Meet the Founders:
Co- director: Kelly Himsl Arthur
Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Kelly has spent her life involved in peace campaigns and activities promoting girls’ empowerment. Complementing her education at Pitzer College (Political Psychology) in Claremont, California, she has studied at the University of Strasbourg, France and the Sorbonne. Her travels have taken her on educational journeys throughout Europe and Russia. Along the way she developed a strong belief in youth activism as a vital element of social change.
Kelly has spent the past 10 years working with young girls, connecting self-esteem to community involvement, and global awareness issues. ThinkPeace Workshop for Girls provides her with the opportunity to use her education and interests to help teenage girls develop into culturally aware and globally sensitive, active participants in a world in need of peaceful solutions.
Kelly is currently on the Board of The Giving Circle, a non-profit organization which celebrates community and the concept of one person, one community reaching out to another in a cycle of giving. Like thinkpeace workshop, The Giving Circle believes that each of us makes a difference in people’s lives through our interconnectedness, interdependence, and the expanded power and possibility created by love, support, compassion, and cooperation. From thinkpeace summer camp to thinkpeace club meetings, Kelly brings this to life with our mission: “think it. create it. share it.” knowing that youth have the heart, creativity, and energy to create positive change– she’s a BELIEVER!
Co- director: Liz Overheul Curry
Liz was raised in Central Illinois and studied Fine Art/Photography at Illinois State University. She has spent her adult life dedicated to seeing the world as beautiful and teaching peace. She incorporates her passion for the arts on a local level in community theatre productions with her children. As a fundraiser and event organizer, Liz actively makes a difference in her own community.
Her passion for world travel, cultures, religions, and humanitarian causes has provided her with an education that reaches far beyond the academic! At ThinkPeace Workshop for girls, Liz shares her love of music, art, poetry and theatre. She directed ThinkPeace’s 2010 benefit play, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. At Camp 2013 she created thinkpeace’s first Beatnik Salon, where girls explored their responses and connection to being Emotional Creatures. Being greatly influenced by the 60s counterculture, Liz is particularly drawn to the words of John Lennon and his non-violent approach to peacebuilding.
Together Liz and Kelly bring a nurturing approach to the workshops, allowing girls to feel safe, important, valued and heard. As mothers of girls AND boys they emphasize respect and appreciation of gender differences, knowing that if there truly is to be change in this world we must embrace each other as humans, with equal rights and shared goals. They continue their own growth as educators and facilitators through workshops and trainings by Rachel Simmons and the Girls Leadership Institute, Jane Goodall and the Roots&Shoots program, the US Institute for Peace and more.
Program Facilitator: Ira Ghosh
Ira was born and brought up in Persia, and has been living in Pune, India for a decade. Despite being exposed to diverse cultures, she likes to think she is not from a country but just belongs to the WORLD. She has been an IB PYP teacher for 7 years. She is the PYP Early Years Coordinator & DP CAS Coordinator at Victorious Kidss Educares. With her passion for the Early Years education and heart-to-heart connection to teens, Ira loves to spend time with them as much as possible. She is a Kindness Ambassador of Life Vest Inside and also a facilitator of PowerSisterhood classes for the Diploma students. She holds BA, B.Ed, M.Ed., TEFL degrees and is presently completing her Masters in International Education from University of Bath, & Masters in Indian and Western Philosophy from University of Pune. Ira is a spiritual soul who believes with her whole being in the energy of the universe. She has been initiated to Kriya Yoga since the age of 15 and practices yoga and spirituality almost everyday. The moment she gets free time from her busy schedule she loves to just drop in orphanages and the nursing homes and spend time with the young and old– that’s her way of enjoying life, “the more we love and give selflessly, the more we experience the very essence of happiness and bliss”. Photography, Adventure, Cycling, Meditation, Dance, Music, Art, colors, Reading Bug, Santoor, Khalil Gibran, Rumi, Smile, Kindness, Giving, Children, Foodie, and being on fire to learn everything & anything possible are just few words that would sum up all about her!
GARMIN (always spelled in all caps) is a lot of things. Some of them include artist, yoga teacher-in- training, runner, spontaneous dancer, expert in wearing not matching clothing, social justice warrior, coffee and bubbly water addict, nature girl, a recovering over-achiever, collector of dollar store sunglasses, lover of good hugs and hand written letters, and a sister to a fantastic brother.
GARMIN is in her fourth year at the Corcoran College of Art in Washington, DC where she is pursuing a joint BFA in Ceramic Sculpture and MAT (Masters of Art in Teaching). Her journey has brought her from small town upstate New York to Hong Kong to Washington DC. She most recently worked as the art director and program staff member at an all-girls summer camp in Alaska. As a graduate of Emma Willard, she believes and has experienced the innate transformative properties of girls. GARMIN lives in the world.