WHO WE ARE
To unite girls from all backgrounds and from all across the country, so that together, as leaders, they can boost their online and offline life skills which fosters emotional wellbeing and resiliency.
Founder & Executive Director
Delaney Ruston (she/her)
Delaney is Stanford trained physician and social change filmmaker, including films such as Hidden Pictures, about global mental health, Screenagers, about solutions for healthy screen time, Screenagers Next Chapter, about improving the emotional wellbeing of today's youth, and Screenagers Under the Influence, about vaping, drugs, and alcohol in the digital age. She is a nationally recognized leader in the area of youth mental health and for her work she has won several awards. Since coming up with the idea for creating BOOSTING BRAVERY in the summer of 2020, Ruston has devoted much of her time developing and running the program as well as creating the BB Modules. She has done all of this with the help of a brilliant team of women and teens. Click here to read her "Why" behind BB and visit her website at www.delaneyruston.com.
Program Growth Lead (Spr. '22)
Saily Joshi (she/her)
Saily Joshi, a specialist in business development and community building, has spent years helping social impact organizations succeed and grow.
Saily is deeply interested in ensuring youth of all backgrounds have access to life improving opportunities and has been the Chair of the Parent Diversity Advisory Council for a large Chicago school district for the past seven years. In addition, she sits on various educational, cultural and nonprofit boards. Saily is the co-founder of Eventcombo, innovative platform for events, and earned a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Program Assistant- Pilot Year
Andi Vilaboy (she/her)
Having been raised by her Latina grandmother, Andi took notice of the various inequalities impacting overall youth development which led her to earn a masters degree in Social Work at the University of Southern California. Andi is passionate about providing equal opportunities for girls to develop strong social, emotional, and leadership skills.
Andi started with BB from its inception and played a key role in assisting in the development of the program and modules.
Program Manager & Advisor (2022-2023)
Lindsay Newman (she/her)
Lindsay enjoyed being a BB High School Leader so much that she did it for three sessions! During her one and a half years involvement, she has provided countless ideas to improve the program. This summer she led the Teen Advisory Council. Lindsay loves psychology and in high school she founded the Traveling Zen Space to promote mental well-being. We are thrilled that Lindsay has decided to be the Program Manager before she begins college this Winter at Case Western Reserve University.
Program Assistant (Spr. '22)
Sharnitha King (she/her)
Sharnitha has been the Program Director of two non-profit organizations centered on helping youth excel, including youth living in at-risk neighborhoods. She spent five years as a member of the Cultural Diversity Counsel in Ohio and later worked as the Director of Programs for The M.D. Davis Foundation in New York. Sharnitha was particularly excited to join Boosting Bravery's leadership team because while in high school she had the opportunity to mentor middle school age girls and found the experience to be incredibly worthwhile.
Program Assistant- Pilot Year
Jo Skinner-Grant (she/her)
Jo is a college student at Reed College who found that when she was facing emotional challenges in middle and high school, being able to get help in learning effective skills for such challenges made a major difference in her life. She discovered a passion for bringing skills to as many young people as possible. Along with BB, Jo is currently creating a program focused on social and emotional skills in her college.
Jo started with BB from its inception and played a key role in assisting in the development of the program and modules.
Vaudery Brown (she/her)
Vaudery has spent 20 years leading programs for teens and working directly with them as a mentor and counselor. Vaudery was the Vice President of Quality Assurance for Chicago Youth Center. She also worked with the University of Illinois to bring mental wellness programs to adolescents in remote areas. She has spent 13 years as a Department Chair of counseling departments in highly diverse middle schools in Washington State. Vaudery earned a Master's degree in clinical social work and public policy from the University of Chicago.
Program Manager & Advisor (Wint. '22)
Erica Swanson (she/her)
Erica holds a Masters of Education from the University of Washington, and has used her skills to support girls leadership and growth in many realms. She was an educator at Seattle's Girl's School for 14 years as well as helped create a girls’ outdoor leadership program. Erica has also been an educator in South Korea.
Erica's wealth of knowledge has been a great asset in helping to further shape both the BB Modules as well as the BB Women Mentors aspect of the program.
Holly Benton (she/her)
Holly, a lawyer, has spent many years helping organizations address infrastructure issues and she has loved the opportunity to help groups that focus on girls equity and leadership. As a young girl Holly was so troubled by the fact that school talked so much more about famous men than women that she would spend many of her lunches getting the school librarian to help her find books about girls and women that she could read. She has been a teacher and mentor to girls throughout her adult life.
TEEN PROGRAM ADVISORS
Since the beginning of creating BOOSTING BRAVERY, teen girls have been an integral part of shaping the program and the BB Modules to ensure the best experience possible for all who join.
All girls who participate in BB act as Program Development Advisors. As they do the program, we ask for for their insights and feedback and this helps continue to evolve the program.
In the first year of BB, 2020-2021, eighty-one girls have collaborated as Program Development Advisors.
TEEN ADVISORY COUNCIL
Our team also includes a Council of teens ages 11-19 that partner with us over many months to help identify new activities for the BB Modules, developing the Media For Good project, spreading the word about BB, thinking of special events and more.
This Advisory Council is made up of girls from across the country who have done BOOSTING BRAVERY and deeply care about the mission and vision of the program. They realize this is a like nothing else out there and that the possibilities regarding BB are endless.
As the BB Leadership Team, we want to extend a special thank you to the original members of the Teen Advisory Council who worked with us from the beginning on the earliest iterations of the program:
Shivani, Charlotte, Karen, Anastasia, Emma, Tess, Gabriella, Olivia, Gabrielle, Madi, Ali, Zoey, Madeline, Ruby, Lindsay, Michelle, Laney, Elle, Val, Claire, Jada, Arianna, Lucy, Manisha, Niyata, and Ina.
If you are interested in joining the Council, which is indeed a community service endeavor, please email info@boostingbravery.
WOMEN BB MENTORS
Our team also includes caring and insightful women who volunteer to be BB Adult Mentors.
As such, they get to meet weekly over Zoom with a cohort of 12 to 14 High School Leaders to review key elements of each weeks BB Modules--this helps the girls be prepared to lead their teams of Middle School Participants.
To learn more and how you can apply to be a BB Adult Mentor, click here
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