Young women teacher working with a female student in high school.

Powerful Female Advocates for Social Emotional Learning

Women’s History Month is a time to look back on the pioneering female leaders who have paved the way for the opportunities that exist for women today. While there is still plenty of room for continued growth, a few inspiring women are making history by leading the innovation and integration of the powerful techniques that are transforming the lives of young people everywhere. The work that they have done, and continue to do, will have a resounding impact for many years to come. In honor of this important month, let’s take a look at a few of the inspiring women who are helping promote social and emotional learning (SEL) as a means to craft a brighter future for women today. 

Aaliyah A. Samuel

Dr. Aaliyah Samuel has held many important roles which have garnered her a lasting positive influence on the landscape of education. Formerly serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Local, State and National Engagement at the U.S. Department of Education and Director of Education at the National Governors Association (NGA), Dr. Samuels has made a difference in the lives of young women by standing at the forefront of educational policy changes. Today, she serves as President and CEO of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), an organization leading the movement to integrate and expand social emotional learning in the classroom. Her work focuses on evidence-based approaches, community engagement, and policy changes to form concrete improvements for young women today.

Linda Darling-Hammond

Beginning her career as a public school teacher, Linda Darling-Hammond has now made a profound impact on education philosophy and policy. Today she is a professor of education emerita at Stanford University and President of Stanford’s Learning Policy Institute. She launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education as well as the School Redesign Network. She also serves as co-chair of The National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development. Her work in many roles, including as a leader of President Barack Obama’s 2008 education policy transition team, have made her an instrumental force in creating education policy changes focused on school reform, teacher quality, and education equity.  While she continues to work to improve schools at all levels, she has also authored several books about education and co-founded a preschool and public high school. Her iconic philosophy, “teaching for the future” represents the need for education based on teamwork, problem solving, and self-improvement. 

Louise Hay

From an extremely difficult childhood, Louise rose to success as an author, publisher, and self-improvement superstar through her drive to heal herself and help others. Considered one of the founders of the self-help movement, she created the foundation for affirmational work. She is also known for spreading wisdom regarding her innovative techniques in mirror work, meditation, and optimism. A wildly successful author, she also founded Hay House, Inc., a successful publishing company, and all from her living room. Today, it serves as the biggest publishing company for self-improvement content. In 2008, Louise was presented with the Minerva Award, for remarkable female visionaries. Although she passed in 2017, Louise Hay’s innovations serve as the cornerstone of some of the most powerful self-improvement techniques we know today, and still use with our very own social emotional learning curriculum. 

At Tilly’s Life Center, our mission is to carry on the innovations of these inspiring women and the many others who remain at the helm of integrating life-changing educational and self-improvement techniques. We believe that mental health education is instrumental for providing young people with the tools they need to live positive, healthy, and fulfilling lives. To learn more about our social emotional learning curriculum for teens, visit