UPDATE: I am spending 2022 working on gender equity initiatives in technology companies, and will not be available for work with schools for the foreseeable future. I began this work in earnest during the pandemic, and it has allowed me to come full circle — going from preparing girls to lead, to working with women in the trenches. Please consider joining my mailing list and keep in touch as my work evolves.
Assemblies and workshops your students will never forget.
Best Friends, Worst Enemies, and Everything in Between
With a refreshing mix of honesty, humor, and heart, Rachel uses her personal experiences with bullying to connect with students and share strategies to respond to psychological aggression. As she helps audiences understand the difference between true and unhealthy friendships, Rachel confronts the epidemic of denial and challenges students to take responsibility for their behavior. Girls learn that they are not alone and are encouraged to stop blaming themselves for their experiences. Rachel helps students realize that there is validity in each individual story, and that they possess the potential to effect positive change in their lives. Her extraordinary grasp of young people’s relationships is immediately apparent. “It’s like she’s inside my head,” students often say. “How does she know?” *Can be adapted for a co-ed audience.
How to Succeed Without Sacrificing Yourself
Teens have never been more anxious, stressed and depressed, and the crisis is most keenly felt in high achieving communities. In this workshop, Rachel calls out the toxic messages about achievement (“be amazing at everything you do”) students internalize, and gives students tools to pursue distinction without losing their wellness in the process. When you can fail well, the world opens up to you. There’s no challenge you can’t pursue, no risk you can’t take, because you know how to get back up when you’re knocked down. Students learn tools to take healthy risks, bounce back after a setback, and redefine your beliefs about success and failure. *For single-sex and co-ed audiences.
Healthy #SquadGoals: Wise Online Decision Making
Speakers often use fear and judgment to “teach” youth about digital citizenship, and kids usually tune them out. Research shows that social media itself doesn’t make youth unhappy; it’s how they use it. In this workshop, Rachel teaches students strategies to reduce social insecurity — and the impulsive, often destructive decision making that can result — online. By focusing on values, the principles that each student stands for as a friend and person, Rachel helps students reflect on their behavior without preaching or punishing. Finally, Rachel shows students how the pressure to conform to gender norms can lead youth to share and request sexual images and text — and gives them a language for responding. *For single-sex and co-ed audiences.
Breaking the Curse of the Good Girl
The pressure girls face to please others at all costs installs a glass ceiling on their social, academic, and extracurricular potential. It can also make girls intensely self-critical and perfectionistic. In this workshop, girls learn tools to speak up, take healthy risks, and practice self-compassion.
Four Steps for Positive Confrontation
Students learn tools for conflict resolution, then put them to immediate use by scripting conversations for their own lives. For single-sex and co-ed audiences.
How to Quit Overthinking
Research shows overthinking disproportionately affects girls, leading them to replay their missteps in their heads at night, thinking about what they could have done differently? This can lead to anxiety, depression, and loss of motivation. At this workshop, learn why girls overthink and how to stop, so they can move on, free their minds and focus on more productive activities. *For single-sex and co-ed audiences.
Imposter Phenomenon: Why So Many High Achievers Think They’re Frauds
Do you ever feel like a fraud? Like it’s only a matter of time before others figure out you’re not as smart or capable as they thought? Do you think you got where you were by mistake, luck, or because you fooled someone? So do a lot of other people. You may be suffering from Imposter Phenomenon. In this workshop, learn how IP can hold you back – and practice strategies to manage it. *For single-sex and co-ed audiences.
How Self-Compassion Makes You Braver, Happier, and More Successful
Research shows that self-criticism heightens anxiety and lowers motivation, yet most people believe it’s the key to success. In this workshop, learn a researched, three-step practice to deal with setbacks, manage difficult feelings, and quiet the voice of a destructive inner critic. *For single-sex and co-ed audiences.
So many kids said Rachel was the best speaker we ever had. I also had faculty coming up to me for the past few days thanking me for having a program where they could think about nurturing themselves rather than always focusing on how to take care of the girls. And that parent turnout was the largest we had in years.
Julie Faulstich / Westover School
It’s honestly scary how relevant that was to my life. Rachel knew exactly what I’m dealing with and what I know a lot of my friends are dealing with as well. She also didn’t give us a bunch of statistics and facts listed out, she presented in a way that made her relatable and funny and also compassionate. She seemed to genuinely care about helping us and getting through to us, and I think this is the best speaker that [our school] has ever had.
Student / High School