Nancy has been conducting workshops for young girls in the Tampa Bay area since 2004. Nancy started her work helping girls develop stronger self-esteem and confidence with The Ophelia Project as a volunteer and mentor on their Young Women's Leadership Board and as a Certified Facilitator for a series of workshops called Girls Circle. When The Ophelia Project closed their Tampa office in 2010, Nancy decided to start Girls With Confidence shortly after. She saw there was a huge need for programs that help young girls develop a love for themselves at an early age and for teen girls to manage through the challenging times of dealing with peer pressure, fitting in and making good decisions.
"On the outside, it always appeared as though I was a strong, determined, confident young woman but inside I struggled with extremely low self-esteem. I always remember doubting myself and wanting to be thinner and prettier. I've struggled with food issues most of my life. Until I had my son and was in my mid 30's did I finally start to feel more self-confident. I always knew that I would work with young girls on improving their self-esteem and helping them believe in themselves. Girls With Confidence is a dream come true and I am so excited to see it's success and growth over the past few years."
Emily began her work with us in the Fall 2016 and the girls absolutely LOVE her. In addition to her education and experience, she has a kind heart and wonderful ability to connect with the girls. She is looking forward to being a part of Girls with Confidence and making a positive impact with our girls.
Emily grew up in the Tampa area where she attended Newsome High School. She and her husband Dylan currently live in South Tampa.
Nancy has another business called Professional Development Group (est. 1999) where she is a corporate trainer and consultant in the area of Leadership and Interpersonal Communications. Some of her clients include Mosaic, Hillsborough Community College, Polk State College, Walmart, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many more. Nancy has been facilitating workshops for adults and children for the past 25 years. Nancy lives in Lithia, FL with her husband Brian of 25 years. Her son Jake, attends Canisius College in NY.
Marissa Linins is currently studying Marketing at St. Leo University and will be graduating this Summer.
Marissa will be working closely with our Marketing Coordinator Meghan and another Marketing Intern Natalie to promote our upcoming workshops, events and camps. She will also work on email campaigns, ad and content creation for both marketing flyers and social media. She will also help with analytics of our social media platforms as well as our website.
Outside of school, Marissa has worked in retail for 7 years and really enjoys it. She accomplished being an Ambassador with Girl Scouts. She loves traveling and has a life goal of visiting every state. She volunteers her time with Friends of Strays and has participated in Relay For Life throughout high school and college.
Rachael Andrews is a mom of three girls who is passionate about raising confident, strong girls. She believes the key to a girl’s self-confidence is teaching them young to see their own worth, support each other, and embrace each other’s differences.
Rachael got involved with Girls With Confidence (GWC) when her, now 7th grade daughter was in first grade and began taking classes with Nancy. Over the years her daughters have enjoyed many classes and camps with GWC. She taught her first camps with us two summers ago and loves being a part of the mission behind GWC.
Rachael has been an active part of the Fishhawk community leading the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Fishhawk for the past 3 years, and on committee for 6 years before that. She also lobbies for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to speak to law makers about legislature that affects cancer patients.
When she isn’t working in the community, she is at home with her husband Joe, and three daughters, Jolee, Rory, and Glennie, and her small household zoo. In her free time she loves watching football and hockey, doing anything crafty, and running daily.
With the incredible growth that Girls With Confidence has had over the past couple of years, we are excited to have Meghan Armstrong join our team as Marketing Coordinator. Meghan will focus on building relationships at schools and within the community, promoting workshops and camps through marketing campaigns and special events, and will work closely with a team of social media and marketing interns.
Meghan was introduced to Girls with Confidence while teaching at a Tampa Bay area school during the Great American Teach-In.
"The program called out to me and I knew that I just had to be a part of it. Young girls are faced with so many unique challenges and at such a young age. The best way to keep our girls confident and determined is by enriching them with activities that will open doors to their futures."
We are so excited to have Jennifer Hurst join our team of Summer Camp Instructors. Jennifer is a native of Tampa where she grew up in the Carrollwood area. Jennifer is a proud alum of Auburn University where she received a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications with a Minor Psychology & Journalism.
She has worked at FishHawk Early Learning Center as a VPK teacher since 2005. She took a brief 2 year break to help out at FishHawk Creek Elementary as the PTA President.
"I love working with elementary aged kids, especially young girls. My daughter Katy participated in Girls With Confidence when she was younger and I whole heartedly believe these types of programs help girls accept and love themselves. I am beyond excited to be a part of this awesome mission to support girls in our community.
In addition to working with young kids, Jennifer also works part-time with the Osprey Observer (local newspaper). She loves that her jobs allow her the flexibility to stay involved as a Mom and in our community. Jennifer is a proud Mom of 2- Jonathan who is attending Florida State University and Katy who will be a Sophomore at Newsome High School.
Natalie is a junior at The University of Tampa where she is currently majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education.
Natalie grew up in New Jersey, but calls Florida her second home. Natalie hopes to work in the business field of marketing and sales as she has a passion for helping individuals achieve their goals and solve their problems, as the genuine feeling of being beneficial to others is important to her.
In her role as a Marketing Intern, she is working to promote Girls With Confidence by using her creativity in campaigns, flyers, events and camps. She will help us broaden the company across all our markets. Natalie is excited to enhance her knowledge of marketing through her enthusiasm, resiliency and networking ability.
Natalie’s working experiences in high school and college consisted of working closely with children of all ages. She understands the value of connecting and relating to others. Natalie’s life mission is to help the world through her positivity.
Kelsey is a sophomore at Florida State University where she is currently studying for a bachelor of science in Marketing as well as International Affairs.
Kelsey grew up in both Texas and Tampa. She moved to Tampa at the age of 7 where she attended elementary, middle, and high school. Kelsey hopes to work for an international non-profit organization later on in life so that she can have a positive impact across the globe.
In her role as both Social Media Intern, she will work on providing our followers more resources, articles and motivational posts along with providing updates on existing and future workshops, events and camps. She will help us expand our Social Media platforms to improve our reach to more families. Kelsey looks forward to expanding her role to include Marketing Girls With Confidence over the summer when she is home from school.
Emily attended The University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences with an area of specialization in social psychology. Emily conducted a variety of volunteer and internship opportunities during her undergraduate career. During her last full academic year at UF, Emily established and facilitated multiple educational outreach groups for kids and teens weekly through Peaceful Paths, a local domestic violence shelter in Gainesville, as a Violence Prevention Intern. Emily has also been involved as a volunteer with organizations such as the Child Advocacy Center, Dance Marathon at UF, Camp Boggy Creek, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of Girls with Confidence, and be in a position to use my personal skills and education to give back. I always knew I would work with the youth of our communities, and I hope to continue to support, educate, and uplift each and every child, while developing meaningful connections.”
We are thrilled to have Melisa Vega as part of our team. Melisa comes to us with a ton of teaching experience. Her experience includes: the private/Montessori sector, public schools, home schooling sectors and after school programs. She has also volunteered at her church with both children and youth as well as, organized a cultural pageant for teen girls. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Melisa is originally from Rochester, NY and loves living in Florida. She’s been married for 15 years to her husband Daniel and has two children DJ, 11 and Xciana, 7. As a family they enjoy checking out all that Florida has to offer like the amazing theme parks and incredible beaches. Melisa also considers herself a foodie and enjoys finding tasty cuisine throughout the Tampa Bay Area.
In addition to working with Girls With Confidence, Melisa is a consultant with Senegence International Cosmetics and skin care, who are the makers of Lipsense. She’s also been a home schooling Mom for the last five years and truly enjoys the freedom and adventures that it allows for.
Melisa is a fun and energetic personality with strong communication and empathy skills. She believes that every girl has a beauty within her to be powerful beyond belief and that if they are taught to celebrate and love themselves, they become truly unstoppable!
We are excited to announce our expansion into the Pittsburgh area and would like to introduce Kiesha Stitcher, who will lead this initiative as our Regional Director. Her experience working with various non-profits such as Rescue Ridge, The Teen Chat Room, Ronald McDonald House, Girl Scouts of Western PA and The Salvation Army makes her a perfect fit and great addition to our team.
"It has always been a dream of mine to help young girls feel confident and beautiful…as they should! I am grateful that Girls with Confidence is providing me with the platform to make a difference."
Prior to having children, she was a Field Marketing Director with over 10 years of experience creating and executing events and marketing initiatives. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from California University of PA.
Kiesha is a proud mom of two amazing, kind and spirited girls- Brynlee, 8 and Ella, 6. She and her husband Charlie have been married for 10 years where they reside in South Park, PA.
Through her experiences at college, Kelsey has learned to appreciate the value of coming into oneself in a place where you are thrust into adulthood, as well as the value of having genuine girl-friend confidants. Because of these learning experiences, she resonated closely with Girls With Confidence.
Annabell Mesa is one our newest instructors and we are excited to have her as part of our team. She is currently in her Junior year at USF in the Elementary Education Cohort program.
"I have always had a passion for wanting to help others and work with children. I am very excited to work with Girls With Confidence because our programs are so unique and incredibly important for elementary aged girls to learn ways to be more confident and believe in themselves."
Annabell is currently doing her Level 2 Internship with an elementary school in Brandon. In addition, she has volunteered in numerous summer camps and programs working with elementary aged kids.
Originally from Toronto, Ontario but has lived in Tampa for most of her life. Annabell's family is from Havana, Cuba and she's fluent in both English & Spanish.
As a mother of a tween daughter and a middle school teacher, Meghan is passionate about empowering young women and helping them to achieve their full potential. We couldn't be happier to have Meghan as part of our team.