Dana Kerford and her company GirlPower & GoodGuys have been travelling worldwide, educating young children on how to develop (and keep!) healthy friendships. Based out of Calgary, Alberta, Dana was most recently named our Mompreneurs® Momentum Award winner, in recognition of her tremendous efforts here in Canada and internationally. We’re excited for you to get to know her, and all that she stands for!
About Dana: a dedicated wife and mother of 2, Dana was a former elementary teacher who saw the need to create specific educational programming surrounding the importance of building healthy friendships and relationships for young children. At 36, she has successfully marketed and delivered her workshops and programming internationally, and is helping children all around the world to become better friends, as well as educating parents and teachers to foster continued learning and success within her program!
As a classroom teacher at a private school here in Calgary, I noticed that my students (particularly my girls), weren’t performing well academically if they were in the midst of a fight with a friend. I saw myself in my little girls and remembered how hard it was to think of anything else because I was a very sensitive and emotional girl (and still am!). I tried to find resources out there to help my students, but I couldn’t find anything that was practical, skills-based, and really tuned into the specific issues that girls face in their friendships.
So, I researched like crazy and created my own… which I decided to call, “GirlPower!” I had 53 girls sign up for my first session and saw massive changes in the girls over the course of the six weeks… The quiet, shy, timid girl started to walk a little taller, use her voice, and assert herself. And, the girl who was trending down that “mean girl” path, softened and found a more tender approach in her friendships. Since then, I have worked with over thirty thousand kids, parents, and educators around the world and launched our friendship program for boys, GoodGuys, last year as well.
I now have a team of Presenters in the USA, Canada, and Australia and I have been to hundreds of schools around the world teaching our skills-based program. Our in-school curriculum, Friendology 101, has been adopted by over 100 schools around the world. I have been nominated and won a few very cool awards along the way and have spoken at some high-caliber education conferences. I facilitate workshops across Australia every year and conducted my biggest workshop ever to 500 moms/daughters at a very prestigious private school in Sydney in March 2015, which was definitely another milestone (and highlight) in my career.
I had a dream of wanting to share my message with girls around the world and my husband, Michael, believed in my dream. He helped me turned my dream into the internationally-recognized program it is today. I’ll never forget that first Christmas… he had a tiny little present for me under the tree. When I opened it up, it was my very first set of business cards: GirlPower business cards with my name and “Owner” as my title. I’ve never cried so hard receiving a present before, but it just represented so much in my eyes! Michael is the CEO of our company and has taught me so much in terms of business, turning my after-school club into the successful company it is today.
It’s important to note that this all happened while I was on maternity leave with our first child, Reggie. While Reggie slept, I wrote out the curriculum, put together content for the website, developed workshops, and all those nitty-gritty business processes on the admin side. I ran my first public workshop while on maternity leave and knew this was my chance to make a go of it! I jumped in with two feet and a BIG heart!
This is my dream job and I’m truly living my fairytale. This career allows me to work with my best friend (my husband) and allows me to be the mom that I want to be. It also allows me to do two of my favorite things… teach and travel!