What do you do if you’re a teenage girl looking to make some real change in the world? You’re passionate about a cause — climate change, racial justice, hunger, or education — but you don’t know how one person can make a real difference. You might just enroll in Miss Porter’s School’s ChangeMaker’s Institute.
“This is a virtual fellowship program open to girls 15-18 that grew out of the school’s ambition to become THE place for advancing women’s issues across the globe,” said Sophie Paris, director of the school’s Institute for Global Education. The spring session ran on Saturday mornings from February until May with 13 U.S. and eight international participants. A shortened summer session is planned for July 9 – August 6.
Paris and two Ancients — Catherine “Cat” Lindroth ’04 and McKenzie Roller ’20 — created the program last year to help high school girls from around the world learn practical strategies for working toward effective change. Offered by Miss Porter’s for a nominal fee, ChangeMaker’s Institute is facilitated by Cat, McKenzie and other Ancients who volunteer their time. Scholarships are available.
“People in high school are learning all about injustices and things that are wrong in the world, but aren’t learning how to go about changing those things,” said Cat, co-founder and chief impact officer at Social Contract in Delaware. “What’s distinctive about our approach is helping young women at this point in their life see the full picture of what changemaking is and is not, and where the paradigm shift needs to happen. What we’re trying to do is encourage them to contemplate and hold the fullness and the complexity of the challenges that are facing this world and to really understand the unique perspective that they have.”