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10-09_chelsea_mehra_1Chelsea Mehra (I) worked with her mentor and Milton alumna Dune Thorne ’94 this summer to found the non-profit venture, Investing in Girls (IIG). “We wanted to create something that broadens girls’ education in finance and investing, beyond their own circle—especially for girls from economically-challenged backgrounds,” Chelsea says. Dune is managing director at the independent wealth management firm Silver Bridge Advisors.

IIG’s mission is to educate girls in finance. It provides girls from all backgrounds and communities access to three-pronged support: a finance curriculum delivered in a small group setting with roundtable discussions; one-on-one mentoring with successful women in the financial services industry; and comprehensive industry exposure to events, tours and seminars. This exposure gives participants a sense of industry structure and the wide range of career paths available to them.

The first female president of Milton’s student Investment Club, Chelsea met Dune during Milton’s reunion weekend in 2009. She then spent the summer before her junior year interning at Silver Bridge. Researching and collecting data on the resources available to young girls about finance education, she confirmed that while some programs existed for women, no programs were focused exclusively on high school girls.

Dune completed a study while at Harvard Business School, Chelsea explains, “which concluded that while men tend toward external credible resources in the business world, women tend toward people they trust—often family members, friends. This can limit their pool of information.”

IIG is partnered with The National Council for Research on Women (NCRW), which will provide IIG with logistical support, in a venture that will “further build on NCRW’s Emerging Leaders program,” says the Council’s President Linda Basch, “developing the next generation of women leaders in the business and non-profit sectors.”

Having established three beta groups, and with a marketing plan in place, the organization will soon begin acting on its mission. “By giving girls experience on the trading floors and in firms,” says Chelsea, “we’re helping to educate a group of confident, competent girls who are familiar with the space, the lingo, the pace of the finance and investing world. That’s clearly positive for the girls, but it’s also a significant return-on-investment for the firms that we’re partnering with.”