Alexa Café: iD Tech’s First All-Girls Summer Camp

As a Regional Manager at iD Tech, the world’s #1 summer tech program for kids and teens, I often find myself very proud of the work that our company does.  For example, we inspire thousands of kids every year to Do Something Big in the world of tech, with over 170,000 students enrolled during the past 16 years.  Oh, and then there’s the thousands of trees we plant each year through our One Camper, One Tree initiative. We’ve already sowed the seeds for 75,000 trees and expect to plant 35,000 more in 2014 alone! (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Up-and-Coming Disruptive Woman: Deidre Freeman

It’s true, nothing really comes easily in life: especially if your goal is to become an Olympic athlete. Recently, DW had the privilege of sitting down with Deidre Freeman, world winning diver and Olympic hopeful, to chat with her about her pursuit of her dream, how she maintains her health, and words of wisdom to empower anyone that is working towards their goal.

DW:  How did you get into diving?

I began diving after the high school swimming and diving coach saw me tumble at a dance recital. She suggested that I try it out because she thought I would have good body awareness and control.

DW: What are some of the most challenging things about entering the sport?

The most challenging aspect of diving when I began was having no prior knowledge of the sport. I had no exposure before experimenting with diving. I didn’t  know what to expect and I didn’t know how to set goals for myself. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Pioneers Do Not Fall Apart

Art by Melissa Brooks- 2004

Today our author, who chose to publish anonymously, provides us with an intimate look inside her life and experience with depression, loss and  the journey to finding herself.

Though I moved to Brooklyn in 2008, I will never be able to shake the Midwest from my bones. I grew up in Detroit, MI, a rather complicated place that I’ll never give up on. In contrast to the razor-sharp headlines that have recently grabbed hold of the collective consciousness, Detroit isn’t the place where dreams go to die. It’s the place where dreams – the American Dream, come to life. My grandfathers were autoworkers, pioneers of the Great Migration. Those men worked hard so that their children could carve out a life for themselves that was maybe a little better than their own. Gene & Sandra worked just as hard as their fathers, earning advanced degrees, getting married and having two children of their own. Meatloaf for dinner. Manicured lawns. Ballet lessons and baseball. My childhood was ideal and I am grateful.

Traversing miles and wrangling steel Mustangs makes for sturdy individuals who raise hearty individuals. Like the Stoics before them, pioneer-stock have perfected the art of the levelheaded countenance in the midst of turbulence. I never saw the sweat on my parents’ brow, the struggle in their eyes. They wore their frustrations on the inside and my brother and I reaped the benefits. And for that I am grateful. I am grateful and also wary. For within these romanticized and stalwart walls of strong, black Americana, there is no room to go to pieces. Pioneers do not fall apart. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

An Insurance Expert’s Perspective on Insurance Exchanges: Q&A with Disruptive Woman Stephanie Cohen

Stephanie Cohen

Disruptive Woman Stephanie Cohen recently spoke with DW’s Alex Masi to discuss an update on the state of health care reform (or ACA) and specifically, Young Adult’s participation in the insurance exchange marketplace. With more than two decades of experience in group and individual health insurance, disability programs and life insurance, Cohen is the co-founder of the Gaithersburg, MD, health care benefits firm Golden & Cohen. Her firm has grown into one of the largest among female-owned companies in the Washington metropolitan area. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Janie Gu: Woman to Watch 2014

Janie Gu

Janie Gu

“Great leaders don’t lead for the sake of leading; they lead because they’re passionate about making something happen and they want to encourage, inspire, and influence others to move with them.” – Janie Gu

Inspired by the great inventors of contemporary times, particularly Elon Musk, Janie Gu has set a path forward into the world of true innovation through creating new products, ideas, and dreams. Currently an undergraduate at Princeton University, Janie leveraged her programming skills to create OUTFluenza, an analytical engine for tracking and predicting influenza, for the Surescripts 2013 Technology Challenge and parts of that project will be featured in the final Surescripts product. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • December 2nd, 2013 You’re Invincible. Until You’re Not
    By Glenna Crooks
  • The Real Invincibles: Young Adults with Chronic Health Conditions

    SantiKMBhagatFor the Young Adults Should Be Invincible series, several amazing young adults took huge risks to give us glimpses about how they live with chronic health conditions.  Most likely, you know a few young people like them, considering that 1 in 4 are affected, but do you know what their lives are like?  Probably not.  Do you know why?

    (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Living on Both Sides of the Health Care Equation: A Young Doctor with a Degenerative Disease

    Amy LongGraduating from medical school and becoming a physician was my childhood dream.  Naturally, my memories from medical school are filled with pivotal moments and strong emotions;  the excitement when I interviewed my first patient, the exhaustion of my first overnight call, the sheer terror of my first board exam, the joy of the first baby I delivered and the sorrow of my first patient who passed away. In the midst of these experiences, I also remember the sleepless nights of constant pain followed by the apprehension of waiting in a familiar exam room for my health verdict. I recall the anguish associated with the loss of my sense of invincibility as I looked at the x-rays my colleague and professor handed me. Neither my sparkling new white coat, nor my young age protected me from the relentless and painful deterioration of both my hip joints.  Even though I had grown up with a rare bone disease, nothing prepared me for the realization that my body was failing me while I was learning to heal other failing bodies. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    The Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor

    kbatesDo you struggle to ask your doctor the right questions? Do you find it confusing and are unsure what questions are important? Dr. Kimberly Bates, the Medical Director of FACES at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH and academic internist and pediatrician at OSU Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Grandview, shares her recommendations for the most important questions to ask your doctor.  Do you have any other suggestions? Tell us by commenting below! (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    “You’re not as invincible as you think…”

    Tyler1679-2For most of my young adult life, I lived in extremes—I was either overcommitted in school and extracurricular activities, or I was bedbound and hospitalized. I spent so much time trying to prove that illness didn’t define me that the quest for invincibility itself began to overwhelm my identity.

    I am a lifelong patient with multiple chronic illnesses, including primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), a rare genetic lung disease, so I’ve had to co-exist with symptoms and setbacks for as long as I could remember. As a college writing instructor, I interact with young adults every day, and I see firsthand the sense of invincibility that accompanies youth.  My students have little reason to believe the long days, the all-nighters, and the jam-packed academic and social lives they lead will catch up to them. Unfortunately, the presence of chronic illness can exacerbate this tendency—and for many of us, the stakes can be quite high. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Integrating the Patient Voice into Caregiving

    Annie Levy

    Excerpt from an Interview in Wired.com with Dr. Oliver Sacks:

    Wired.com: Has your experience changed the way you relate to your patients?

    Sacks: I hope I’m always sort of understanding with patients and try to understand their experiences but now, especially if I see visually impaired people, I can sympathize very intimately. . .There’s an epigraph that I quote in A Leg To Stand On
 from one of [Michel de] Montaigne’s essays in which he says that he would especially trust a doctor who had experienced some of what he had experienced. “Plato, therefore was right in saying that to become a true doctor, a man must have experienced all of the illnesses he hopes to cure. Such a man I would trust.” (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    An Evening with the TechGirls

    Madhura Bhat

    Last year, I was awarded a grant from the Case Foundation through Finding Fearless, an online competition to search for fearless change makers in communities around the United States. Finding Fearless is just one example of how the Case Foundation unites the principles of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology to identify, test, prove and scale ideas and models to create exponential impact. As part of the support offered by the Case Foundation to its grantees, I met Alana Ramo, an emerging woman in technology on their social innovation team. Recently, Alana and I had the opportunity to meet some truly inspiring young women. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    The Pain of Juvenile Arthritis

    Graphic for Distrubitive Women Health- Elizabeth JAOne, take a deep breath. Two, build up courage. Three, push the needle in. No matter how numb the injection site, I still grimace at the needle in my stomach. I hold it for a moment before pushing the plunger down. I do this slowly because the medicine stings. It takes me two minutes to inject all the medicine: A long time compared to a nurse, but my quickest time so far. At first it took close to five minutes, but I’ve had some practice. Twice a week, I inject myself with a biologic called Enbrel. It’s a medicine that suppresses my odd immune system that attacks my body instead of germs. Needles may be painful, but they’re much less painful than the disease it controls. That disease is juvenile psoriatic arthritis , and I’ve had it since I was two years old. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Image and self-definition in “high opportunity” girls

    andrea_horton“I’m just a bad kid.”  The words so effortlessly escaped her lips that they caught me off guard.  Although I remained visibly calm, my eyes burned as I struggled to hold back tears.  Although this was my first conversation with Natalie (I have changed her name to protect her identity), over the course of an hour I learned about her troubles in school and at home and a past riddled with emotional and sexual abuse. This caused her to be distrustful of adults.  At the mere age of 14 and only in the eighth grade, she had run away from home more times than she remembered.

    As I continued my conversation with Natalie, it became evident that she had formed her ideas about herself based on negative experiences with the world around her. She saw herself as unattractive, unintelligent and unlovable.  Although I was saddened and somewhat shocked by Natalie’s assessment and articulation of her value and worth, in my work with “high opportunity” young people, I have found that this perspective is unfortunately not uncommon.  Having been an insecure teenaged girl at some point in my life, I can relate to some aspects of Natalie’s image of herself. However, my life experience was in no way parallel to that of Natalie or her peers. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Women + technology = change

    OWL_logoOWL’s 2013 Mother’s Day report, In the Arena: How Women and Girls Change the World (PDF), is a bit of a shift for us. Our reports have traditionally focused on specific policies that impact the lives of women as they age – the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, women in the workforce, end of life decision-making. They reflect OWL’s mission – to fight for economic security, access to health care and enhanced quality of life for the nation’s 74 million midlife and older women.

    But in our current toxic and polarized political environment, there are few opportunities for real discussions about major life-altering issues. Facts about Social Security, Medicare, retirement security and health care are being drowned out by partisan bickering and posturing.  That’s why we decided to examine the state of 21st Century advocacy, to look at the innovative ways people – particularly women – are using new technologies to make progress. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

       Email Updates