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American Program Bureau Speaking to the world for over 50 years

Rachel Simmons

Aggression Expert & Educator


There is a hidden culture of cruelty in the lives of young girls. The toxic combination of aggressive bullying, harassment, and other behaviors that were once a rite of passage for all youth now comes to light in The New York Times best-selling author Rachel Simmons's important and timely books: Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls; Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write About Bullies, Cliques, Popularity and Jealousy; and her latest, The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence.

A Rhodes Scholar and Vassar graduate, Simmons is a pioneer in exploring the phenomenon of female aggression. Her illuminating body of work delves deeply into the lives of adolescent girls in a manner that is both objective and empathetic. What she finds is a disconcerting yet highly accurate reflection of the issues affecting women in this new era of feminism. Through her experience, Simmons crosses gender boundaries by empowering both men and women in how to negotiate conflict and develop healthier relationships. Recently, Simmons began working closely with undergraduate women when she realized they were carrying a lot of what they learned in girlhood with them—particularly when it came to their complicated relationships with power and authority. Simmons helps them to better understand themselves as they work toward future goals.

The founder of the Girl's Leadership Institute, Rachel Simmons is a consultant to schools all over the country. By giving voice to the social struggles of young girls, Simmons believes that, "our task now is to give every girl, every parent, and every teacher a shared, public language to address girls' conflicts and relationships."

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Lead with Integrity: Develop Your Inner Resume

The “inner resume” is a set of skills associated with self-awareness, self-advocacy, and the ability to deal with conflict and failure. These psychological skills are required for real-world success, yet many young women lack these skills because they have grown up with pressure to be “good girls” and to please other people. Young women have gotten mixed messages about how powerful they are allowed to be. The result is sparkling on-paper resumes with high GPAs and extracurricular activities, but a lacking “inner resume”—being able to ask for what you need, delegate authority, take a risk, and try something you might not be good at. Rachel Simmons helps young women see their true value and build up this “inner resume.”

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls

When a girl's relationships are in trouble - due to exclusion, abusive friendships, cyber-bullying, etc. - her core sense of self is threatened. Parents feel anguished and helpless. As an intimate observer of girls' social world, speaker Rachel Simmons offers parents a window into the hidden culture of girls' aggression. Every year, she empowers thousands of parents to help their daughters negotiate some of the most painful moments of their lives.

Simmons' unparalleled experience with girls, shared in her humorous presentations, makes her a favorite of parent associations around the world. Weaving down-to-earth advice with analysis of girls' development, Simmons provides parents with concrete strategies and scripts to help kids cope with best friends, worst enemies, and everything in between. Simmons also coaches parents on monitoring their girls' use of social media. Presentations last one hour and are followed by 30 minutes of Q & A.

Be You: An Interactive Parent-Daughter Workshop

In this interactive workshop for girls and parents, speaker Rachel Simmons teaches practical strategies to be confident, courageous, and authentic in relationships. With guided questions that open up new conversations between parents and their girls, participants come away with a new language to talk about toxic friends and being true to oneself. Girls will practice communicating assertively and learn problem-solving tools with their parents that they can take with them to school the next day. With her personable, down-to-earth speaking style, Simmons keeps participants laughing, interacting, and learning.

The Curse of the Good Girl

Learn how the pressure girls face to please others at all costs installs a glass ceiling on their social, academic, and extracurricular potential. In this lecture, speaker Rachel Simmons teaches participants strategies to help girls communicate assertively, understand their own feelings, and battle perfectionism.

BFF 2.0: Girls' Love-Hate Relationship with Social Media & How to Parent through It

Why do girls say they don't exist if they're not on Facebook, yet at the same time feel they have no choice? In this hour-long talk, speaker Rachel Simmons decodes the ups and downs of girls' online lives. She explores the challenge of setting limits at a time when other parents seem more permissive than ever. Using the latest research on social media and youth, Simmons will share practical strategies to set limits on use, respond to cyber-bullying, and parent with authority and compassion.

Is She Mad At Me? Teaching Girls Relationship Management Skills

In this two-hour workshop, educators, clinicians, and other youth professionals will uncover the unwritten rules that guide girls' day-to-day social struggles and undermine their ability to maintain healthy relationships. Speaker Rachel Simmons will teach strategies to address destructive assumption-making among peers, how to respond to the phrases "no offense" and "just kidding," and dysfunctional responses to confrontation. She will also address conflict coping strategies.

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