Laurel Schwartz

Dear Girls Who Code— 

Now that these brave ladies helped me get your attention…

You are on a quest to build a generation of girls who are brave, not perfect—who are change-makers and world-shakers.

I’ve dedicated my life to telling the stories that build a braver world. It would be an honor to continue that work with you.


An introduction.

My name is Laurel Schwartz. I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota with a camera, a YouTube channel, and a passion for people. Now, I spend my days in New York City working at the intersection of storytelling and social impact.

I applied to join your team as a Marketing Associate, but I thought we might need another introduction. Let’s be brave together.

Here are a few things I thought you should know.

ONE: I’m a project management pro.

I began my career in advertising. As a producer for Leo Burnett, I was once asked to find a professional sloth to film on a green screen. Instead of responding with, “impossible,” I asked, “when do you need it?”

And, before everyone was “live” all the time, I produced the first-ever branded Facebook livestream. The 45-minute multi-camera show earned over 800,000 organic impressions and raised money for the Ronald McDonald House.

As a producer, I loved building teams to put compelling creative work out in the world.

This is what I want to bring to the non-profit sector: telling compelling stories that manifest change.

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two: the intersection of creative communication, young people and impact is my jam.

When I was a teen I built a business selling hand-made jewelry to help chronically ill kids go to summer camp. By my senior year of high school, I wrote directed and produced a play about cyberbullying, using ticket sales to raise money for The Jed Foundation.

These creative experiences for social impact are the foundation of my work today.

At Girls Who Code, you build opportunities for girls to follow their curiosity—to make things that change the world. Growing up, I was one of those girls who was passionately driven to make the things that help people. I want to amplify your work for the next generation.

three: i get digital, e-commerce, and Marketing.

Years before #TimesUp or #MeToo went viral, I spent my senior year of college writing a thesis about the intersection of celebrity culture, digital media, and the modern feminist movement. My 115 page response to my professor's challenge to "prove to her Beyoncé is worthy of academic study" is still up on the internet collecting over 1500 lifetime downloads.

I didn’t stop there. I put all that thinking and writing to good use. In my time at Leo Burnett, I produced social media campaigns for brands like Keebler, Cheez-It, McDonald’s, Marshall’s, and Firestone. And, last summer, I was a Digital Advocacy Fellow at BerlinRosen, where I worked on paid and organic social for non-profits reuniting separated families, working in mental health, and fighting the travel ban.

Finally, I spent the past year working at The Adventure Project (TAP), a non-profit dedicated to ending extreme poverty in our lifetime. This year, I helped manage our online holiday store working towards our $350,000 end of year fundraising goal. I also identified, pitched, sold-in and managed a co-branded product launch for our Earth Day campaign.

Four: I’m brave, not perfect.

Digital and ad agency experience, plus a master’s degree in non-profit management, plus experience case-managing youth; I was made for you.

I believe we’re better when we work together. I believe in revolutionary solutions to the world’s biggest problems. I believe that we can dare to show up for each other in the world in new and innovative ways every single day.

And, I don’t just believe it—I do it. After winning the ReelAbilities Film Festival, I began screening my self-produced film and hosting discussions about diversity and inclusion at companies like CitiBank, Google, and Barclays HQ.

At every talk, I ask: How are you? How are you doing? What's making you happy? And, also, what's making you sad? Let’s talk about it. Then, let’s help each other.

And, maybe, if we stop to check in with each other, if we say ‘I see this armor you’re putting on every single day to navigate this world,’ if we give people space to be honest and if we lead by example, we can start to change the world.
— Laurel at Google NYC, 2018
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five: i don’t think girls are just the future. really, they’re the present.

In the fall, I was working on a project with a group of thirteen year-old girls. In a matter of minutes one of them went from talking about how she feels confident when “she has that perfect eyeliner wing” to professing that we need to address systemic racism. Another shared with me that she spent her weekend writing letters to elected officials urging them to address climate change. In another conversation one shared, “I just like that I’m different. That’s the main thing.”

I’m passionate about tapping into a generation of girls who are driven to make a difference in this world. Growing up, I was one of them. But, the truth is, this generation has already surpassed my wildest dreams.

Now, if you still want the old-school resume, you can find it here.

you may be wondering:

Did she really just build us a website about media, girls and bravery?

Yep. She did.

Mighty brave, if you ask me.

Now, let’s talk.

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