Carolyn Viens ’81

Leave Your Footprints Along the Way

Have you ever wished there was an instruction manual for communicating with your teenagers? Unfortunately, there are no manuals, but Carolyn Viens’ book, Leave Your Footprints Along the Way, is the next best thing.

Leave Your Footprints Along the Way is designed as a workbook to help mothers communicate all the things they want to share with their daughters. Viens was inspired to write the book while living in Singapore and traveling throughout Asia surrounding the events of 9/11: “I was worried that if anything happened to me, I wouldn’t be there to share my priorities, values, goals, and hopes with my children.”

Viens and her husband, Erik, are both URI graduates; she was a marketing management major and French minor. After a successful career with IBM that took her around the globe, she left the business world to raise her three children. In addition to focusing on her family life, Viens also spent time developing her passion for writing and photography.

She began writing her book as a general guide to parenting but decided to narrow in to the mother-daughter relationship. Viens, who is the mother of two sons and a daughter, explains that the book emphasizes the mother-daughter relationship because “the challenges facing girls through each phase of their lives are quite different than the challenges facing boys.”

Because of her experiences traveling abroad, Viens became acutely aware of the challenges facing women. Wanting to get involved, she partnered with the Girl Effect, an organization created by the Nike Foundation that focuses on helping girls in poverty around the world.

“Every day, in every interaction, you make an impact on someone else,” says Viens. “Make it a positive one.” Committed to leaving her own “footprints along the way” by helping women fight poverty around the world, Viens is donating the profits of her book to Girl Effect.

For more information about the book, the author, and the Girl Effect, go to

—Robin Deal