Women & Girls Lead Campaign Shorts

Women and Girls Lead is an innovative public media campaign designed to celebrate, educate, and activate women, girls, and their allies across the globe to address the challenges of the 21st century.

Women and Girls Lead Shorts profile American women from all walks of life who inspire us with stories of resilience, hope, and empowerment.

These shorts are a collaboration between Brazos Film & Video, the Independent Television Service (ITVS), and public television stations in the United States. You can view additional Women & Girls Lead content at www.womenandgirlslead.org   

Dr. Alana Saxe: Las Vegas, Nevada

Dr. Alana Saxe grew up in California’s Central Valley and thought a career in dentistry was unattainable. But she took the leap, graduated at the top of her dental school and runs a successful practice.

Mariamo Mukoma: Las Vegas, Nevada

“There is no such thing as being a failure,” said Mariamo Mukoma, who immigrated to the U.S. as a Somalian refugee at the age of 10. Now, she serves as a translator for her parents as they fill out paperwork, takes care of her siblings, works, and attends nursing school.

Michele Abbate: Las Vegas, Nevada

Michele has been around motor-sports her entire life. She is now a part of the Scion Racing team. Michele says “The track is where I belong, and it fuels all of my motivation in life.”

Tammy Townsend: Las Vegas, Nevada

Tammy Townsend has cerebral palsy. She wasn’t expected to be born, but now she’s an advocate for students with her disease. She lives with her partner, who also uses a wheelchair, and hopes to be able to marry him legally someday.

Sandy Runkle: Las Vegas, Nevada

Sandy Runkle struggled to support her family after her husband was diagnosed with schizophrenia. After discovering court reporting, Sandy found her inner strength to support herself and her five boys. Years later, she was the first volunteer at the Lou Ruvo Center . Sandy was also was a founder of The Speeding Theater.

Sharon Gaines: Las Vegas, Nevada

Sharon Gaines overcame her body insecurities through the adrenaline-pumping sport of boxing and now works as a personal trainer at the age of 39. “When you respect yourself, you warrant respect from other people,” she said.

DJ Tina T: Las Vegas, Nevada

DJ Tina T. slept on couches before she achieved her dream job in the “boys club” of DJing. Now, she helps young musicians at her own Camp Spinoff, the only sleep away summer camp for teens that inspires and teaches them how to DJ.

Daniell Washington: Miami, Florida

Daniell Washington bucked female stereotypes by becoming a scientist and an entrepreneur, founding The Big Blue and You to teach children about marine conservation.

Corinna Moebius: Miami, Florida

A gringa by birth, Corinna Moebius has become an “honorary Cuban” in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, where she shares the cultural wealth as a tour guide andblogger.  

Bernice Steinbaum: Miami, Florida

A former art history professor and NYC gallery owner, 68-year-old Bernice Steinbaum champions female and minority artists. Her groundbreaking Miami gallery closed July 2012.

Michelle Alban: Miami, Florida

Michelle Alban’s adventurous life has taken her from the U.S. Air Force in Saudi Arabia to Telemundo in Miami as the Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Nicole Portuondo: Miami, Florida

Nicole Portuondo is a fierce fisherwoman. While helping the family business and attending high school, she was ranked number one junior angler in the World Billfish Series.

Annette Larkins: Miami, Florida

Annette Larkins has been preparing her own raw, vegan meals for 27 years. After becoming a vegetarian at age 21, Annette has slowly become a raw foods advocate who at age 70 is now inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.

Beverly Kearney: Austin, Texas

University of Texas track coach Beverly Kearney is used to breaking barriers. After an accident left her paralyzed, she learned to walk again, empowering others to live by her motto: “Failure has never been an option.”

Sonia B. Castellanos: Austin, Texas

Sonia is a real-life role model for young Latinas in central Texas. Just 1 percent of the Latinas in her community graduated high school when she started Con Mi MADRE. Last year, 97 percent of the program's seniors went on college.

Taryn Davis: Austin, Texas

At 21, Taryn Davis became a military widow when her husband was killed by a roadside bomb. Feeling lost and alone, she began the American Widow Project to connect with other widows, offering her own perspective on grief.

Nessa Higgins and Andrea Day Boykin: Austin, Texas

After their children attended the same kindergarten class, Nessa Higgins and Andrea Day Boykin became business partners, buying a 1966 Avion trailer out of which they sell their Flip Happy Crepes

Suzanne Santos: Austin, Texas

As the farmers’ market director of the Sustainable Food Center, Suzanne Santos knows that change can be made and felt on a local level. Suzanne connects farmers with families while empowering her community and herself.

Jen Grogono: Austin, Texas

Jen is the CEO and founder of the distributed video management company uStudio. In  addition to running an internet start-up, Jen is raising three wonderful children with her husband Martin

Sarah Huebner: Austin, Texas 

Sarah is a young mother and military wife who lives in Killeen, Texas. In addition to running her household while her husband is active duty, Sarah is also a member of theLonestar Rollergirls roller derby league under the name “Truckstop Trixie”.

Elizabeth Suh Lane: Kansas City, Missouri 

Elizabeth Suh Lane was a globe-traveling violinist, then turned to motherhood and musical entrepreneurship for inspiration. She is the founder and artistic director of theBach Aria Soloists and teaches music in schools throughout Kansas City.

Jeneé Osterheldt: Kansas City, Missouri 

Jeneé is the lifestyle columnist at the Kansas City Star newspaper. In addition to writing about currents, she shares her viewpoint and perspectives about life and people.

Monica Steiner: Kansas City, Missouri 

Monica Steiner is a wife and mother with stage-four metastatic breast cancer. Along with her family, she is fighting to save the lives of others by raising money for research through their fundraiser called “Ironteam.”

Peregrine Honig: Kansas City, Missouri 

Peregrine Honig is a successful artist and entrepreneur and an active member of the burgeoning arts community in Kansas City. She became the youngest living artist with work in the Whitney’s permanent collection.

Brionna Williams: Kansas City, Missouri 

At 14, Brionna Williams was suffering from health problems and chronic asthma. Now 17 Brionna has become healthier and has found success as a highly recruited student athlete.

Alice Piggee-Wallack: Kansas City, Missouri 

In a neighborhood in Kansas City where approximately 30% of the population lives below the poverty level, Pastor Alice Piggee-Wallack runs a non-profit organization to help homeless women and children have a place to stay during the day.