Our mission is to foster pathways to lead and learn.

Girls Global Academy is a community of dedicated innovators who believe girls matter. Through our daily work, we are committed to actions that equip the next generation of leaders to navigate the world with confidence and compassion to succeed in any path they may choose. Our approach to education will allow girls to develop strong voices that inspire change. Because of their time at GGA, students will navigate the world with confidence and success, succeed in any post-secondary endeavor of their choosing, serve as lifelong ambassadors for change locally and internationally, and practice mindfulness and compassion with themselves and others.

Our vision at Girls Global Academy is leaders influencing change for global benefit.



Our girls will have the confidence to engage and make decisions making an impact in the world. Our graduates will be prepared/ready to succeed in any path/arena of her choosing. Her path will lead her on her personal and intellectual journey.


Our academic environment, experiential learning, and commitment to action empower girls to be the voice that inspires change. She will discover complex and challenging issues, create solutions and demonstrate impact in the community developing her socially and emotionally.


Our approach to education will allow girls to use their power of intellect, creativity, and choice to explore possibilities in the interconnected world. She will recognize perspectives, understand intersectionality and power dynamics, and master academic standards.

About Girls Global Academy (GGA)

Girls Global Academy (GGA) is an all-girls public charter high school in Washington, DC. We will provide a diverse group of young women a global education that ignites empowerment and develops confidence to influence change for global benefit. Our school’s program has three primary focuses:

International Baccalaureate academics, combined with distinctive engineering and business pathways; A school culture that values all learners by working daily to fulfill the four promises of sisterhood, scholarship, service and safety; Service learning projects that extend rigorous academics to provide experiences outside the classroom.

Girls Global Academy is a candidate school* for the CP. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy- a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education- that we believe is important for our students.

* Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

Our History

The idea for Girls Global Academy grew out of a conversation around the founder’s kitchen table in 2010. The voices around the table included voices around wanting an all girls school options, feelings that the transition from middle school to high school was challenging, and discussions around not the right options for girls of color.

To respond to the needs, it was important to the founding team to hear from the source, what girls of color in DC want and are looking for in a school to ground the school model in their suggestions. The GGA founding team facilitated focus groups with girls who attend middle school, high school, or attend/attended an all-girls school to identify what they want and need in an education. The more than 200 young women ranged in age from eleven to twenty-five years old and they described a school that would give them:

A sense of community and belonging
High Expectations and Rigorous Courses
Health and Wellness
Learning outside of school: service learning and volunteering
Positive role models that look like us

Academic literacy and study skills

A place to build confidence and grit

Career related activities to build technical skills

Support with the transition to college

Empowerment, especially around my identity

Our Founders


Karen Venable-Croft

Co-Founder / Executive Director
Karen Venable-Croft is the Co-Founder and Founding Executive Director of Girls Global Academy, an all-girls public charter high school in Washington DC. Karen is a Prince Georges County native and started her career as a mathematics teacher at her high-school alma mater. During her 20-year career as an educator, Venable-Croft held different leadership roles including: Math Teacher Coordinator, Advanced Placement Coordinator, Curriculum Coordinator, School Planning and Management Team Chair, and Data Coach. As teacher coordinator, Venable-Croft managed teams of 20 - 25 mathematics teachers and facilitated departmental, and interdisciplinary planning and development. She is an experienced instructional coach for teachers ...

Shayne Swift

Co-Founder & Principal
Shayne Swift has over 20 year’s experience in urban education in Washington DC and Prince George’s County. Swift began her career in DCPS at Shaw Junior High School, was formerly the Director at Huntington Learning Center, and taught 9th grade English for 10 years in Prince George’s County Public Schools. At Parkdale High, Shayne served in a variety of leadership roles including the 9th grade coordinator, PBIS Coach, and Co-Chair of the School Planning and Management Team. Most recently, Swift served as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Coordinator where she expanded the IB Program access by increasing course offerings, improving ...