Play Like a Girl Alumna Turned College Intern Epitomizes The Power of Mentorship 

Hannah Selders has been involved with Play Like a Girl since the tender age of 10. In fact, it was at her second Play Like a Girl event where she would meet her future mentor, Sherrell. 

“That was a life-changing moment for me,” Hannah says. “She was the big sister that I never had growing up. Over the years, we would attend events together, and she was always there to support me inside and outside of Play Like a Girl.” 

Hannah says that although she was involved with other programs growing up, she never felt the same keen sense of connection and belonging that she did with Play Like a Girl. 

“I was given the chance to stay active through sports while being creative with arts and crafts,” she says. “I was having so much fun, and I also had my mentor. Sherrell always made sure I was OK, and I knew that we could talk about anything.”  

Hannah says her bond with her mentor instilled within her a self-confidence and self-worth that has stayed with her, inspiring her to prioritize mentorship as an adult.

“I learned how to be confident in any room that I walk into,” she says. “Play Like a Girl always reminded me that I deserve a seat at every table. No matter how hard things get, I know I can overcome them.” 

Now a sophomore at Hampton University in Virginia, Hannah is a business administration major in the school’s five-year M.B.A. program, with a minor in music. It’s not often that a college student already boasts the title of CEO, but then again, this isn’t just any college student. EsiNiara is Hannah’s homemade jewelry and accessory business that she built, in part, to inspire young girls to harness their creativity. 

The poster child for our mission, Hannah is currently interning with Play Like a Girl to help put the “art” in STEM+ by demonstrating the value art brings to STEM through a series of blogs, videos and social posts. 

“From fashion tips to how to find your personal style, I want girls to let their creativity shine through everything they do,” she says. “I have the responsibility of showing girls how art plays a significant role in STEM/STEAM and how to incorporate art into other fields and industries, while learning about it more through my research.”

Hannah’s work with Play Like a Girl is not only a testament to the quiet power of mentorship, but also a reminder of how artists and scientists make natural partners by approaching problems with the same open-mindedness, curiosity and fearlessness. After all, DaVinci himself said: “Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.” 

Once she graduates, Hannah hopes to land a job working as a marketer in the fashion industry. Whatever direction her career takes, one thing is for sure: She already possesses the poise and tenacity to succeed at whatever she sets out to accomplish.