Dream Big! Conference Pairs Urban Girls With Accomplished Women Athletes

Inaugural Event Showcases the Importance of Sports and Physical Activity in a Girl's Life; Olympic, Professional and Collegiate Athletes, Doctors, Teachers, Lawyers, Coaches and Non-Profit Leaders Among Those Sharing Insights With Boston-Area Middle School and High School Students

NEWTON, MA--(Marketwire - Jun 21, 2011) - If you need proof that participation in sports plays an important role in empowering girls to succeed, look no further than the First Annual Dream Big! Leadership Conference.

Presented recently by Dream Big! at Northeastern University's Curry Student Center in partnership with NU's Sport in Society program, more than 150 girls, coaches and teachers from a dozen Boston public schools and the Beyond Soccer Program in Lawrence heard true-life accounts from former Olympic, professional and collegiate female athletes about how their involvement in sports and physical activities -- and the mentors and friends they found through those efforts -- laid the foundation for phenomenal success later in life.

Emphasizing the equally crucial 'off-the-field' benefits, the conference speakers shared insights about how their participation in athletics paved the way for careers as doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, real estate professionals, probation officers, teachers, non-profit leaders, professional athletes, scientists and coaches. Importantly, the women answered questions and provided advice to the students about what they could do themselves to make their own dreams come true.

Conference presenters included:

Angela Hucles: Dream Big! Board President; former two-time Olympic Gold Medalist; Boston Breakers Professional Soccer Player; Client Services Associate with CB Richard Ellis

Connie Bauman: Associate Director of Wellness/Sports Medicine, Wellesley College and former collegiate athlete in softball, basketball and volleyball

Gail Daugherty: Licensed Acupuncturist; former collegiate swimmer

Linda Driscoll: Founder & CEO, Dream Big!; former high school athlete in field hockey, basketball and softball

Joyce George: Probation Officer, Massachusetts Trial Court; former collegiate athlete in basketball, field hockey and softball

Dr. Megan Leo: Attending Physician - Emergency Medicine, Boston Medical Center; former collegiate soccer player

Chelsea Perry: Assistant Women's Basketball Coach, Northeastern University; former professional basketball player, Portugal (FIBA) and former collegiate soccer and basketball player

Whitney Post: Former Olympic Rower; Co-Founder & President, Eating for Life Alliance and Consultant, Women's Sports Foundation GoGirlGo! Boston

Rachael Rollins: Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office; former collegiate athlete in lacrosse and basketball

Rebekah Splaine: Former Boston Aztec's Professional Soccer Player; Executive Director of Boston Scholar Athlete Program

Founded in 2010, Dream Big!'s mission is to help break down the economic barrier that prevents low income and homeless girls from participating in sports and physical activities. Led by Linda Driscoll, a non-profit and sports management professional for 23 years, she launched the Massachusetts-based 501c3 charitable organization to ensure that all girls, regardless of socio-economic background, have the equipment, uniforms, sneakers, program fees, training expenses and supplies they need to participate in sports and physical activities that contribute to their overall health, fitness, and well-being. In just the first year, Dream Big! has already had a direct, positive effect on more than 1,000 girls through equipment donations and program scholarships.

Another leadership conference highlight was the anti-bullying training session presented by NU Sport in Society co-op students Frank McPhee and Lucy Ellis. Sport in Society inspires and empowers young people to work for change. Rooted in the bystander approach to education, its workshops raise awareness about the severity of bullying in our schools, opens dialogue among the student leaders, challenges their thinking, and inspires their leadership in preventing the devastating effects bullying has on young lives.

"Participation in sports gives girls the strength, motivation and tools they need to succeed in life," Driscoll said. "It was so inspiring to watch the girls throughout the day as they admired and learned from these amazing mentors and female athletes who shared their personal life stories, showed them that they could do and be anything they wanted to, taught them that they should always dream big and emphasized how participation in sports would play an important role in their life's journey."

Conference sponsors included:

Eastern Bank Foundation
GoodWill Gals
Northeastern University's Sport in Society
Women's Sports Foundation GoGirlGo! Boston

To learn more, donate, volunteer or benefit from Dream Big!, visit www.dream-big.org or call 888-291-7664, ext. 701.

Contact Information:

Media: For more information, please contact:

Linda Driscoll
Dream Big! Founder & CEO
Cell: 617-458-1732

Chris Carleton
CHEN PR for Dream Big!
Mobile: 857-891-2989

Boston Girls Dream Big! - More than 150 girls, coaches and teachers from a dozen Boston public schools and the Beyond Soccer Program in Lawrence joined former Olympic, professional and collegiate female athletes at the First Annual Dream Big! Leadership Conference to hear how their involvement in sports and physical activities laid the foundation for career and personal success later in life.