We are soproud to share Mitzi’s amazing accomplishment! Proof that Leadership in Action can make a huge difference in our community.
This past weekend, Live Like Blaine Foundation’s Summer VISTA Associate, Mitzi Colin Lopez, had the incredible honor of meeting President Biden. Mitzi, a recent graduate of West Chester University along with seven other DACA recipients, was able to meet with President Biden to share their stories of being undocumented and why we must push for citizenship for all 11 million immigrants. She had the opportunity to attend the event due to her advocacy work at CASA. CASA is a non-profit organization that works to empower immigrants, Latinos, and working-class families. After introducing themselves, sharing their stories, and discussing the importance of immigration reform, each DACA recipient was able to take pictures with the President.
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.
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.
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.
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!