Girls in the Know educates and empowers girls, alongside those who love them, by providing tools to establish a strong sense of self. As Debra Hollingsworth is a shining example to women and girls everywhere, we were thrilled when she agreed to be our keynote speaker! Debra had an incredible career as a dynamic executive, and continues today as a big-hearted St. Louis community champion with a long list of credentials.
We proudly host this year’s Knowledge & Power, small bites and big ideas at the modern broadcast and state-of-the-art event space, Vue 17, October 5 from 5:30-8pm, offering you breathtaking panoramic views of the city of St. Louis while you enjoying small bites by salt + smoke, cocktails, and big ideas by Debra Hollingsworth. Debra has no shortage of big ideas and will inspire us with her thoughts on the Ripple Effect and how anyone of us can have a profound impact on someone else.
This event raises funds critical to delivering our fully funded workshops to underserved pre-teen girls who would not otherwise have access to our four-session empowerment programming. Join Girls in the Know for a very special evening that includes not only Debra Hollingsworth, but our Girls in the Know Ambassadors, and Keith Brooks from St. Louis Cardinals Care as our emcee. Space is limited and expected to sell out, so register now.
When it comes to bringing people together, nobody has as much influence and charisma as Debra Hollingsworth, our keynote speaker for the upcoming Knowledge & Power, small bites and big ideas event.
Debra has a long, successful history of making a difference in the St. Louis community. She is a powerhouse, and has been the recipient of countless honors and awards for the impact she has made and continues to make. Debra retired in 2014, after a 35 year career at AT&T. At that time she was the Regional Vice President-External Affairs where she managed External Affairs involvement for AT&T and directed public affairs functions for the President of AT&T-Missouri. Since her retirement, Debra has continued to stay deeply involved in the community as a highly involved volunteer leader, serving many organizations.
In June, Debra had the privilege to introduce Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and international bestselling author of Lean In and Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, when Sheryl was in St. Louis.
A native of New Mexico, Hollingsworth joined AT&T in 1979 in Texas as a management trainee in technical telecommunications work. In 1988, she moved to St. Louis, where she started taking an interest in community-related projects and regulatory issues affecting the telecommunications industry. That interest led her to have a growing role in the community.
Debra’s influence reaches far and wide. She currently serves on the Girls in the Know Expansion Task Force and the board of directors of many organizations, including the Opera Theater of St. Louis, the Missouri Historical Society, Great Rivers Greenway Foundation, the March of Dimes, the National OASIS Institute, Jefferson National Parks Association, The Whitaker Foundation, and the St. Louis Science Center. In addition to her dedication to philanthropy, Debra also serves on the Chancellor’s Council of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) Business Service Committee, and Maryville University’s Women in Leadership Advisory Council. She has served on the United Way Allocation Panel, the Variety Club of St. Louis Allocation Committee, and the Missouri Governor’s Business Roundtable.
Debra earned a master’s degree from Webster University in St. Louis, and a bachelor’s in communication and journalism from West Texas A&M University.
Meet Keith Brooks, Our Emcee
We are thrilled to have Keith Brooks on our team and as the masters of ceremony for our evening. As Director of Cardinals Care & Youth Baseball Commissioner, Keith is responsible for supporting area youth who play baseball on ball fields donated by Cardinals Care, the St. Louis Cardinals’ charitable foundation. By working to forge relationships with local non-profits who serve youth, Keith helps guide resources provided by Cardinals Care to kids all over the region.
In 2004, Cardinals Care launched Redbird Rookies to allow children to play baseball free of charge. This special league provides kids with uniforms, gloves, bats, balls, and other equipment, as well as extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring, and cultural arts.
Under Keith’s leadership, Redbird Rookies has grown from six fields and a few hundred children in its first season to 21 fields and nearly five thousand children playing in the league each year.
Our relationship with the St. Louis Cardinals began as a Cardinals Care grant recipient supporting our mission to connect and cultivate conversations through our Heart to Heart Journals. In 2016, we were invited to serve 30 preteen Redbird Rookie girls through our Day of Knowledge event. In 2017, we will serve 60 girls for the Day of Knowledge at Busch Stadium on July 15th!
Meet our Ambassadors Akeesha, Melanie & Tina
Our Program Ambassadors are Girls in the Know program graduates who exemplify leadership and enthusiastic learning. In return for their participation, these young women are invited to give back by becoming an official GITK Ambassador. Experiences include becoming a mentor to younger girls going through our program, participating in interviews with community partners to share program experiences and impact, and helping promote our upcoming programs and events.
Laura E. Krebs Al-Shathir*
Christine Grezlak Elsesser
Meet our Sponsors
Doctor EJ’s Fitness Bootcamp
Good Meets World
Joanne Quick Real Estate
Kara Friedman Counseling
Salt + Smoke
Sarah E Studios
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Luke’s Hospital
The Will Flores Fund
The Women’s Foundation of Greater Saint Louis
Interested in sponsorship? Contact Gina Marten at email@example.com
The mission of Girls in the Know is to educate and empower girls, together with those who love them, by providing tools to establish a strong sense of self. Check out our traditional programming in action, click HERE, and our outreach (fully funded) programming, click HERE. Girls in the Know is led by Executive Director, Gina Marten whose journey began as a workshop participant in 2009. In August, 2012 Gina was invited to step into the leadership role as Executive Director.