October/November 2016 MWC Honoree: Meredith Mishel
Relationship with Marin County.
Born and raised in Mill Valley, Meredith Mishel is a Marin County Native. She went to
school at UC Berkeley for her undergraduate degree in sustainable development. Mishel
had always been interested in non-profit work and, after completing her time at UC
Berkeley, she traveled, and worked for myriad non-profits. She then went on to Columbia University, NYC for her Master’s degree in Public Administration and was hired by the Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park as a Program Officer to do public information campaign management for sexual health information and education. To years ago she decided to go back to school, at University of San Francisco in order to pursue a Masters degree in School Counseling.
Involvement in Girls Leadership.
Mishel eventually felt stuck, only being able to reach young people through media outlets and at a universal level, though she deeply believes in the power of the media to
reach young people, felt that her power would be in personal interactions. When Mishel
heard Simone Marean, one of the founders of Girls Leadership, speak at Strawberry Point school, in Mill Valley, the mission and work resonated with her. At the time she was still working for Jen Siebel Newsom’s Representation Project and completing her school counseling degree. She was inspired by the model in which Girls Leadership operated. She became a Girls leadership educator and facilitated workshops with girls and their parents to give parents and girls the tools and strategies to represent a good model for their daughters and to promote healthy relationships, friendships and communication. One of the things Mishel loves about Girls Leadership is its inclusion of parents, not just the girls it serves.
Mishel is now a school counselor at the Cove School, in Corte Madera, as well as a Girls Leadership workshop facilitator. She is training at a mindfulness school of thought through Mindful Schools and is also trained in Kimochis. She brings these practices into her interactions and trainings at school and in the workshops. She highlights in the importance of mindful interaction and communication in her trainings and with her students as well.
How can readers get involved?
Mishel wants to reach out to parents who are looking to re-enter the work force or volunteer realm and to encourage them to look at Girls Leadership as an opportunity to expand upon and relay the important tools needed to raise healthy and socially successful young women. Mishel says that “there is so much good work to do, whether it is in schools [or elsewhere] …we should teach, not success in the traditional sense, but in the social realm.”
Greatest hope for Marin Women and Girls.
Mishel emphasizes the important on social and emotional learning. She hopes that,
moving forward, parents can focus on raising “whole people and children, focusing less on the actual outcomes, and more on the person they become.” She hopes, for girls,
that they have a platform on which to share their thoughts and aspirations, that girls can have a strong voice and personality without being called bossy or other derogatory
names reserved for women. She wants to see a shift in this rhetoric and hopes that Girls
Leadership can continue doing work within the community in order to achieve a world
that is more accepting of girls and women having a voice and supports their healthy growth and strength.