Istanbul 2005 – the hotel with CNN – the Larry King Live interview – the day she leaned in. Linda Latsko Lockhart was an American in Paris, circling the globe on business and enjoying private client status at Yves St. Laurent, Gucci, and Prada. In her plan to accumulate capital, something was missing – the only capital which truly mattered in life – PURPOSE.
She believed other women wanted to find purpose too, but like her, did not know where to begin. With zero experience in development work, she designed, funded, and piloted a program in Kenya to prove the hypothesis that at-risk adolescent girls can be economically empowered by shifting the behavior of marginalized to empowered. She called on 10 girlfriends to be long-distance mentors. Then, she let her passions govern her.
Today, Global Give Back Circle is Kenya’s largest gender-based, mentorship, education, and employment readiness program. It scaled to Rwanda, South Africa, China, Uganda, Ghana, and India, impacting over 5,000 once-at-risk girls. 3,000 women are mentors – 500 from Microsoft alone. $20M has been mobilized through partnerships with private sector and governments and harmful cultural practices like FGM are being eradicated as resilient young women enter the workforce and take leadership roles in their communities.