Why Your Daughter Needs a Mentor (and How to Find One)

A staggering 7 in 10 girls feel they don't measure up in some way. Whether it's the 40-60% of elementary school girls who feel they are "too fat", or the over 70% of high school girls who refuse to do activities they enjoy when they don't feel they look good that day, our girls are struggling with low self-esteem. One study found that by the age of 14, girls' confidence dropped by 30% or more.

Girls Without Confidence Become Women with Imposter Syndrome

While we endeavor to 'break the glass ceiling', women are still navigating the workforce with less confidence than men.

Only 34% of jobs in STEM are held by women, and highest paid roles in the most innovative and competitive industries (computer science and engineering) are still primarily held by men. One study showed that even when women knew they'd performed well, they self-promoted less.

We must prepare our girls for a rapidly evolving future if we ever hope for that future to be more equitable. But how can we do that when it seems like they're stacked against a tsunami of elements that undermine their confidence and destroy their self-worth? How can we give today's girls access to the tools they need to succeed tomorrow?

Representation Matters

While there's no one answer to closing the confidence gap, we can definitively say the path to raising more confident girls includes mentorship.

With mentorship, girls can gain confidence at the times most crucial to their development. Why? Because representation matters.

In research conducted by YPulse, 91% of girls surveyed said they would feel more confident if they had a female mentor. The same survey revealed that not only are girls in need of mentors -- they're hungry and searching for them, primarily in STEM and finance. A whopping 77% said they feel it's their responsibility to find their own mentor, and 76% said they'd look for a mentor on social media.

Girls need to see themselves represented to imagine what's possible. Today's girls need meaningful relationships with women who have walked the path they hope to trod. Women who can teach them how to navigate the trickiness of womanhood, career, finance, and interpersonal relationships with confidence and wisdom.

But not just any mentorship will do. Consistent meetings with a relatable mentor who understands what today's girls are going through is the way forward. We've seen it firsthand, and the research agrees. Who better to mentor girls than young women?

Near-peer Mentorship for Girls

While you can search for a mentor for your daughter in various places (programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters, for example) Curious Cardinals near-peer mentorship is a unique and fulfilling way to bring out the best in your daughter and bridge the confidence gap.

Our inspiring college-aged female mentors know what your daughter is going through because they've been in her shoes not too long ago. They've had their education halted by the pandemic, they've had their self-esteem zapped by social media, they know all the latest trends, and they're way cooler than Mom or Dad. A Curious Cardinals mentor is someone your daughter can relate to, learn, and grow with.

We'll hand-pick a mentor to be the perfect match for your daughter based on shared background, personality, and interests. Together, they'll make measured, consistent progress toward her dreams and goals. (Ready to match your daughter to an inspiring near-peer female mentor? Get started here.)

In Her Own Words: The Impact of Near-Peer Female Mentorship with Elise L.

elise lIn honor of Women’s History Month, CC mentee Elise shared how her experience with Curious Cardinals and the amazing female mentors she's had along the way have played a pivotal role in shaping who she is today. She began with us as a timid 8th grader and is now a confident young woman beginning at Cornell in Fall 2024.

Read more about Elise's Curious Cardinals journey here.


Ready to match your daughter to an inspiring near-peer female mentor? Get started here.

Highlighting a Few of Our Outstanding Female Mentors


Inspiring the Next Generation

Mentor Naisha S.'s mentee adores her. Together, they've worked on sharpening her math skills and boosting her confidence. Their bond is beautiful and exemplifies the power of near-peer mentorship and representation for girls in STEM.

Here's what her mentee's mom had to say:

"[My daughter] absolutely adores Naisha and truly values their relationship. The results speak for themselves - [my daughter] has gotten straight As each trimester since starting in her new school (not through my insistence, but through her own genuine desire and strong work ethic to do well). Also, [my daughter] was accepted into [a prestigious] summer academic program. I think so much of her confidence has been inspired by Naisha!!"

aprilGuiding Passion Discovery

Whether she's researching the cultural and religious identities of second-generation Moroccan Muslim women as a Fulbright Scholar in Madrid, or helping her mentees discover their own passions, April B. is a world-changing mentor with a huge heart.



Telling Their Stories

Natachi O. is a writer with bylines in The Washington Post and beyond, but this Stanford grad's current passion is telling the stories of female hair braiders in Nairobi. As one of only 5 Fulbright-National Geographic scholars, she's emerging as a powerful voice for African women and economic equality.


Mentor Riley F. accrued (pun intended!) a long list of accolades before she even graduated high school and began studying finance at Stanford. But perhaps the most meaningful accomplishment is her continued time spent championing young girls in becoming their best selves. Determined, organized, and well-rounded, Riley inspires young girls in management, finance, and beyond.



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