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GirlForward: Empowering Refugee Girls

Guest Speaker: 

Ms. Ashley Marine, Director of Girl Engagement, GirlForward, will speak on the topic, GirlForward: Empowering Refugee Girls.  GirlForward's model follows something called "girl-centered design."  In this talk, she will explain what it means to run "girl-centered programming" and why it is so important for empowering girls.  Each year, GirlForward serves nearly 200 girls from around the world.  In the middle of the swelling refugee crisis, adolescent girls often face the biggest challenges and are given the fewest opportunities to succeed.  This presentation will explore the ways in which girls are threatened in a refugee crisis, the challenges they face upon resettlement, and how GirlForward steps in to support them.


Ashley Marine's work and studies have primarily been focused on empowering women and girls and advocating for their rights.  At GirlForward, she has created a signature mentoring program which matches adolescent refugee girls with dedicated women mentors who support the girls academically, socially and emotionally.  She received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University, where she concentrated on social work and peace studies, before receiving her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago in Social Service Administration.  During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Ghana, where she provided street education to girls engaged in migrant labor work.  Her work and studies have primarily been focused on inequalities based on gender and sexuality, empowering women and girls, and advocating for their rights.  In her free time, she enjoys singing show tunes, dancing, and exploring all that Chicago has to offer.