Students work with LiveGirl to empower young women


Sacred Heart Greenwich sophomore Caroline Guza and junior Stephanie Guza work to live out Goals Three and Five of the school’s Goals and Criteria through their involvement with LiveGirl. LiveGirl is a non-profit organization based in Fairfield County which strives to empower young women and help them find their voices through leadership and mentor programs.  Caroline and Stephanie volunteer for LiveGirl’s Youth Advisory Board and were able to attend one of the organization’s forums featuring Dr. Vida Samuel, a professor in Women’s Studies at the University of Connecticut.

A diverse group of high school girls from Connecticut who are passionate about female empowerment comprise the LiveGirl Youth Advisory Board.  They strive to find ways for students to lead in making social change, according to  Caroline and Stephanie were eager to collaborate with LiveGirl because they want to ensure that women feel confident and inspired to become global leaders.

“We wanted to get involved with the organization because, since we go to an all-girls school, we feel it is important for us to get involved and help empower girls in our community,” Caroline said.

LiveGirl Youth Advisory Board members, mentors, and Sacred Heart students Caroline ’21 and Stephanie ’20 Guza.  Natalie Dosmond ’21

As a part of this board, Caroline and Stephanie meet with small groups of middle school girls to talk about self-confidence and how to feel empowered as young women.  All the mentors who work alongside Caroline and Stephanie are also high school students, which LiveGirl hopes will create a relatable and relaxed environment. The goal of this program is to provide a safe space for young girls to feel equipped to talk about any obstacles they may be facing, according to

“We are able to guide the girls we mentor, but we are also able to completely relate to them,” Caroline said.  “Because we are still teenagers we can understand everything they are saying in a way that an adult could not.”

Caroline and Stephanie enjoy working with LiveGirl because they feel it is very different from any other female empowerment organization.  They both believe in the organization’s mission to give young women access to a safe and engaging environment where they can be themselves.  

“One of my favorite things is that LiveGirl is different,” Caroline said.  “There is not something that is similar to LiveGirl because it is about girls working together with girls with a mostly student-led organization.”

The Sacred Heart Network is based on a foundation of goals and criteria.  Goal Three inspires students to develop “a social awareness which impels to action,” and Goal Five promotes a “personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.”  These goals are the roots what LiveGirl strives to accomplish as an organization and what Caroline and Stephanie do as mentors. Both of them want to be able to give young girls an opportunity to express themselves in a supportive environment and therefore enable them to realize their greatest potential.

Caroline and Stephanie have galvanized other Sacred Heart students by sending out emails and making announcements to promote LiveGirl and its upcoming events.  Both Caroline and Stephanie value their roles as mentors and want to offer an abundance of help and insight to the girls in their group, helping others learn to step up and speak out just as they do.

“In the past, I have been really shy and afraid to voice my opinion, and I felt like this would be a great opportunity to break out of that shell and stand for my beliefs,” Stephanie said.  “I used to be a follower but now I want to be a leader.”

Girls from the surrounding area joined Sacred Heart students at the LiveGirl forum at the University of Connecticut with speaker Dr. Vida Samuel to discuss topics like female empowerment.  Courtesy of

LiveGirl hosted a forum at the University of Connecticut November 2.  Caroline and Stephanie both attended the event and urged other Sacred Heart students to attend as well.  The speaker, Dr. Samuel, has a Masters degree in Speech and Interpersonal Communication from New York University.  She also has a Doctorate in Intercultural Communication and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Howard University, according to  Both Caroline and Stephanie remarked on how much they enjoyed listening to Dr. Samuel speak at the event.

“Dr. Vida Samuel is very well-spoken and involved in the feminist community,” Stephanie said.  “We felt like we could relate to her and a lot of the things she said, and seeing her stand up for what she believes in was very inspiring.”

Caroline believes that many people have false preconceived notions about feminism. She especially appreciated that Dr. Samuel worked to disprove these ideas at the LiveGirl forum.  After hearing Dr. Samuel, the sisters were able to contemplate the fundamental aspects of feminism and what it means to be a feminist with a newfound perspective.

“[Dr. Samuel] talked about how it is the radical women in society that can bring bad connotations to the word ‘feminist’,” Caroline said.  “Feminism is actually about allowing women to be able to make a decision and stand by this decision.”

Featured image by Natalie Dosmond ’21