How One College Student is Inspiring Girls Around The World

Emily Raleigh is on a mission to change the world. As CEO of The Smart Girls Group, this Fordham University student wants to change the way girls think about themselves and are seen across the globe.

The inception of the Smart Girls Group started as a gift to Emily’s sister. While a senior in high school, Emily wrote a guide to help her younger sister navigate high school life with ease.

“I wrote the book based on the premise of succeeding as a smart girl, an idea that our parents had raised us on,” Emily said. “It wasn’t based on perfect scores, but more about pursuing our passions, making smart decisions, and improving our lives.”

From here, The Smart Girls Group was born.

Launched in 2012, The Smart Girls Group is a family of 12 brands that started with a digital magazine. The group aspires to “unite, empower and inspire ambitious women and girls” all over the world.

Smart Girls Magazine

With The Smart Girls Group, Emily is forming a strong network of women and girls that want to redefine what it means to be “smart.” From exclusive interviews with successful women like Bobbi Brown, to daily articles on everything from ISIS to ‘How to Wear Dresses in the Winter,’ the Smart Girls Group connects and inspires girls to reach their full potential.

“I thought I was going to college to be an orthodontist,” said Emily. “I never thought about The Smart Girls Group being much of anything. I started it from my kitchen table, and that was the first step. If you take that first step, the second step is even easier.”

Today, the organization has over 20 sisterhood chapters in the United States, it has collaborated with top brands like Kenneth Cole and Whole Foods, and even held their first conference this summer. Making sure they can reach their growing audience, a Smarts Girls app was created.

Hear more of Emily’s and the Smart Girls Group story on



Zoë Björnson is a College Outreach Coordinator with She is a graduate of Tulane University. You can find her on Twitter @kzoeb.

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