Join us for The Alchemist & Girls’ Leadership Discussion Circle (July 16, 2016 – August 6, 2016)

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You are invited to a girls’ leadership discussion circle. The book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, will serve as backdrop for our discussion this summer. We will host 4 weekly meetings for a small group of girls (ages 12+). Participants may attend on a drop-in basis, as schedules permit.

Pre-Discussion Conference Call with Parents & Girls: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Meeting #1: Saturday, July 16, 2016
Meeting #2: Saturday, July 23, 2016
Meeting #3: Saturday, July 30, 2016
Meeting #4: Saturday, August 6, 2016


Residence in Menlo Park

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho (read in entirety before first meeting on July 9)

Sign up and indicate which dates you can participate. We understand schedules may change (on our end, as well). We will confirm attendance on a weekly basis.

Parents’ Participation
Parents are encouraged to read along with us. We will host parents on Saturday, July 9 (book discussion – via conference) and Saturday, August 6 following the girls’ meeting (closing session/potluck dinner).

Additional Info
There will be assignments to be completed prior to each meeting. See below for the first assignment.

Caroline Wang, mother/HR professional/executive coach. Caroline, now with Apple Inc., has worked in the Human Resources field for over 17 years with multi-national companies. She moved from Shanghai, China to the Bay area in 2011 and has learned in her own way to adjust to cultural differences, in particular around notions of leadership.  She believes the key is to stand up and find your own voice, which is universal no matter which culture one is from.  Certified with New Ventures West as an Integral Coach, Caroline is applying coaching to help people cultivate leadership. Each person has his/her unique qualities unknown to himself/herself and a coach’s job is to help identify and grow a person from those unique quality/ies. Inspired by the vision of Girls Innovate! to provide leadership awareness and practices to girls, Caroline is excited to have the opportunity to work with this community to contribute her knowledge and experiences.

Uyen Kry, mother/co-founder of Girls Innovate. In the spring of 2013, Uyen organized two separate instances of a sold-out event for moms and girls called “Girls Innovate: Empowering Girls for Leadership and Entrepreneurship” (March 2013 and June 2013). Having worked in various forums which featured the question of leadership and cultural influences, Uyen believed a first step in furthering the dialogue was to unite around fundamental experiences that women like her all share: growing up and parenting. What nurtures a young person’s soul and brings forth her unique qualities? How does a girl find purpose and develop the will, intelligences and resources to fulfill that purpose? During the 3 years since, Uyen has learned along many of the families and individuals who undertake their own version of this journey. She has facilitated learning workshops and events, brought together and mentored a group of girls to become more aware of their learning processes, and this year graduated a few who are off to pursue more advanced and more independent learning journeys. Uyen is delighted that Caroline has offered to help lead a leadership discussion circle for girls this summer and look forward to learning and connecting with everyone.

Assignment #1
(to be completed/submitted prior to Meeting #1)

Write a “found poem” using the text of The Alchemist.

A “found” poem is a poem made up entirely of phrases or quotations found in the text. Go back through the book and make up a found poem of your own. The poem could tell the reader something about Santiago’s journey, but this is not necessary; it may be totally unrelated to the action of the story, which is one of the best parts of writing a found poem.

Your poem should be at least 10 lines long. The lines do not need to rhyme, but they certainly may. You can arrange the phrases in any way you like and change the punctuation, but do not deviate from the actual words. Give the poem a title, which may or may not come from the book. Below is an example.

The Dream
But ever since he had been a child
he had wanted to know the world.
Where are you from?
From many places.
And when you want something
All the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
As you wander around, carry this spoon with you
Without allowing the oil to spill.
It was difficult not to think about what he had left behind.
Very few follow the path laid out for them –
the path to their personal legends,
and to happiness.
Most people see the world as a threatening place
And because they do
The world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.
Every search begins with beginner’s luck
and every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.
There is only one thing that makes a dream
impossible to achieve:
the fear of failure.

You will be emailed instructions for submitting your assignment.