Summit to Help Girls Feel “Informed & Strong”


When The Get In Touch Foundation first launched its Get In Touch Girls’ Program and Daisy Wheels, they embarked on a deep and cherished relationship with school nurses and health educators throughout the world. “We were told that our program opened the door for additional conversations with their students who wanted to expand on the topic of breast health and had questions ranging from nutrition to body image, bullying to social media, gender to homelessness,” said Mary Ann Wasil, founder and CEO of The Get In Touch Foundation.

That interest in expanding the conversation has led to the launch of the “Informed & Strong Summit”, a day and half-long event for girls between the ages of 13-18 and their mothers or the significant female role model in their lives. The Summit will be held on October 24th and 25th at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. “School nurses asked and we answered,” said Mary Ann. “They asked me how they could harness the interest that Get In Touch ignited, and if we would be willing to expand that conversation into an event, one that the girls could attend with the significant female role model in their lives – mother, grandmother, stepmother, aunt, friend – so they could continue this conversation long after the event was over.”

We recently sat down with Mary Ann to talk about The Summit’s speakers and sessions and what she hopes is the conversation that women and girls will continue to have long after the event is over:


Generation W: Your speakers & sessions look amazing—what was the goal in putting this group and this content together?

Mary Ann Wasil: We pulled together a Summit Steering Committee made up of several leaders in our community, along with girls who fall within the age range that we will target for The Summit, who are also the same age range that The Get In Touch Foundation focuses on with our Get In Touch Girls’ Program & Daisy Wheels.

We wanted to be sure that this event was created and developed with their input, not what us grownups thought teens would like to learn more about, but what the teenagers actually want to learn more about!

The sessions were designed with great thought and our stellar lineup of speakers, including Generation W founder Donna Orender, NBC Entertainment President Jen Salke, CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women Teresa Younger, Yellowberry founder Megan Grassell, and transgender teen Jazmine Taylor were chosen with great care – all strong and powerful women and girls who are living their best life, following their dreams, shattering glass ceilings!

We also agreed that by including the girls’ female significant role model – mother, grandmother, aunt, stepmother, friend – we were certain that everyone would hear the same information and the conversations would continue long after the Summit was over.

That is always our goal, even with our Daisy Wheel. We hope the girls bring home the Daisy Wheel and talk about breast health with their mother, their grandmother, whomever they are lucky enough to have in their lives.

The Summit expands on our goal of breast health education in the hands of girls all over the world with an even broader vision of “getting in touch” with other life saving and life changing education.

GenW: What do you want attendees to walk away with?

MW: We know that the girls and the women who attend The Summit will leave feeling “Informed & Strong,” which is why we call it the “Informed & Strong” Summit for Women and Girls!

Isn’t that what we want for our daughters? For them to be informed about all the things that are happening in the world, things they may have already heard about but need explained to them in their own language? We know it’s a cliché, but knowledge really IS power. And we want our girls to nurture that power, harness it for good.

We especially want girls to know that they have been heard; that this event was designed with them, for them, using their language and celebrating the ways in which they communicate and tell their stories.

We’ll even be telling the girls to take out their cell phones and take to social media during The Summit! Yes, that’s right, you read that correctly, we want them on their cell phones telling everyone via Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook about what they’re experiencing and learning! We’ll even have a Global Lounge where they can go for special social media photo opportunities and to charge their batteries!

We’re confident that everyone will leave The Summit feeling “Informed & Strong!”


Our Generation W community can certainly relate to the idea of feeling “informed & strong” so it wasn’t surprising to learn that our founder has been a part of The Summit conversation since the beginning. “I especially love the fact that the first “unofficial” outline for The Summit was sketched out on a paper napkin over lunch with my friend, Generation W founder, the great visionary Donna Orender,” adds Mary Ann. “She handed me the scribble-covered napkin when lunch was over and told me to save it for The Get In Touch Museum!”

Click here for more information about The Summit.