Harvard Law School Social Entrepreneur Dr. Raye Mitchell Meets with Ethiopian Ambassador to U.S. to Launch Program Training Women and Girls as ‘Next Gen’ Global Leaders

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Dr. Raye Mitchell, CEO and founder of 'GURLS Lead, a Global Leadership Program,' and Helen Kassa, (age 15) hosted a historic meeting with the Ambassador to unveil the 2014 Leadership Journey for Change Project focused on humanitarian efforts, alleviating poverty, increasing access to education globally, and training the next generation of global leaders in business, entertainment, new media and STEM.

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Mr. Essayas Gota (Deputy Consul General), Dr. Raye Mitchell, Helen Kassa and Ambassador Zerihun Retta

Ambassador Retta was so impressed with Dr. Mitchell and Ms Kassa's determination and program description that he declared, "They are a “dynamic duo" and a pair that will change the world for women and girls not just in Ethiopia, but around the world.

Dr. Raye Mitchell and her 15-year-old protégé Helen Kassa are on a mission to promote gender equality around the world and to improve access to education on a global basis. Their goal is to change how the world thinks, views and invests in preparing women and girls to be global leaders. On November 9th, the two achieved an epic milestone in their journey forward when the U.S. Ambassador/Consul General of Ethiopia Zerihun Retta and the Honorable Deputy Consul General Essayas Gota met with San Francisco Bay Area-based Dr. Raye Mitchell and Ms. Helen Kassa.

During the private dinner hosted by Dr. Mitchell at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, the two social entrepreneurs unveiled their strategic project for improving access to education, leadership training and eliminating gender inequality for women and girls throughout the world, including Ethiopia. As part of their project, entitled Leadership Journey for Change, and in support of Ms. Kassa’s foundation, Giving Hope to Kids Like Me, the two will travel to Ethiopia in June 2014 to provide training and support to students in rural Ethiopia. Ambassador Retta and the Honorable Mr. Gota were both enthralled in the ladies' captivating presentation.

Ambassador Retta was so impressed with Dr. Mitchell and Ms Kassa's determination and program description that he declared, "They are a “dynamic duo" and a pair that will change the world for women and girls not just in Ethiopia, but around the world."

This highly successful diplomatic meeting was a significant step forward for Dr. Mitchell and Ms. Kassa as they work toward creating change for women and girls on a global level and moving beyond charity-based projects to skill-based engagement. Honorable Zerihun Retta stated, "I applaud Dr. Mitchell’s initiative to empower girls through leadership. I am calling upon the New Reality Foundation and 'GURLS Lead, a Global Leadership Organization' to work in partnership with us in the ongoing effort of improving the participation of women on the leadership ladder."

Economists confirm that reducing gender inequality in education is a vital part of promoting economic development on a global basis. The failure to educate girls limits economic growth in the developing world by wasting human capital. As a result, the United Nations has set the target of eliminating gender disparity in education at all levels by 2015, as one of its Millennium Development Goals. "We will go to Ethiopia in June 2014 to connect with the emerging community of women and girl leaders in business, social change, STEM and other sectors. We want to learn from and lend to their vision to succeed. We want to nourish their entrepreneurial spirits and preparedness," said Dr. Mitchell.

In a personal thank you note to Dr. Raye Mitchell, Ambassador Retta wrote, "Saturday's occasion signals the fruition of both the dedicated efforts of Helen had exerted in trying to realize her long cherished vision of Giving Hope to Kids Like Me and a manifestation of Dr. Mitchell's commitment to bring the importance of girls and girls of color as the next generation of leaders, globally." The Ambassador further stated, "We were all inspired by the topics raised and energized by the opportunity it provided to meet the interest of our community and particularly young girls. I was fascinated by young Helen's maturity and aspiration to be a change agent in bringing opportunities to those in need."

Dr. Mitchell and Ms. Kassa are grateful to Congressmembers Barbara Lee, Michael Honda and John Garamendi for facilitating introductions. The two ladies look to expand their diplomatic relationships to other countries and welcome introductions to potential partners, corporate sponsors and individuals that believe in the dream of gender equality and access to educational opportunity for women and girls on a global basis.

Leadership Journey for Change is a project of GURLS Lead, a Global Leadership Program (formerly known as G.U.R.L.S. Rock), a global leadership-training initiative of The New Reality Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. As a social entrepreneur program, GURLS Lead is meeting the needs of the talented, academically driven, and motivated to lead and serve the next generation of global leaders looking to build their skills. GURLS Lead provides a forum to nurture and train the next generation of game changers, innovators, and global leaders. “GURLS” stands for growth, unity, respect, leadership, and success. To learn more about getting connected to Leadership Journey for Change and GURLS Lead, visit gurlslead.org and thembaseries.org.

Dr. Raye Mitchell is a “Top-idea Maven,” real-life “fixer” and innovation expert who helps ordinary people create breakthrough impacts. A successful entertainment attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School, Dr. Mitchell is now acclaimed as an award-winning humanitarian and social entrepreneur recognized for her contributions for mentoring girls and young women to become global leaders and innovators. Dr. Mitchell is also co-founder of "The M.B.A. Series Executive Development Program," which provides leadership training for people aged 12-40. She is the author of several books, most recently "The Laws of the New Game Changers: How to Make Breakthrough Impacts That Take You Forward." To learn more about Dr. Mitchell, visit http://www.rayemitchell.com.

Fourteen year-old Helen Kassa is an emerging global leader who, at age eight, started a foundation program called Giving Hope to Kids Like Me, a project focused on increasing access to education for youth around the world, starting with a small village of children in rural Ethiopia.

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