Adolescence is a critical time period for developing healthy habits. Despite overwhelming research that highlights the importance of physical activity for girls, girls all over the world significantly decrease their activity levels during adolescence. In 2016 with the support of Cairo American College, Physical Education teacher Becky Riddle started a non-profit organization called Girls Get Strong (GGS). The mission of GGS is simple--to empower girls to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially healthy, strong, and active. Since then, Girls Get Strong has increased collaboration between alumni, community members, students, and coaches to empower girls to be healthy and active. It invites schools in Egypt and outside of Egypt to participate in workshops and activities with the hope of empowering student-athletes, coaches, and athletic directors to bring Girls Get Strong back to their community. CAC envisions GGS growing into a model that other schools all over the world can integrate into their communities to provide girls with the knowledge, confidence, strength, inspiration, and leadership to be healthy.
On March 17, 2018, CAC hosted their third annual conference with the theme “Girls Get Strong: In Action”. It was lovely to witness over one hundred girls from fifteen different schools come together to empower each other to be socially, emotionally, and physically healthy. This year we invited female experts in various fields to conduct the workshops in their areas of expertise. Workshops and fitness activities held this year included Pitching Yourself: How to Out Your Best Foot Forward, Writing For The Future, Shaping and Managing Your Digital Footprint, Love Yourself, You Matter: Your Impact On A Team and How It Impacts You, Learning the Art Of Interviews: How To Make Them Fun, Shine From Within, Get Out Of Your Head, Gender Equality: What You Need To Know Now, Winning Outcomes, Building Self Trust-Love- And Empowerment Through Fitness, Introduction To Boxing, Weight Lifting, Jazz Dance, Foam Rolling, Core Strong Swiss Ball, Speed and Agility, Soccer Skills, Step Aerobics, Total Resistance Trainer, Yoga, Zumba, among others.
Many of the experts providing workshops this year were CAC alumnae who since leaving CAC, have excelled in their industries and fields on both the national and international levels. Even our event sponsors who have generously contributed are mainly CAC alumni organizations. To know more about our alumnae workshop leaders and sponsors, click here .
A big thank you to our alumni workshop leaders (Dalia Kamar '13, Howaida Kamel '09, Angela Davis '13, Dina ElAbd '08) and alumni businesses that helped sponsor the event (BODY BLOCK-founded and owned by alumna Nadine El-Alily ’00 and Elite Soccer Academy- founded by alumnus Zane Ahmadein ’04). We also have to thank our alumna Nivanne Mortagy '95 for helping us invite various international schools to particpate in this year's Girls Get Strong event.
For additional information about the conference and GGS please see the following articles that have been published in two international education magazines as well as the 2018 GGS video.
NESA Winter Newsletter
GGS 2018 Video Promotion
Zane Ahmadein’04: Zane is the Founder of Elite International Soccer Academy http://www.eliteinternationalsoccer.org/index.php/about-us, CAC Alumni and coaches CAC Soccer. His organization sponsored Girls Get Strong and lead a soccer session at the event.
Nadine El-Alily’00: Nadine is a CAC Alumna, Founder of Body Blocks, Functional Nutritionist, holds an MSc in Personalised Nutrition and mBANT CertNLP www.bodyblockseg.com, and current CAC parent. All the nutritious meals during the conference were provided by Nadine's organization Body Blocks.
Dalia Kamar ‘13: Dalia Kamar manages RiseUp Summit, the top entrepreneurship event in the Middle East and North Africa. She established and led the Marketing Department at RiseUp from 2015-17 as a university student, where she created the core brand identity, rebranded the company and strategically positioned it as it scaled from an event built by volunteers to the globally recognized gateway to the MENA Startup Ecosystem. Dalia is the youngest event product manager in the region and was recognized among the "25 Under 25" youth of Egypt in 2017. She led a team of more than 30 people and 200+ volunteers during RiseUp17, which gathered over 5000 attendees from 42 countries and generated 70 million impressions on social media. Dalia is a proud CAC'13 alumna and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the American University in Cairo'16.
Howaida Kamel '09: After graduating from CAC in 2009, Howaida has continued to maintain strong relations with CAC through its athletic programs as she developed her own professional career in Egypt. She has coached at both the JV and Varsity levels in the women's soccer program as well as supported other extracurricular activities.
Howaida is a Senior Economist in the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation. Her previous work experience includes the World Bank, where she gained expertise and knowledge in international development, urban mobility and infrastructure finance.
Howaida holds a Masters in Urban Planning from Harvard University and received her Bachelor degrees in Development Studies and Environmental Economics & Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dina ElAbd’08: Our CAC alumna Dina ElAbd is a children's author and critic and World Bank Executive. She holds a BA in Mechanical Engineering from the American University in Cairo and a MPhil in Critical Approaches to Children's Literature under the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University. She founded the children's magazine Kaleidoscope and has published short stories, poetry, and prose in books and magazines around the world. She has earned many prestigious international and national awards for her outstanding work and contributions.
Angela Davis’13: Alumna Angela Davis attended Ohio State University earning a bachelors degree in Molecular Genetics and Environmental Science. During her years at CAC, she was an avid sports woman, playing volleyball, basketball, and softball throughout middle and high school. She is currently taking a year off before joining a master’s program in Environmental Sciences. She currently works at The American University in Cairo (AUC) Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment, while also substituting and coaching at CAC. She coached Middle School girls volleyball, JV girls basketball, and will assist with Varsity softball. She loves sports for so many reasons. In her words-"Not only are sports great for reducing stress and improving mental health, but the team aspect allows kids to work together, problem solve, become apart of a family, all while having a lot of fun".
To view more photos from the "Girls Get Strong" event, click here.