Hartford Girls Rock!

In its 8th year, Hartford Girls Rock! continues to celebrate the exemplary academic achievement, leadership, innovation and civic engagement of Hartfordʼs best and brightest. In partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Omicron Omega Chapter, Foundation for Educational Opportunities, Inc. hosts its annual signature program and fundraiser, Hartford Girls Rock!

African American organizations traditionally sponsor debutant balls to groom young women from privileged backgrounds. In Hartford, FEO and AKA stepped outside of the box and updated this concept to meet todayʼs opportunities! FEO and AKA extend those same training, grooming and confidence-building opportunities to smart, talented young women from urban, underserved communities through its summer leadership institute.


HGR! Fundraiser

Traditionally in the fall, FEO and AKA host a sell-out event with a celebrity speaker who delivers a positive message and image. Past speakers included Ruth Carter (2019), Misty Copeland (2018), Gabby Douglas (2017) and Anika Noni Rose (2016). The 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19. The 2019 event, held at the Connecticut Convention Center, was sold out with 900 attendees. Over the years, sponsors have included Aetna, CT Health Foundation, ESPN, Fairview Capital, Liberty Bank, Newman’s Own Foundation, and Travelers.

100% of proceeds from the event support our scholarship and community programs. [Foundation for Educational Opportunities is a 501(c)(3).]

Hartford Girls Rock! Leadership Institute

The young attendees are equipped with skills needed to fully navigate their future and achieve their unique and highest potential. The Institute is centered on four foundational pillars aimed at developing a diverse range of leadership capabilities. These pillars include: Leading Self & Others, Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility, Professional Interests Exploration, and Health & Wellness. During the Institute, participants engage in a series of targeted workshops to build well-rounded leadership capabilities.
Target Audience:

8-12 young women, high school age


Four-month experience comprised of four cohort learning sessions


Enhance capability/capacity to lead in their community, industry and/or entrepreneurship

Leading Self and Others

Leadership begins with the ability to lead self. This can be achieved by knowing and understanding oneʼs authentic self, as well as innate preferences and unique analytical thinking, conflict resolution, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. Building this self-awareness sets the foundation to develop a personalized leadership style that allows for effective engagement and leadership of others.

Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility

Maximizing oneʼs capabilities to have a positive impact on the community and the world is a critical component of leadership. Exploring the power of service and activism help to further realize this responsibility.

Professional Interests Exploration

Development of skills and education needed to drive success in education, the workforce, and entrepreneurial ventures.

Health and Wellness

Focus on increasing awareness of critical matters related to selfcare, as well as mental and physical health.

Workshop Learning Goals & Key Competencies

Success in these developmental areas is driven through carefully crafted workshops that include experiential learning, mentorship and coaching, skill-based training and self-reflection.

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Decision Making
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Servant Leadership
  • Teamwork


Number of Program Participants Served Since Inception

A road to success built with love and support, creates a path of ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES.