The Girls!

  • Welcome to The Project For Girls! This is a space carved out for you, the girls! With content for teens and tweens, written by teens and tweens, we talk to successful girls everywhere, capturing their drive and spark.

    Our hope is that it creates a safe space for inspiration and dialogue. To share ideas. To wildly inspire. But, most of all, to be honest. So lets start talking!

     

    xo,
    Lauri

Lori Mae Hernandez

ComedianLancaster, CAStory and Photos by Lauri Levenfeld

Like so many, I was completely awed by the courage, humility, and joy that Lori Mae Hernandez showcased on last season’s America’s Got Talent. I mean the 13-year old took on Donald Trump! But what many don’t know is how her passion and her enthusiasm for life (and for the stage) blossomed through her parent’s unwavering devotion, both channeling her interests and strengths into daily activities the whole family could join forces in. When Lori’s father Rick developed Bell’s Palsy, Lori dedicated each day to crafting one perfect joke to make her dad smile. This lasted a year. And the jokes were so good that Dad and daughter decided to take the act on the road. After spending the day with this extraordinary family unit, it is quite obvious that Lori doesn’t fall far from the tree and has chosen to use her wit, humor and talents to entertain, inspire, and teach the world. In a year full of dynamic possibilities and shifts (and a possible woman president), Hernandez has not shied away from the opportunity to make each joke count, as well as, to create opportunity to break through barriers with social commentary that calls for action. And check out Hernandez’ YouTube inspired song about The Project for Girls at the end of this story. 

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Kenidra Woods

Cheetah MovementSt. Louis, MissouriStory by Kenidra Woods

Hey, I’m Kenidra Woods. I’m not just any “ordinary” girl, more like extraordinary. I feel way ahead of my time, like I’ve seen this all before but with a remarkable ending. While going through this journey I am growing much more wiser, mature, and insightful. Ya know us girls mature faster than boys anyways, right? Lol. As a young girl we never imagine life being hard and we really see no wrong in the ones who loves us. You just never know or ask for what happens to you. Well, I certainly didn’t ask nor would I have ever imagined being sexually abused starting at 8 yrs old and it went on for about two years by the two men in my life that were supposed to protect me. Feeling resentful, ashamed, and worthless, I started to harm myself in any way I possibly could to make myself feel better about what happened to me. After several suicide attempts, I was in and out of the hospital. One day, I just told myself I don’t want to live like this anymore. I needed a plan, a different way to release what I was feeling. That’s when I started my movement, CHEETAH (confidence, harmony, enlightenment, encouragement, tranquility, awareness, and hope) Movement for self-harm and suicide prevention- to let individuals know that they are beautiful even through their battle wounds inside and out. Whether it’s a scar inside or out, every scar symbolizes strength and builds each and every one of our characters daily. Ever since then I believe in my heart that…

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Francesca Capaldi

ActressLos Angeles, CAPhotos by Lauri LevenfeldStyle by Katja O’Brien & Makeup/Hair by Irmina Martinez Loeffler

Today is the official launch of The Project for Girls and I couldn’t be happier to have Francesca Capaldi, star of Disney’s “Dog with A Blog”, leading the pack. Francesca, already an inspiration to so many girls around the world (I mean who doesn’t love Chloe?), has made a choice to balance a life of normalcy with the Hollywood lifestyle. And while everyone wants to be a Disney star, after talking with Capaldi, you realize just how special of a person it takes to make this happen. Francesca talks candidly about the dedication and drive, the long hours in the car to each audition, and the desire to stay in school and just be a

normal kid. Yet how her love and passion for acting have made her want to make these sacrifices and more. She tells all here and wants to hear your thoughts and questions too. This is what TPFG is all about… sharing a space where ideas can be churned, relationships can begin, and we can all lend support and love to the girl next door. We invite you to read our stories, share your hopes and dreams, leave your comments and ideas. But please know this is a sacred space and one we want to keep safe and positive. Enjoy! xo, Lauri

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Alexa Ponciano

Model & SurvivorNorthern CaliforniaPhotos by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Alexa Ponciano

When I met Alexa Ponciano on the set of one of my kids’ fashion editorials Social Bunnies, I was immediately struck by her positivity, light and zest for life. She had the energy and enthusiasm to match any model I had worked with in the past, and I could tell from the moment she spoke her heart was made of gold. Little did I know that at such a young age, she had already lived a lifetime of hardships suffering from a brain tumor and Celiac disease.

When I spoke to Alexa about coming on board to tell her story, the main reason she wanted to do it was to help any girl (or boy) out there suffering from the same challenges and hurdles. She wanted to be an inspiration and a ray of hope, she certainly is. Today, she tells her story and how her biggest obstacles gave her some of life’s most fortuitous gifts.

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Gabrielle Begun

WriterSan Francisco, CAPhotos by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Gabrielle Begun

To write a bio about yourself, you have to know yourself very well, and trust that you will make yourself sound like a decent human being. Right now, I’m trying to accomplish this very thing. I’m going to start with the simplest thing; my name. I’m Gabrielle Begun, I’m twelve years old (even though I don’t look it), and I’m in eighth grade. I’m a published author with 15 book readings under my belt and a huge passion for writing. I also love performing; acting, singing, and playing guitar and piano. I’m in a band and I have to say, it’s really fun. And to add to all of this; I love reading books and watching movies equally, so there is no question which I like better. But I love both to such a high point, it’s undescribable. I love everything about movies, and I definitely watch a lot of them. The same with books. My current favorite book is Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and my current favorite movie is Edward Scissorhands.

Well, now you know my interests and outside personality. I’m going to give a shot at the inside part now. I’ve been told I’m a deep person and an old soul, because of the fact that my heart, mind, and soul do not seem the same age as my body. I’m an introvert, but I like to talk to and be around people. I’ve also been told that I am extremely imaginative,…

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Skai Jackson

ActressLos Angeles, CAPhotos & Story by Lauri LevenfeldStyling by Erin Kelley, Makeup by Melissa Sandora, Hair by Kendria Spratt

It seems lately the whole world is tapping in to watch Disney Bunk’d star Skai Jackson, and it’s not just my 7-year old daughter Harley. Women of all ages have been struck by this sweet, confident girl who has stood up for herself when she needed to on social media, opposed bullying, and commandeered all girls to just get along. Jackson, already a veteran in her industry at 14, talks about the time, energy and sacrifices she has made to build her career to what it is today. Skai’s story comes at a perfect time, in the wake of introducing our newest platform, The Project for Girls, launching on September 21st. A platform that will not only shed light on the behind the scenes of successful girls everywhere, but provide inspiration and resources, and as well,  introduce topics of conversation written by girls for girls creating a safe haven to discuss all freely and honestly. Thanks Skai, for paving the way!

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A note about The Project For Girls

Photo by Jess Epstein

What’s The Project for Girls, you ask? It’s a new site, written for young women, by young women, about real challenges they face, as well as their creative dreams, big wins, and lessons they’ve learned. We talk to girls from all walks of life – Francesca Capaldi of “Dog with a Blog” and “Bunk’d” star Skai Jackson are a couple you might recognize – and go deep with personal Q&A’s and fantastic photos. Created by fashion photographer (Marie Claire, Sundance Film Fest, Seventeen Magazine) and The Project for Women Founder Lauri Levenfeld, The Project for Girls aims to be a brand new way for girls to gather online. It’s time to make the Internet feel good for girls.

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