Tucson women create boxes for young girls promoting female empowerment

Empowering young girls
(Source: Girls Can! Crate)
(Source: Girls Can! Crate)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - "The best role models we have are real women."

The words of Megan Goodman, a Tucson mom, and one of the brains behind Girls Can! Crate.

A simple conversation with her daughter playing prince and princess sparked a business plan that has the potential to change the lives of young girls everywhere. Her daughter asked Goodman to be the prince and rescue her, the princess.

That's not an unusual play date for a parent to have with their little girl, but it was enough to be Goodman's inspiration.

"Hey there's better role models I can be giving you that can teach you -- you can rescue yourself," she explained, recounting what she told her daughter.

Goodman teamed up with her sister Kristen Stoner and friend, Alison Shores, to start the business three years ago.

"There wasn't much for me in terms of women to look up to. They were there, just not brought to the forefront," said Stoner. She said when she was growing up she wanted to be an astronaut, and was told she couldn't because she didn't read enough about them.

Shores had similar stories.

"I just wanted to know there was somebody who looked like me, thought like me, did something I was passionate about doing. I was kind of lacking those models," she told Tucson News Now.

Each woman has a reason.

With these boxes, they hope other girls won't have stories like theirs. That's why they've told the stories of little known women in history. Women like Bessie Coleman, Maya Angelou, and Aimee Lynn Barrion-Dupo are among those they have featured.

"I never learned about them in school," said Goodman. "Little girls can apply what they're learning to their real lives."

Each crate focuses on a particular role model. The trio researches about the woman, writes and illustrates an activity book centered around their career field. The boxes include hands-on activities and props surrounding that woman's job, too. With Girls Can!, they hope young girls will think about embarking on careers not predominantly held by women -- like those in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

These boxes changed the way Goodman's daughter thinks.

"She looked at me and said, I just need to be more fearless like the Girls Can! women," she said.

These three hope it changes the way others do too.

"It's all worth it," said Stoner. "Whether it's art or science - anything they want to do - it's possible."

Girls Can! Crate has grown since their start in 2015, shipping boxes to all fifty states, and even to Canada.

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