Meet Hannah Selders

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. 

The Spring STEAM Program

The Spring STEAM Program is a 5-day program of interactive workshops and lectures aimed to deepen the interests of young students interested in STEAM. The program will range from broad topics like exploring chemistry to advancing in HTML. Each day of the program will have 2 sessions in either Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, or Math, and will take place from 8:00-9:00 am or 1:00-2:00 pm (refer to the schedule for more details). If you are interested in your child (4th-8th grade) learning about STEAM, this would be a great opportunity to utilize their spring break.

In this event, mentors from all around the world (California, New York, Canada, Egypt, India) will be sharing their knowledge and experience to help students get started/interested in STEAM.

For more information and to register, click HERE

Art/Talk: The World of Code/Art

The World of Code/Art will be hosted by Ellie Hayworth in conversation with Artist, Saya Woolfalk to discuss her other-worldly vision made possible through the application of technology and computer science.


Harper: Designing Her Own Future

“Potential Realized: A Mission with Impact” puts the spotlight on five amazing middle school students whose shared love of STEM and sports transcends their differences. These young women — all Play Like a Girl program participants — are true embodiments of our determination to create a world where girls believe in endless possibilities.

Meet all of our “Potential Realized” honorees here.

Name, Age

 Harper, 11


Dupont Hadley 



Favorite Sport


Favorite STEM Subject


Words you live by

[bctt tweet="She believed she could, so she did." username="iplaylikeagirl"]

How is she potential, realized? 

When Harper is asked who her hero is, she names her elementary school art teacher. She has always known that she loves art, and had a passion for design and creativity. However, she never realized that she could turn that passion into a career at the intersection of STEM.

When Harper’s dad found out about a Play Like a Girl ice skating event on Facebook, he signed her up. She quickly became interested in the other programs offered. According to Harper, “I was curious about it [Play Like a Girl] and I liked doing it because I got to learn more about STEM, and it would help me in school and help me better understand things covered in school.” 

Harper’s experience at Play Like a Girl programs has pushed her to excel in the classroom.  She excels specifically in math and science, as well as in art class, where she has earned an strong reputation.  

She sees her confidence as stemming from exposure to “women in a variety of jobs and now knowing I could choose my own future job.” Today, Harper envisions a plethora of career opportunities of which she was unaware before joining Play Like a Girl.

Harper has long dreamed of an art career in art. However, she had no idea how that might look until Play Like a Girl. Highlights of her experience include opportunities to engage with a wide range of women in the workplace on our Corporate Field Trips and through other mentoring programs that have allowed her to see where she might one day find her place in the world. But today, she sees that somewhere at the cross section of engineering and design. 

She has been able to see the connections between what she learns in art class about creativity and expression and the technology we use in our everyday lives. Because of inspiration she has drawn from our programs, Harper has even started joining her dad at his plumbing job. She gets “to go into the house and see how [plumbing] looks and is built” and “may want to do something like that.” 

Exposure to real world jobs and women (and men) who are leaders across a wide range of STEM careers has given Harper an idea of how her passions and interests can intersect in a way that allows her to construct and build new things. This gives her the motivation to keep working hard in the classroom. 

Harper loves Play Like a Girl because she's been able to find a strong community that allows her to maintain relationships with former classmates as well as get a clearer vision of the limitless opportunities available to her.

She credits her Play Like a Girl community and the bold vision for girls for her newfound confidence and willingness to step out of her "box" in social situations, as well as in the classroom and on the softball field. “Play Like a Girl has changed the way I am when I meet a new person I don’t know. I'm more confident and outgoing now.” 

Whether helping her peers in math class, playing a game of softball with her team, or just exploring and meeting like-minded girls through other Play Like a Girl events, this community has changed a lot for Harper. She has found her voice which she now uses to elevate others. Harper is truly potential, realized.

Meet all of our Potential Realized honorees. And share their profiles on Twitter with the hashtag #PotentialRealized.

Follow #PotentialRealized on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.