Meet Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Born and raised in upstate New York, Kirsten Gillibrand inherited a dedication to public service from her grandmother and mother, who organized women and served their communities as activists. Gillibrand received her law degree from the UCLA School of Law and served as a law clerk on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Drawing inspiration from the women in her life, Gillibrand worked as an attorney in New York City for more than a decade and then decided to pursue a path of public service leadership.

After serving in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., she decided to move home to upstate New York to raise her family. She pulled off a stunning upset in her first Congressional race, unseating an entrenched incumbent by building the biggest grassroots campaign in the district’s history. She served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for two years before being sworn in as United States Senator from New York in January 2009. Gillibrand won her 2012 re-election campaign with a New York statewide record 72 percent of the vote. She has earned national recognition for creating bipartisan coalitions, especially on issues such as how sexual assaults are handled by our military and on our college campuses. She has also fought for congressional ethics reform and paid family leave.

Gillibrand has made it her life’s mission to support and empower more women to step up and run for office. Ten years ago, Gillibrand launched Off The Sidelines, a call to action to encourage women and girls to make their voices heard on the issues they care about. Off the Sidelines has since recruited, mentored, and supported dozens of women candidates for higher office and helped elect some of the brightest rising stars in office today.

Senator Gillibrand is a magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College. Sports have been a big part of Senator Gillibrand’s life dating back to high school when she played tennis and soccer. She entered Dartmouth as a tennis player but was then recruited away to play squash by the squash coach. Gillibrand ended up leading the Dartmouth squash team as its captain. She has spoken about how her tough matches prepared her for the competitiveness of politics later in life. She said her sports experience “helped take the fear out of something like running for office and putting yourself out there in a competitive contest and letting the people choose.” Senator Gillibrand was also a member of Dartmouth’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority that Blaine later joined as well.

Meet Laurel Richie

Laurel Richie has made a name for herself as a proven leader in multiple fields throughout her career, including marketing, education, sports and the nonprofit world. She has weaved women’s advocacy into all aspects of her career.

Ms. Richie currently serves as an independent director at Synchrony Financial and Bright Horizons and as a leadership consultant to Fortune 100 c-suite executives at Merryck & Co. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College where she has served for eight years on the board of trustees eight years ago and currently serves as its chair.

Richie became the first person of color to lead a major national sports league when she served as President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) from 2011 to 2015, leading led the league’s business, operations, and marketing initiatives. While she did not play sports growing up, she understands the value of teams through her group experiences in theater. She has also spoken about the fact that research suggests that participation in sports has a very positive impact on girls, leading to higher self-esteem, higher likelihood of graduating from college, and a large percentage of female executives played team sports growing up.

Prior to leading the WNBA, she served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, where she led the development of a new brand strategy that helped revitalize this iconic brand, and as a senior partner and executive group director at advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather, where she worked with many blue-chip corporate and pro-bono nonprofit clients and became a founding member of the agency’s external Diversity Advisory Board.
A frequent keynote speaker and panelist on Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Richie is a recipient of the Black Girls Rock! Shot Caller Award, Sports Business Journal’s Game Changer Award, and the YMCA Black Achievers in Industry Award. She was awarded Ebony magazine’s Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications award and named to its Power 100 List. Black Enterprise magazine named her one of the Most Influential African Americans in Sports, and Savoy magazine recognized her as one of the Most Influential Black Corporate Directors.

Meet Gail Boudreaux

Throughout her life, Gail Boudreaux has exhibited a strong commitment to athletics as a means to develop leadership skills. She has been quoted as saying, “By playing sports, I learned a great deal that helped me to be successful in business—how to be part of a team, how to work hard, how to overcome adversity.” Many of the lessons Gail learned through athletics have stuck with her as she has risen to the top ranks of Corporate America.

Gail Boudreaux is President and Chief Executive Officer of Anthem, Inc., a Fortune 50 company and leading health benefits company dedicated to improving lives and communities and to making healthcare simpler, more affordable and more accessible. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 106 million people. Prior to her time at Anthem, she founded her own healthcare strategy and business advisory firm and was the CEO of United Healthcare.

Boudreaux’s track record of success is widely recognized across the business world. She has made both Forbes and Fortune magazines’ lists of Most Powerful Women multiple times and was listed among the Top 100 Most Influential Leaders in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare. Boudreaux currently serves on the board of directors for Zimmer Biomet Holdings, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Inc., and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), and was formerly on the boards of trustees for Dartmouth College and the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. In 2018, Gail was honored with the Billie Jean King Contribution Award, which is an annual award granted by the Women’s Sports Foundation to an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the development and advancement of women’s sports.

Boudreaux graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College and graduated with high honors from business school at Columbia University. At Dartmouth, Boudreaux was one of the best athletes in the school’s history, becoming an All-American in both basketball and track and field. She still holds multiple school scoring records in basketball and won four consecutive Ivy League shot put titles. She won the exclusive NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for outstanding professionalism and athletic achievement winner and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Dartmouth Wearer of the Green Hall of Fame.

The Leadership Academy Kicks Off This Month!

After months of planning, discussing, preparing, interviewing, and more, we are beyond excited to welcome 15 girls to the Leadership Academy. We will be kicking things off with a Welcome dinner for our high school sophomores, their parents/guardians, mentors, and volunteers on August 25th! 

The Leadership Academy is an in-depth, 10 month program designed to help female, high school sophomore athletes develop leadership and interpersonal skills, connect with peers and female professionals in the area, and give back to their communities. Details and more information about the Leadership Academy can be found here.

Our first cohort of girls to enter the Leadership Academy is comprised of 15 young women from diverse backgrounds who share a strong motivation to develop as leaders. We could not be more impressed with what we have seen so far from our Leadership Academy participants, and we can’t wait to watch them grow over the course of the next 10 months. Stay tuned for more updates on the Leadership Academy as we really get going in September!

2019 Has Been Record-breaking for LLB’s Scholarship Program!

We are thrilled to provide full scholarships to 15 girls – the most in our history – to attend summer programs that build leadership skills for our young female athletes.

This summer, our scholarship recipients are having incredible experiences at The Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, Sports Challenge, and GenHERation Discovery Days. We are incredibly proud to partner with these organizations who are leaders in their field, providing high quality and effective programming to hundreds of girls each summer. These experiences help create the next generation of female leaders. Our 15 scholarship recipients have benefitted and will continue to benefit substantially from attending these programs, and it would not have been possible without the passion and generosity of the LLB community.     

Thanks to over 250 donors, this year’s March MATCH-ness campaign in honor of Blaine’s birthday raised over $30,000. It is because of this campaign that we have been able to expand our scholarship programs so significantly. Thank you for helping us spread Blaine’s spirit by supporting more young women than ever!

Captains’ Practice Brings Over 150 Area Girls Together for Leadership and Service

On Martin Luther King Day 2016, Live Like Blaine sponsored the First Annual Captains’ Practice, bringing together over 150 high school girls from over 50 schools in the Delaware Valley for a day of leadership and service at the William Penn Charter School in the East Falls section of Philadelphia.

The day began with an inspiring talk about the foundations of leadership from Courtney Banghart (@coachbanghart), Head Coach of Princeton University’s Women’s Basketball and one of Fortune magazine’s 2015 50 Greatest Leaders.

The girls were then divided into small groups for team building and leadership training facilitated by Up2Us Sports (www.up2us.org). Through a variety of exercises, they had fun while learning the value of teamwork to accomplish goals. The girls were led by 15 of Blaine’s former teammates, classmates and friends who brought Blaine’s spirit to the day with stories and memories of her leadership and athleticism.

The day concluded with University of Pennsylvania Director of Athletics Grace Calhoun’s (@pennathletics) inspirational discussion of her journey to leadership of a Division I athletic department.

Learn About The Next Captains’ Practice Leadership Conference!

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LLB Sponsors 4 Girls to Attend Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy

In July 2016, Live Like Blaine sponsored four area high school girls to attend the JFSLA at the Peddie School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The girls spent a week playing soccer and lacrosse and learning leadership skills from Julie Foudy (@JulieFoudy) and Jen Adams (@JenAdams_7), Head Coach, Loyola Womens’ Lacrosse.

We know that Kate, Erin, Destyni and Erin had a great week and learned skills that helped them continue to succeed in their schools and on their teams.

Follow Up From Captains’ Practice: LENS

During the day, the girls were asked to name a life skill they learned through playing sports. We then collected the responses and designed the word cloud shown below. Also, we created LENS, Leadership Empowerment Network for Sports, as an online forum for the girls to connect with one another throughout the year to ask questions and share ideas and for us to provide leadership content to them.

Please join the LENS Facebook group!

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LLB Donates Over $40,000 of Sports Equipment

As part of Captains’ Practice, the girls organized athletic equipment and clothing drives in their neighborhoods and at their schools. The equipment, ranging from lacrosse sticks and soccer balls to snowboards and tennis rackets, filled a large storage locker.

Students from Penn Charter helped Jill and Sid and friends to sort every t-shirt, cleat and stick which was then donated to:

Burpees for Blaine

Burpees for Blaine Fitness Challenge

To kickoff Live Like Blaine, we are running a fitness challenge that combines fun and friendly competition, both of which Blaine loved. There are several different fitness options to choose from that will challenge any type of athlete – no gym membership required! We are offering two individual challenges as well as two team challenges so there are many ways to participate. Bottom line is that they all involve doing burpees for Blaine. By the end of the challenge, you will be in better shape and hopefully have made some new personal connections with others doing the challenge. As icing on the cake, you will have raised money for a good cause and had a lot of FUN along the way – just the way Blaine would have liked it.

Burpees for Blaine will officially begin on March 22, 2015 (Blaine’s birthday) and continue for 30 days through April 21, 2015 for all but the Super Challenge which will last for 100 days.

learn more about the Individual Challenges

learn more about the Team Challenges

We hope this will be a fun way to challenge yourself for a great cause. Let’s make Blaine proud!

How to do a burpee

Connect With Us

In order to make this more exciting, we ask that you post pictures and videos of yourself and friends “Doing Burpees for Blaine” on Facebook and Instagram during the challenge or email them to contact@livelikeblaine.org. Be sure to like Live Like Blaine on Facebook and tag us with #LiveLikeBlaine on Instagram!  Participants will have the opportunity to win bragging rights for the Most Liked Video on Facebook, Highest Cumulative Number of Burpees Performed and the Highest Amount of Donations Raised.

Projects We Support

In addition to supporting future projects of Live Like Blaine, proceeds from the burpee challenges will go to support at least two deserving organizations which advance our mission of empowering and inspiring young women to become leaders through fitness and athletics. These are the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation (www.foudyleadershipfoundation.org) and Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (www.bawsi.org).