Meet Dana Kerford
Dana is a Teacher, Friendship Expert, Author, and the Founder of the internationally recognized friendship program for girls, GirlPower Inc. With extensive research on relational aggression and conflict-resolution, Dana developed GirlPower’s skills-based curriculum. She has worked with over ten thousand tween girls, parents, and educators across North America and Australia and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and been a guest on numerous television programs. Dana’s passion to empower girls with the skills, language, and self-confidence to be better friends and develop healthier friendships is the heart and soul of GirlPower.
What makes you laugh?
I will confess that I’m a total ‘cheap laugher’. Pretty much everything makes me laugh and I tend to be that person in the movie theatre who LOLs when nobody else is laughing. The movie, Bridesmaids, had me laughing so hard I was crying - especially the scene with Kristen Wiig on the airplane. The female comedians these days are my faves – Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Melissa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig are at the top of my list. If they’re in it, I’m laughing. Oh, and those crazy lists of autocorrect mishaps have me in stitches every time!
Where is your favorite place to travel to?
Nothing makes me feel more alive than being in a new place, exploring and immersing myself in a new culture. My husband and I spent our honeymoon traveling the world for 3 months across Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Singapore. We continue to travel with our two children, including just spending 3 months escaping our cold, Canadian winter living in sunny San Diego, California. Every place we’ve been has a special place in my heart and I especially love Costa Rica… Pura Vida!
Who helped get you here?
Without a doubt: my husband, Michael. He’s the business-mastermind behind GirlPower and has taught me so much. I used to always say, “I’m just a teacher,” but he believed in me and my dream of sharing the GirlPower message with as many girls around the world as possible. He’s truly the greatest person I know – along with being crazy smart and living with such integrity, he’s hilarious and is always up for a good time. He puts the ‘cherry on top’ of every situation! My Mom is also instrumental in shaping the person I am, teaching me to always trust my intuition and the importance of taking care of my emotional health. She taught me to appreciate the little things in life and is a great example of a strong female role-model.
What gets you through a rough day?
Cuddles from Reggie and Ruby (our gorgeous children), listening to good music with Michael, and getting outdoors to reset. It’s amazing how small stressors become once I bring my focus back on my family. I will admit that I rarely have a rough day and feel very fortunate to live such an amazing life!
What is the world missing?
Healthier friendships, of course! GirlPower’s research shows that children who have healthy friendships perform better academically, have higher self-esteem, a more positive body image, get involved in more leadership roles, and make smarter decisions in future relationships. It’s so important to have a voice in our friendships, create relationships that are transparent, rooted in trust and respect, and spend more time with people who make us feel good. Through GirlPower and GoodGuys (our friendship program for tween boys), we’re teaching these skills at a young age so that these lessons become part of their core. This is what it’s all about! This is how we create change…one child at a time.
Also, read this fantastic article (which is how I connected with Dana in the first place because I was so blown away by her insight + approach). It takes a minute to load so be patient.