The mission for She Climbs was born in 2006 – shortly after entrepreneur Helen “Cokie” Berenyi has her second daughter.
“As a new mother of two girls, I was terrified of all that could go wrong with raising girls. It was very clear to me that the key to successfully raising them was to do everything I could to build their self-esteem and confidence.”
And so the idea of taking girls and young women on mountain climbing expeditions took root.
In 2009, Berenyi climbed Mt. Elbrus in Russia as part of research for launching She Climbs. The next year, she began recruiting an advisory board and developing a curriculum for the program. On March 9, 2010, Berenyi climbed to the summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.
Berenyi took another R&D trip in 2011. This time to Bolivia with Mandy Ramsden, South Africa’s first person to summit all seven summits of the world.
Finally on Jan. 10, 2014, the first She Climb participants climbed to the roof of Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Berenyi’s own daughter, Helen Simons “HS” Berenyi, was part of the climbing expedition. HS was just shy of her 10th birthday when she reached the top of the mountain, making her one of the youngest American females to ever summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.
She Climbs Advisory Board
7 Summits superstar and motivational speaker
Internet whiz kid and director of outreach
Certified mountain and ski guide; leader and adviser