Girls Inc. knows how to celebrate women!
Wear Your Voice was invited to Girls Inc to see how they celebrate women, for International Women’s day. (a tad late but hey, is there ever a bad time to celebrate women? – I think not!)
The assignment for WYV: Look, Listen and Learn and Learn (with a capital L) I did
One afternoon had me see all this:
A history lesson: The Chilean Revolution: to inspire what it means to stand for change and fight for what you want: “The people united will never be defeated.” – and then the students made their own version of that chant!
DNA testing of a strawberry (no that’s not a typo that really does read how it looks) – I would expand on this more, but I left science lesson to the kids, for fear of giving you incorrect information I shall stop there, after all this is not WIKI this is WYV! 😉
I continued to meander through the endless spaces of Girls Inc, catching glimpses of smiles, giggles, pensive looks and thoughtfulness, under this one roof you can experience it all, because this is an environment that is safe, welcoming & loving.
Such a lot of fun, sign me up please!
So you know the saying ‘behind every great man is a woman?’ Yes, you may take a moment, pat yourself on the back & do a merry dance and now sit back down…Well, let me give you this:
Behind every academically, socially, financially, challenged girl is Girls Inc.
Girls Inc are a troop of feisty fairy god mothers –they’re strong, passionate and dedicated – it is heart warming to watch them in action.
The afternoons events were informative, educational and fun. As we were shuttled around from one space to another, a little cooking, a little dancing, a little informal ”chat” about pushing through and going for what you want, my heart was warmed, all of this is happening right here in downtown Oakland, for the kids, I love this!
Girls Inc does many things, but first and foremost let me give a little history.
”The Girls Inc movement started in New England during the Industrial Revolution as a response to the needs of a new working class: young women who had migrated from rural communities in search of newly available job opportunities in textile mills and factories”
Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be ‘strong, smart and bold’.
Through education they guide their girls through gender, economic, and social barriers. Their thoroughly researched curriculum has girls acheive academic success and life skills in money, health, physical activity and how to interpret media messages. They also highly encourage a positive experience with science, technology, engineering, and math. (Yay!)
Girls Inc. network serves 136,000 girls ages 6 – 18 annually across the United States and Canada.
Wow are you keeping up?-This organization blows my mind.
It’s not just the girls, it’s the energy that reverberates through this space, the intention, the mindset, the love, the giving and the stand that everyone takes for each and every girl. We do and they do, want for these girls to get all they can out of this program, but it takes some dedication on part of the student and that is another part of their mission – having each girl take responsibility for her own wellbeing – be it health/education/life decisions, they guide educate and inspire each girl all with in a fierce love bubble that is Girls Inc.
The evening culminated in a talk from a previous alum, Flavia Coria. She graduated the program in 2008 and has dedicated her personal time and energy by giving back to the Eureka program every Summer since 2009.
Flavia, having faced the harsh realities of life, moved here to Oakland as an immigrant for hope of more. With little education and support. Flavia came by Girls Inc for International Women’s Day to inspire our girls. Her message was clear, life will present you with challenges-but it was Girls Inc that swooped in and saved her, it was Girls Inc. that helped bring her education up to standard. Through Girls Inc. Flavia secured a Fulbright scholarship and is graduating college. Her ambition is to become a firefighter! GO WOMEN FIREFIGHTERS!
In Flavia’s words – ”stick with the program it will help you as much as YOU want it to help, as long as you show ambition Girls Inc. will push you 110%’’
Thank you Girls Inc.
Thank you Flavia
Thank you students of Girls Inc. for sharing your space with me and allowing WYV to give voice to all that exists under the umbrella of Girls Inc.
The students were then asked to contemplate ”what did you learn?”- these are a few wise words from this great group of girls who are ‘strong, smart and bold’ women of tomorrow.
I shall be back, this is just a tiny glimpse into this fabulous organization that deserves more exposure.