value, what you want to change, want to achieve, want to create, want to give.

When what-has- been doesn’t sync with where-you’re- going, you get to toss out the hand-me-downs and get to work on making something that fits. Something new. Something different. Something stunning. Something surprising. Something you feel great in.

That is, you get to live your life on purpose, not by default. Because fact is, we have to, right? When the default doesn’t fit, what else is there to do?

This is the future of the girl: a world in which we’re evolving, on purpose, together. A world in which curiosity trumps criticism. A world in which collaboration is prized and creativity thrives. A world in which compassion fuels our actions.

The future of the girl is, in other words, quite literally the future of our world.

Because thriving is no longer a matter of surviving.

On the contrary, surviving—as a species—demands a commitment to collective flourishing that is born of, not at odds with, individual triumph.

This is our opportunity. This is the future.

And they are one and the same.

We want you to join the conversation! What questions would you ask of influential female leaders? What questions would you ask your girl friends? What are your hopes for the future of girls and women?

In the next few weeks, we’re connecting with some strong, inspiring women who have walked the path to get real answers to your questions.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @CatFoundationTS and use #AskLikeAGirl to submit your questions and answers.

1. Name:

2. Age:

3. City, State:
Cincinnati, OH

4. Grade:

5. Favorite school subject:

6. What I’m listening to:
Ed Sheeran, Beyonce & Broadway hits!

7. What I’m reading:
Paper Towns (John Green), Catcher in the Rye (J.D Salinger)

8. Favorite hobbies:
Theatre, Singing, Traveling & Watching Movies

9. What I want to be when I grow up:
CEO of a major company!

10. Female Celebrities who inspire me:
Michelle Obama, Viola Davis and Malala Yousafzai 

11. My hope for the future of girls and women is:
For us to not feel restrained or inferior, but instead empowered to do whatever we set our minds to!

12. If I could ask an influential woman any question, I would ask:
I would ask Hillary Clinton what advice she has for girls thinking about choosing careers less explored by women and what suggestions she has to break the stereotypes regarding women in leadership positions.

Together.Girls. Together.Women. Together.Stronger.



Bigger Dreams For Kids Around The World

Opportunity International
Opportunity Leads To Infinite Possibilities

Room To Read
Hungry For Change, Devina Rose To New Heights

Girl Up
Girls In Uganda Just Want To Go To School

Feeding America
Backpack Program

The Girl Project
Girls Gount
Water For Fitri