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."
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.
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.
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.
Please join us in welcoming to our team - Kristy Hendricks. Kristy attended the University of South Florida for both her
bachelors and masters degrees, receiving a B.S. in Business Management and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. She has spent the last fifteen years as an elementary educator in Hillsborough County. Prior to teaching, Kristy was the Membership Director at the New Tampa Family Y.M.C.A.
As a teacher Kristy made it a priority to empower her female students, encouraging them to reach their full potential, particularly in the area of mathematics which is often a male dominated subject. She emphasized the value of looking for other girls to stand with and support rather than compete against. Girls with Confidence is the perfect landing spot for her to continue her work in mentoring young women.
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.
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.
Girls With Confidence is pleased to have Karen Blanchard join our team. Karen is originally from Rochester, NY but has been a Florida resident for over 25 years. She has a BS in Psychology from Simmons College and attended Florida Atlantic University to obtain her teachers certification and complete masters level coursework in Curriculum and Instruction.
She has been an educator in Florida for over 20 years, teaching in both Palm Beach and Hillsborough counties. Karen is a certified in middle and high school Social Studies, Science, and Gifted Education. She also worked for The Mendez Foundation as a Prevention Specialist and curriculum writer and developer for their national Too Good For Drugs and Violence Prevention programs.
As a high school Psychology teacher, Karen stays up to date on issues relating to adolescent social, cognitive, and emotional development. Everyday she witnesses remarkable young women in and out of the classroom, and wants to be apart of motivating and inspiring these girls to become our next generation of leaders.
Karen and her husband Jason have lived and worked in the community for over 15 years. Her daughter Talia is a sophomore at Newsome High School and her son Jared attends Florida State University.
Kristy lives in Plant City with her husband, Ryan, and their dog, Deuce. She loves reading, being outdoors, watching the Rays, checking out new restaurants, and spending time with family and friends, especially her niece and nephew.
Here we come Uganda. Our Regional Director, Ann Mugisha is a 35 year old Ugandan and mother of 4 beautiful children (2 girls, 2 boys). She is a Professor and Head of Shepherd's House Junior School, a school that educates orphaned, needy, abandoned and vulnerable children in Mpigi, Uganda. The school has 176 kids of which 96 are girls and 80 are boys.
Ann is the founder of Teenage Girl Care Uganda, an organization that works to Mentor, Inspire and Empower the girl child from age 5 to teen age. She's passionate about leading, guiding and mentoring our young ladies of today.
"Meeting Nancy and Girls with Confidence is one of the best things that has happened to me and the girls. I am so excited to work with Girls with Confidence as this will enable us to learn new programs that will help the girls a great deal, expand their contact with the world, learn about their potentials and also know that they are the same as girls elsewhere in the world, This will help develop their self esteem for a life time!"
Girls with Confidence couldn’t be happier to have Tallia Corbett join the team. Tallia attended Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned Bachelors of Arts degrees in both International Relations and Art History. After college, she completed an internship at an art museum in Costa Rica and taught English in South Korea before returning home to pursue a career in teaching. She taught a variety of classes at Newsome High School and Plant High School over a period of 7 years. Tallia says her favorites had to be Women’s Studies and Comparative Government. Both allowed her to live her passion of teaching students about the role of women in an ever-changing global community.
Tallia is married to the man of her dreams, Justin. They are parents to a rambunctious two year old daughter named Magnolia. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, and all things art. Above all, Tallia values authentic kindness believing it is really all we need in the world.
When she looks back over her life, Sarah can see clearly that being part of groups of girls, and then going on to lead and teach groups of girls, has always been a huge passion for her. It's incredibly important to her that "her girls" know their value and have the confidence to take their place in this world with no apologies. Taking a teaching role with Girls with Confidence will allow Sarah to help many more girls do the same.
We are thrilled to welcome Sarah McKenna to the team. Sarah grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey where one of her most formative experiences was playing soccer from the age of 5-18. She attended Cherry Hill High School West and was a member of the girls’ soccer team and girls’ lacrosse team, captaining both her senior year. Sarah went on to attend Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania earning a Bachelors degree in Biology in 1998. After graduating college, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Here she married her husband, Dan, and welcomed their daughter, Caroline. In 2003, they made the move to Florida and have called it home ever since.
In 2006, she made a career change into education and began teaching at Randall Middle School where she spent the next ten years. It was her relationships with her students that were always the most important to her. Sarah acknowledges it was them who kept her coming back day after day, year after year. After Randall, she decided to switch gears accepting a job with Florida Virtual School in the Academic Integrity department. This shift has allowed her to focus more of her time and energy on her family as her daughter is nearing the end of high school.
Girls with Confidence welcomes Meagan Hulett to our amazing team. She is originally from the Pittsburgh area but has lived in Fishhawk for the past fourteen years. Meagan graduated from the University of Dayton with an education degree and went on to teach both elementary and middle school in Ohio and Maryland.
She is a mom of five and takes parenting seriously. Meagan is incredibly passionate about raising strong, well-adjusted, independent, kind children. She loves teaching and working with young girls to provide the same sense of worth she instills in her own children. Her youngest daughter, Sloane, has been involved with Girls with Confidence for a while now and loves the various workshops and events. It’s this that inspired Meagan to pursue a career with us stating that “every girl she knows can benefit from this program".
We welcome Kelly Russ to the GWC team. She is an almost native of the area, having moved to North Tampa when she was just five years old. Kelly later graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and is a certified public accountant.
Kelly worked at the Home Shopping Network for eighteen years. This past November she decided to take a break. She is co-leader of her daughter's senior level Girl Scout troop as well as a volunteer at Pinecrest Elementary in the Media Center. Both of which she thoroughly enjoys. She just loves kids, plain and simple. Her daughter, Maggie, attended several Confident Girls sessions when she was younger and now volunteers through Girls with Leadership. Kelly says “I think now, especially with social media influencing our girls, we need to insure they are confident, brave and loaded with positive self-esteem. In this next chapter for me, I am thrilled to be helping our girls learn to become even stronger!"
A while back, Jennifer read a quote that continues to stick with her...Confidence is the ability to feel beautiful, without needing someone to tell you. She feels society has unfortunately altered ideas about what beauty is and little girls are the ones paying the price. Jennifer feels we need to teach our girls self confidence, how to build one another up, and believe in themselves to help correct this mindset.
Jennifer Heidt is a Jersey Girl at heart. She moved to Florida the day after graduating from the University of Delaware with a degree in Special Education and Human Resources. Throughout high school and college, she worked in preschool settings with young children. Jennifer has been married to her husband Stephen for 21 years. They have 3 children, Jordan, Alexander, and Riley, along with two cats and a rescue dog. She volunteers at Riley's elementary school twice a week and is on the PTSA board at Alex and Jordan's high school. After college she worked in Human Resources but has really missed working with kids which has led her to GWC.
Heather, who is originally from upstate New York, has lived all along the East Coast with her husband Michael, who is in the Military, and their two daughters, MJ and Mia. She has a degree in Communication from SUNY Brockport and a MS in Service Management from Rochester Institute of Technology. Heather was raised and surrounded by strong women her entire life whether it was family, friends, educators, or coworkers. Having two daughters of her own, she believed and knew it was important to instill the same beliefs she was taught. Along with everyday challenges that girls face, she realized the Military lifestyle has brought additional challenges and opportunities to her daughters. They have to be resilient, self-assured, positive, and strong with moves to new states, new friends, new schools, new academic plans, and parents being deployed to name a few.
As she learned about Girls with Confidence she knew this was the perfect organization to have her daughters and herself involved in. She believes GWC is incorporating the core values into their workshops and camps needed to help develop strong, smart, independent ladies, so they have confidence in themselves and realize they can do anything they want to. Heather believes that if girls work hard, believe in themselves, and support each other, they will realize that the sky’s the limit. In her free time, she enjoys looking at Pinterest, researching, decorating, and planning parties for her daughters.
Lori Ringo, originally from Pennsylvania, moved to Florida in 2008 to pursue sunshine and grandparents. One word easily sums up Lori’s focus - family. Family serves as the foundation for her daily goals and inner motivation. With a bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College, Lori worked as a state/federal lobbyist and director of public & human relations before marrying David. This led her to her most rewarding career…a homeschool mom to their daughters, Gracie and Katharine. Homeschooling grants the Ringo family an opportunity to pursue educational and extra-curricular passions as well as enhance the family’s open, all-inclusive acceptance of individuals regardless of social stigmas or labels. As one guest recently pointed out, “Being in the Ringo household is like attending a United Nations’ Conference.” For Lori, kindness, acceptance, and confidence are the essential tenants for a rewarding, happy, and peaceful life. She hopes to share and further develop her nurturing approach to these principles with young women through GWC.