National champion boxer and Olympic medalist Marlen Esparza to keynote We Are Girls 2013: Embrace Your Inner Strength on Nov. 9 at Austin High School

We Are Girls Celebrates Sixth Year in Austin, Expects More than 1,500 Girls and Adults in Attendance

U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist and 4-time National Boxing Champion Marlen Esparza
Keynotes “Embrace Your Inner Strength”

AUSTIN, TEXAS – October 2013 — To help girls make wise choices and navigate the pressures of girlhood, GENaustin – The Girls Empowerment Network will host its sixth annual We Are Girls conference to inspire and support girls and the adults who care about them on Sat., Nov. 9, 2013 from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Austin High School in Austin. We Are Girls features a full-day of skill-building workshops and dynamic presentations on topics including creating healthy relationships; building financial and media literacy; enhancing parent-daughter relationships; fostering creativity; and increasing positive body image, health and wellness.

We Are Girls brings nationally recognized role models to Austin including Olympic Bronze Medalist Marlen Esparza, who will encourage girls to “Embrace Your Inner Strength” as the event’s keynote speaker. Esparza became the first American woman to qualify for Olympic boxing in 2012. Fascinated by boxing at a young age, Esparza was told by her father and coach that she couldn’t box because she was a girl. Undeterred, she started training – and winning – and proving them wrong. Esparza’s inspirational story includes how she fought to be taken seriously as an athlete and achieve her dreams.Role models are the biggest asset to help young girls develop a positive self-image,according to the results of a national opinion survey conducted by Harris Interactive for GENaustin*.

In its sixth year, We Are Girls earns high marks from girls and the adults in their lives — 98 percent of last year’s attendees said they would recommend the conference to a friend. In 2012, over 1,600 girls and adults attended We Are Girls, and nearly 400 participants traveled to Austin from across Texas to attend this one-of-a-kind event.

“We Are Girls celebrates girlhood and helps girls reach their potential in their many roles – daughter, student, friend,” says Julia Cuba, MSW, executive director, GENaustin. “We fill with great role models and teachers for girls and parents, then let them get close, ask questions and leave excited and inspired.”
We Are Girls includes nearly three dozen activities and workshops in three tracks: one designed just for girls in grades 5-12, one just for parents and other courses for girls and adults. Activities inspire girls to be physically active, cultivate strong friendships, express their creativity through arts and science, and learn new skills. After Olympic boxer Marlen Esparza, other keynote speakers will share inspirational messages about careers, health and creativity, including Stephanie Mims from Dell Inc. (“IT is Not Just for Geeks”) as well as Austin OBGYN Dr. Stephanie Reich and Austin musician Tameca Jones. GENaustin offers Spanish translation for all keynotes.
Activities and workshops for girls and parents are designed by well-known organizations such as The YWCA, Girl Scouts, and Girls Inc., as well as Austin-based nonprofits Girlstart, Latinitas, Kidpower Austin, Con Mid Madre, and Circle of Health International. Other Austin experts bring diverse backgrounds in counseling, family therapy, and life coaching, including Angela Funke, Austin Therapy for Girls, Barb Steinberg, Fran Harris and Elizabeth Decker, among many others.
Austin high school students Arlette and Estafanie participate in GENaustin programs, and they received scholarships to attend this year’s conference.
“GENaustin has given me the chance to explore issues I’ve never thought about before,” said Arlette. “I want other teen age girls to know what ‘real beauty’ is and create goals for themselves. GENaustin has helped me increase my self-confidence and think more about who I can become after I graduate from high school.”
Wristbands for this day-long event are $30 a person (adults and girls).
About GENaustin and We Are Girls
Through after-school clubs, programs and community workshops for girls and parents, GENaustin — The Girls Empowerment Network supports and guides girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood. GENaustin created We Are Girls in 2008 to expand its services that empower girls and their parents to navigate the challenges of girlhood. Its 2013 honorary chair is the First Lady of Texas Anita Perry and honorary advisor is Bettye Nowlin. We Are Girls is sponsored by many supportive Central Texas individuals and businesses including Linda Benge, The James R. Dougherty Foundation, John & Jana Grimes, Darcy Kurtz, Ruben & Michelle Lopez, Diane Land & Steve Adlert, Kate Ludeman & Eddie Erlandson,Liz Matthews, Julie Mathis, Lynn, Sarah & Abby Meredith and Kate Andrade, Bettye Nowlin, The Office of the Governor, Rebecca Powers, Cathy & Dwight Thompson. To learn more about GENaustin and We Are Girls, please visit

We Are Girls sponsors also include Applied Materials, Austin Independent School District, aw media, Caldwell Partners, Clutch Creative, MFI Foundation, Dell, Deloitte, Frost, EZ Corp, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Home Away, Mammoth Marketing Group, Momentum Public Relations, Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union,, Richards Rodriguez & Skeith Attorneys at Law, and threedefined – a marketing boutique.

We Are Girls conference committee includes Linda Benge, Julie Fisher, Jana Grimes, Lori Knowlton, Darcy Kurtz, Diane Land, CJ Legare, Leigh Ann Lindsey, Julie Mathis, Lynn Meredith, Karen Potter, Rebecca Powers, Sara Rodell, Cathy Thompson, Ane Urquiola, Theresa Woodiel.

A survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of GENaustin – The Girls Empowerment Network from October 4-7, 2013 among 2,041 adults ages 18 and older, with 514 parents of a child under 18. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

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Vanessa Wright