Student leaders at Leander Middle School are helping girls share stories from women who inspire them. All Girls Considered is a student-run podcast, founded by LMS teacher Jennifer Dean.

“My goal in creating All Girls Considered was for these girls to see themselves as key members of a larger conversation in our society and as leaders capable of creating positive change,” Dean said.

The girls collaborate on the management of every aspect of the podcast, researching, selecting and contacting potential interviewees, as well as conducting and editing the interviews. Additionally, the students manage the All Girls Considered social media accounts.

“All of these tasks allow for conversations about what makes interviews effective, why stories are important, and how their voices are vital to these conversations,” Dean said. “This podcast creates opportunities for the girls to learn technical, social and leadership skills they can use beyond the walls of the classroom.”

Dean hoped her students would find common ground by collaboratively identifying women they see making a positive difference in their local community and beyond. The podcast serves as a medium to give girls a voice in a larger narrative, as well as an opportunity to come together to support one another.

Abigail Best, an 8th-grade student at Leander Middle School, said the podcast’s early success can be attributed to taking bold action. After reading Grace Bonney’s “In the Company of Women,” the girls messaged the author through Instagram. The social media message not only led them to an interview, but also allowed them to establish connections to other potential interview subjects.

“You need to take opportunities, like we took with Grace Bonney,” Best said. “It leads you to great things. You kind of just need to take an extra step, even if it’s kind of hard, and you might eventually get to the desired place that you want to go.”

So far, that approach has paid off. The podcast recently received national attention with a mention in the New York Times’ “Just For Kids” section.

“I was really excited,” Best said. “It really made my day. I felt really good about our podcast.”

Dean said the New York Times article helped her students see the podcast’s potential to be impactful on a larger scale.

“Each time someone comments on or shares their work, it inspires them to work harder and do better,” Dean said. “Having an authentic audience for their work has created a powerful sense of ownership among the group.”

While the girls aim to widen their body of listeners, they also hope to increase student involvement in their own school and beyond.

“We’ve talked a lot about opening up to other schools and having All Girls Considered as a club in other schools, as well as work on getting more people to join here,” Best said.

You can support the All Girls Considered podcast by subscribing on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts or Google Play. For up-to-date news, follow them on Twitter at @AllGirlsPodcast.