USA Today’s annual Women of the Year list, which celebrates female figures who have broken ground and changed the world, includes former first lady Michelle Obama, astronaut Nicole Mann and actress Goldie Hawn, who told “CBS Mornings” she is honored to be included.
“I was very surprised, and at the same time, I get to really stand next to some extraordinary and very formidable women,” Hawn said Friday. “So it really made me extremely happy and I feel very honored.”
Other honorees on the 2023 list of dozens of women include the players of the U.S. women’s soccer team, who won a historic equal pay agreement, and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Michelle Obama was on the list for her work as an advocate for equal education for girls, and astronaut Nicole Mann was honored for her achievement as the first Indigenous woman to travel to space.
Hawn, who is founder of the Goldie Hawn Foundation, was celebrated for her work focusing on children’s mental health. Twenty years ago, her foundation created the program MindUP, which helps kids learn how to manage stress, regulate emotions and face challenges with resilience.
“What I learned (in 2003) was that children from 10 to 15 were already committing suicide and this really— it really hit me to the core,” Hawn said. “With that, I made a decision, and that was that no child should be doing that.”
Hawn brought in neuroscientists, psychologists and other mental health experts to create a science-based mental health program for children that teaches about the brain and gives context on how emotions work and how they can be managed.
“I decided that, ‘Why don’t we do this?’ We did it, we tested it, we researched it, and it showed incredible … benefit to these children,” Hawn said. “I decided at that point that I was just going to put this show on the road, and I did, and you know, it was a fearless act, but I decided that something has to happen. Our children cannot continue to grow this way.”
Since its founding in 2003, Hawn estimates that MindUP has served about seven million children worldwide.
“This is probably one of the best, I guess, scripts, you could say, that I’ve ever produced. I produce a lot of movies, but this might be the best one,” Hawn said.