Danielle Blunt Craddock is the founder and director of Girls Inspired & Ready to Lead, Inc. (GIRL), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization which mentors and empowers girls to be the leaders of today and tomorrow. Through GIRL, Danielle exposes middle and high school girls to career opportunities with workshops, career conferences, STEAM camps, and company visits which have included Microsoft, Exxon Mobile, HP Enterprises, The Aerospace Corporation and PBS. Danielle co-founded the award-winning Females of Color Underrepresented in STEM (FOCUS) summer camp in partnership with George Mason University’s College of Science, which has served over three hundred girls in six years. Her efforts with GIRL have been spotlighted on ABC 7 News Good Morning Washington (WJLA-TV) and in The Washington Post. She was named a 2014 Northern Virginian of the Year by Northern Virginia Magazine, 2015 NAACP Community Service Award recipient, and 2015 Leadership Arlington 40 Under 40 honoree.
GIRL hosts workshops led by professionals in leadership, entrepreneurship, STEAM, and social etiquette to ensure that girls excel academically, professionally, socially and emotionally. In 2015, GIRL published its first book Pearls of Wisdom for Girls by Girls featuring the poetry of its own middle and high school girls. Between 2015 and 2017, GIRL partnered with the City of Fairfax (VA) to host three Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service events that addressed the needs of at-risk girls and women in the community.
Danielle has served as a keynote speaker at the Hampton Roads Conference for Girls and Young Women; Jack and Jill of America Eastern Regional Conference; and many schools, churches, and community organizations in the Mid-Atlantic. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Old Dominion University and a Master of Arts in Higher Education-Student Services from George Mason University.
Danielle’s passion for inspiring girls began in college where she tutored and mentored a fourth grade girl at an elementary school in Norfolk, VA near Old Dominion University. Because of her mentee’s progress, Danielle and her mentee were selected to be featured in a video on mentoring produced by the Norfolk Public Schools. After graduating college, Danielle returned home to Fairfax County, VA and began mentoring middle and high school girls through sessions called “Girl Talk” at a local community center. She decided to expand her mentoring efforts and formed GIRL in 2010, realizing that girls in the suburbs, as well as those in the inner city, face challenges of homelessness, low academic achievement, low self-esteem, bullying, and exposure to negative images of women in the media. She has worked for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Headquarters.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt