Introducing our new Executive Director

GirlVentures is delighted to announce the selection of Emily Teitsworth as its new Executive Director. Emily will be responsible for the organization’s overall management, operations and development during this exciting next stage of growth. Emily started in her new position on May 16, 2017.

Emily brings over a decade of experience leading high impact domestic and global initiatives in leadership development and organizational management primarily focused around empowerment of women and girls. For the last eight years, Emily has worked for the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California.  Most recently, she served as Managing Director of Rise Up where she was instrumental in expanding its programs and spearheading several new initiatives targeting girls and women in 11 countries. Prior to her tenure at Rise Up, she was the Director of Programs at Let Girls Lead, a division of the Public Health Institute. A leader in public health and development programs benefiting girls, youth and women, Ms. Teitsworth holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University.

In making the announcement, GirlVentures Board of Directors President Gina McFarland said, “Emily brings a unique combination of leadership and operations experience, knowledge of the field, and deep personal commitment to the girls we serve. Emily is a proven leader, with a well-deserved reputation for integrity and commitment to excellence. We very much look forward to supporting Emily as she and the staff work to take GirlVentures to the next level of success.”


“I'm honored and excited to be joining GirlVentures to continue and scale the organization's incredible work to empower girls in the Bay Area and beyond. I look forward to collaborating with the staff and Board to create transformational leadership opportunities for girls and young women.”


GirlVentures was founded by two Bay Area women who met at the Harvard School of Education and studied the transition from childhood to adolescence among girls. They found that girls faced multiple emotional, physical and social challenges and that underserved girls from urban, low-income communities in particular need extra support and mentorship to foster the self-confidence, perseverance, and sense of community needed for academic, social and career success. Outdoor education, they found, and single-gender outdoor education in particular, fosters the positive qualities that girls need in order to face the challenges posed by the transitions of the teenage years.

Launched in 1997, we transitioned from a founder-­led start-up to a thriving and robust nonprofit serving approximately 135 girls annually across the Bay Area.

Los Altos Town Crier features GirlVentures

Campers from homes as far apart as Palo Alto and Petaluma form friendships on the expeditions, and a deliberate commitment to accessibility makes it an especially diverse group. GirlVentures offers an extensive library of everything from technical gear to basics that some families don’t stock - no long johns? No problem. Because the program also provides all transportation and food, and offers both scholarships and sliding-scale fees, it’s open to girls who otherwise might feel shut out from such an expedition.

After the intense bonding experience of two weeks in the wilderness, Hoffman said, girls form a strong sense of community, learning “how to be allies to one another, and find their individual and collective strengths.”
— Jane Ridgeway, Los Altos Town Crier

To read to full article, click here


Outdoor Adventure for Better Body Image

A study on GirlVentures alumna shows that we are having a positive effect on body image! A study in the Outdoor Journal of Recreation, Education and Leadership by Susie K. Barr-Wilson and Nina Roberts explores the positive influence of our instructors, other girls on course and connection with nature. 

"In contrast to the occasional harmful messages of mainstream culture, outdoor adventure programming can offer adolescent girls confidence and courage (Whittinton & Nixon Mack, 2010), physical competence and strength (Caulkins, White, & Russell 2006), relational skills (Sammet, 2010) and self-efficacy (Budbill, 2008)."

Read the whole article here