NSGIRL stands for The Nova Scotia Girls Institute for Resource and Learning.

About our logo
The tree represents growth and change
The roots represent being connected to our past and to our ancestors
The figure reaching upward represents inspiration
The colour brown (of the tree trunk) represents strength
The numerous leaves represent diversity and inclusion
The red leaves represent courage and action
The green leaves represent new beginnings
The orange leaves represent determination


We inspire girls to empower themselves and develop their communication and leadership skills to become effective and influential leaders in their communities.


  • To provide resources to all girls relevant to their needs. 
  • To facilitate leadership development opportunities for girls. 
  • To create opportunities for girls to develop stronger minds and bodies.   
  • To mentor girls to help them appreciate and develop their own abilities and talents. 
  • To engage girls in collaborative learning to expand their knowledge and worldviews.    
  • To provide confidence building strategies to overcome barriers and make societal change.    
  • To connect girls of diverse ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, abilities, sexualities, and socio-economic backgrounds. 

Meet the Team

Susan (Susie) M. Brigham, Ph.D is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU). She is of African descent from an immigrant family.  As a mother of two daughters, a former schoolteacher, past Chair of the Alexa McDonough Institute and past chair of Girls Conferences held at MSVU for over a decade as well as an organizer and education consultant for other programs for girls, she has a drive to contribute to the learning experiences of girls.

Cassandra McDonald, M.A.Ed., is a Communications Manager at GM Research Consulting and Research Assistant in the Faculty of Education, MSVU. From 2013-2020 she volunteered and worked for the Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice as the event coordinator for the Girls Conference, the International Day of the Girl Child, and many other events. Cassandra is dedicated to creating change around gender equality by providing opportunities for girls of all ages to empower themselves and become future leaders. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her children, family, and friends, cooking and volunteering in her community. 

Rennée Julien is an Associate Group Lead, Commercial Banking at Scotiabank in Halifax. Passionate about serving and influencing change, on both professional and personal levels, Rennée is involved with various organizations. As a young girl growing up in Trinidad & Tobago, Rennée did not have access to resources on skills girls/women require to be successful. At the age of 40, she attended her first confidence building workshop for women. That workshop impacted Rennée’s professional and personal life, that she’s since been committed to providing mentoring, similar resources, or access to girls and women of all age groups. Rennée is a proud mother of two young adults. In her spare time, she is a health fitness enthusiast and competes as a natural Bodybuilder.

Samantha Alfred is a university student at Mount Saint Vincent University and a member of Acadia First Nation. She is currently majoring in Communications and minoring in Women’s Studies. Sam has been an advocate for women’s rights from a young age. Being a woman herself and facing inequality in her daily life she’s excited to help offer resources for young women and provide them with a better future where their voices can be heard. 

Kwe’ my name is Holly Meuse from L’sitkuk First Nation (Bear River). I am a single mom of three awesome boys, and I enjoy spending time with family. I am a Mi’kmaq Artist, in my spare time. I completed a Certificate of Fine Arts at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, a degree in Sociology and Social Work. I am a registered Social Worker and recently completed a Master of Arts in Education in Lifelong Learning at Mount Saint Vincent University.  I currently work as a Mi’kmaq Education Coordinator for the Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education.  

We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave – to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential.

Malala Yousafzai