Get to know our Executive Director – Gina Marten

start up connection, 2013Gina Marten has been our Executive Director at Girls in the Know since 2012.  She leads with confidence because she has personally experienced the mission, vision and education we provide and share. Gina and her husband, Dave, have two daughters and a son (18, 16, 13). She cherishes family time above all else and enjoys hiking and baking. Gina is also inspired by the young, rising star and musical artist, Alessia Cara. Marten and Cara have a similar goal. Read more to learn about why Gina feels so passionately about Girls in the Know…

As a young girl, I was painfully shy and introverted.  If I wasn’t busy wishing I could be invisible, I felt invisible. I didn’t believe that being me was enough.  Like most girls my age, my self esteem plummeted. Very early in my teen years, I learned that I could numb uncomfortable feelings with drugs and alcohol. Bad decisions led to more bad decisions and when my first daughter was born 20 years later, pain, regret and shame set in. To heal, I knew I needed to find ways to help prepare her and me for the challenging teen years ahead!  img_4036-movI became involved with Girls in the Know as a participant.  In 2009, my oldest daughter was 11 years old and I was terrified of the fast approaching “teen” years.  I didn’t know where to begin but I knew I had to do something.  Seeing Founder, Lori Lander talking about Girls in the Know on Great Day St. Louis, I thought, this is exactly what I need to build our confidence and begin these important conversations.

Girls in the Know provided a starting point for the journey with my girls.  As pre-teens, the girls and I graduated the program and our conversations began!  It wasn’t always easy, but I remained committed to working and growing.  I am so proud of the young women my daughters have become.  Along their way, they have discovered their gifts and passions and are authentic, bold and kind.  lgo

Empowering girls lives deep in my heart and I am blessed that every day I GET to work with pre-teen girls and the ones who love them helping them build their self esteem.  If I could, I will give every girl this program to help her avoid plummeting self esteem in the teen years and believe that she is good enough.  Will you join me on #GivingTuesday to help make this a reality by making a tax deductible donation of $125 that will allow one pre-teen girl and her mom to attend this series?  

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#BeBold #BeStrong #BeBright #BeYou #KnowledgeIsPower