‘Shine On’: New Canaan Mother-Daughter Found Scholarship Program at LiveGirl

Libby O’Hare, a 2016 New Canaan High School graduate, truly discovered local nonprofit organization LiveGirl through her mother, Claire. 

Owner of her own fine handmade jewelry business based in New Canaan, Claire O’Hare had sponsored one of the organization’s annual “Impact Scholarships” through the business. And even after she sold the company, Claire O’Hare continued to support the scholarship program. Then last year, inspired by the work of LiveGirl and the young women involved in the organization, Claire O’Hare brought her older daughter in to learn more about it. For Libby O’Hare, who lives and works in New York City for Meta, what followed made an indelible impression. She attended a LiveGirl Impact Scholarship awards event with a friend and fellow Bucknell University graduate. 

“And then when my mom left the awards ceremony and she was like, ‘I want to do more and I want to do this together,’ it was just a perfect opportunity to tap into my network and ask if they wanted to be involved,” Libby O’Hare recalled. “And it just shaped really organically.”

What they developed—working with LiveGirl founder, CEO and Chairwoman Sheri West— was the “Shine On Women’s Giving Circle.” Led by an executive committee headed by Libby O’Hare and populated with her own friends from New Canaan and college, the Giving Circle raises funds for scholarships that support talented and historically underrepresented young women.

Op-Ed: I Am Rising

In their tween and teenage years, girls become dramatically less self-assured, their confidence plummets, and feelings of insecurity dictate their everyday lives. The adolescent drive for acceptance, the way we socialize women, and the double standards we hold have compounded the negative peer pressure on girls that causes many to question their body, their intelligence, and their worth. By the age of 14, the average girl is much less confident than the average boy. However, this feeling isn’t just temporary for some women. Confidence is essential for turning thoughts and feelings into action, and when the confidence gap that opens during puberty remains during adulthood, it harms women as they enter the workforce.

Podcast: LiveGirl Founder Sheri West

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to New Canaan’s Sheri West, founder of LiveGirl, about the nonprofit organization’s efforts to address a growing mental health crisis among young people and especially girls. An important part of LiveGirl’s plan includes a new partnership with Silver Hill Hospital to help train mentors. We plan to interview Silver Hill for next week’s podcast. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

New Canaan Public Schools Enrollment Projections Call for Slight Decline Next Academic Year

Despite a high number of move-ins in this strong local real estate market, enrollment projections for New Canaan Public Schools call for an overall slight decline next academic year, district officials say. As of June 18, the district had 4,070 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, and is projected to reach 4,095, according to data made public at last week’s Board of Education meeting. The figures compare to 4,176 students enrolled K-12 in the school year that just ended, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jill Correnty said during the June 21 Board of Ed meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. District officials said that by the time the 2021-2022 starts, the enrollment figures could end up rising, for a number of reasons. Many of the move-ins likely not have enrolled their children yet, Correnty said, and the figures do not include those who are “pre-registered” or in the process of finalizing residency and other documentation for the district.