Brianna Russell has always had a passion for soccer and gender equality. As an adult, she would combine her love for the game with her entrepreneurial spirit and found Girls Leading Girls, a nonprofit she started in 2014 that trains young girls in leadership and life skills through soccer. Her TPP seed grant focused on Girls Leading Girls is to help young women find their voice as leaders on and off the field.
While serving in the Peace Corps, Brianna volunteered in a small country, Vanuatu, where only men and boys were permitted to play soccer. With great courage, she pushed the barrier and showed the local girls and women that soccer was not only for men. Eventually, other females joined her on the field and they founded a team that would later win a major tournament changing the perceptions of what women can and can’t do in their community.
A lifelong resident of the Sunshine State, Brianna lives in Northern California with her newlywed partner Craig Beridon. She grew up in the Bay Area in Fairfield, played soccer for the Sacramento State University women’s team while studying Business. She then completed her Master’s degree in International Studies at the University of San Francisco.