Greater Burlington Women's Forum: Women, Sport, and Social Change

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How have recreational and competitive sports impacted our lives, our communities, and our world? A diverse panel of local leaders who are actively engaged in uplifting the voices of all girls and women in sports share how their journeys have been enriched by the power of sport and invite you to reflect on your own experience.

Dr. Maya Bhave obtained her PhD from Loyola University, Chicago and focused on Ethiopian immigrant women. After teaching Sociology at North Park University for ten years, she now lives in Vermont researching life, work & family balance, gender identity among female soccer players, motherhood and child loss. She teaches as an adjunct professor at St. Michael’s College and lives with her husband and two sons near Burlington. Her latest book is entitled “War and Cleats: Women in Soccer in the United States.”

Andrea Charest is a climber, skier, guide, mother of an almost three-year-old daughter, wife, and business owner. Originally from Pittsburgh PA, Andrea moved to Vermont to attend UVM (BA, Psychology) and fell in love with the community and the opportunities the mountains provided. She began working at Petra Cliffs in Burlington in 2002 and began rock and ice guiding soon after. Through climbing, Andrea began leading women-only programs and mentoring other female climbers and guides. In a male-dominated field, she has witnessed an increase in women's representation in climbing over the years, and she is passionate about playing a role in the continued visibility and opportunity for women in the future.

Lydia Sheeser is a ninth-grade student at Burlington High School and a member of the BHS women’s varsity soccer team who took their #EqualPay message global in the fall of 2019, selling over 5000 jerseys and raising money to increase access to sports for girls and support efforts to close the wage gap in Vermont. Lydia started playing soccer with the Greater Burlington Girls Soccer League (GBGSL) in kindergarten and has been playing club and school soccer ever since. She also plays lacrosse and volleyball, and skis (both Nordic and downhill). She loves traveling and plans on spending time abroad studying and working on efforts to empower women and girls in developing countries.

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