Article by Claudia May
With a boundless base of resources, knowledge, and experience, it is no surprise that Maria Eitel made her way to the top of the Nike pyramid by becoming the first ever Nike VP of Corporate Responsibility, leading up to her becoming President of the, “Nike Foundation”. Graduating with a BA in Communications and French from McGill University and a Masters degree in Foreign Services and International Business from Georgetown University, Maria attained knowledge that would only help her persevere to help impact the world one day. Before Nike, Maria’s experiences ranged from the White House Media Relations to scoring Microsoft’s’ Senior Manager Position for European Corporate Affairs Group. Maria’s various job experiences equipped her with international, political, and entrepreneurial skills which enabled her to create a cause such as the Nike Foundation.
Maria started the Nike Foundation in hopes of finding the symptoms of poverty as well as new found ways that would minimize the continuation of poverty across the nations. After much research and analyzing Maria and the Nike team found what seemed to be the source of global poverty. Maria and her team found that adolescent girls around the world were the key to stopping poverty stating, “When a girl in the developing world realizes her potential, she isn’t the only one who escapes poverty—she brings her family, community, and country with her. It’s a leverage strategy that can’t be beat. That’s why adolescent girls are our exclusive focus.”
Eitel and the Nike Foundations “The Girl Effect” in Ethiopia in 2010
Which was partnered with the NoVo Foundation
With the Nike Foundations new found knowledge, “The Girl Effect” was created, which invests money in girls from all around the world at age twelve so that they can get regularly scheduled doctor appointments, stay in school, and break the cycle of poverty that starts at the age of fourteen; the age at which they can be married off and left with no control over their lives. It’s safe to say that Maria and the Nike Foundation have found a solution to poverty. Not only did they find a solution, but they also formed an empowering message for girls all around the world by creating a gateway that opens their eyes to DREAMING BIG. Check out this video to really get the picture and witness the effect and impact of what investing in a single girl can do:
To Find out more about the Nike Foundation’s “The Girl Effect” check out: www.girleffect.org.