Tag Archives: girl power

Girls Inc.: Changing the World Through Girl Power!

Go Inspire Go is proud to present this month’s Social Good Spotlight to raise awareness of organizations doing good in their communities in order to inspire others to take action and ultimately make real social change. For more information and to read past Social Good Spotlights, click here.

Compiled by Toan Lam and Koshi Sandrasagra

What is Girls Incorporated (Girls Inc.)?

Girls Incorporated is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire all girls to be strong (through healthy living), smart (through education) and bold (through independence). Founded in 1958, Girls Inc. offers academic enrichment activities, skill-building programs and counseling services to girls and their families.

girls+powGirls Inc. of Alameda County provides year-round academic achievement and skills-building programs, as well as counseling services to more than 7,500 girls and families.

Girls Inc. believes that generations are transformed when girls are equipped with knowledge, information and confidence. Girls ages 5-18 are engaged in a continuum of award-winning programs, developing the essential skills and tools they need for college, career and life success.

How does it work?

The process: Girls Inc. begins with teaching the foundations of literacy and they support girls developmentally with each milestone along the way. This includes focus on academic achievement, positive risk taking, health and fitness, advocacy, leadership and more. The organization is unique in that they focus on serving the whole girl and her family as well, by providing on-site mental health counseling among all of the other programs offered. Their nationally-developed programs are the result of studies conducted by the Girls Incorporated National Resource Center – the largest and most comprehensive research center on girls in the country.

Spotlight on Major Accomplishments (to name just a few!):

  • 100 percent of Girls Inc. seniors graduate from high school (compared to less than 60 percent of their peers) and in the last five years, 98.2 percent of seniors have enrolled in college (most of whom are the first in their families to do so).
  • More than 1,500 girls across the country have participated in technology and literacy curricula initially developed by Girls Inc. of Alameda County.
  • Named by the Clinton Global Initiative as one of the 13 programs that “will improve the lives of girls and women around the world.”
  • Received the United Nation’s East Bay’s 6th Annual Global Citizen Award

Personal Victories:

  • In Spring 2012, Arooj Haq, who was an active participant in Girls Inc. programs from early elementary school though high school graduation, was inducted into Alameda County’s Women’s Hall of Fame for her work in public health and advocating for human rights. In Girls Inc. Arooj, at 17, promoted nutrition, smart choices and healthy relationships to her high school peers, and helped run her school’s annual blood drive. The daughter of two Pakistani immigrants, Arooj has long aspired to be a nurse. A recent trip to the Middle East caused her to expand her aspirations, however. Her goal now is to one day open a charity helping women in her parents’ native country. As a young Muslim woman, Arooj has had some negative experiences due to others’ ignorance and stereotyping. The experiences only bolster her determination to be a positive role model and to redefine cultural assumptions. She now attends U.C. Santa Barbara!
  • Two Eureka! Teen Achievement Program high school participants were invited to the 2012 White House Science Fair based on their solar bus design and met President Barack Obama.

The New Girls Inc. Simpson Center for Girls

Girls Inc. of Alameda County has unveiled new headquarters to become the region’s first and only resource center for girls. The new center is located at 510 16th St in Downtown Oakland, and will effectively allow Girls Inc. to respond to the increasing demand for their critical programs.

The genius of the design for the center is not just that it revitalizes a historic building, but that it began with Girls Inc. participants!

Girls from the Eureka! Teen Achievement Program met with Berkeley-based Anne Phillips Architecture and spearheaded the project – getting regular project updates, providing design input and ideas to create a green, sustainable facility and making key decisions on efficient fixtures and design.

The end result is a flexible design concept that will support expanded programs and services, including:
  • Learning and education – Expanded space for high school girls to build skills in leadership, advocacy and peer education.
  • Physical and mental health – a vibrant health and wellness center and teaching kitchen, with a focus on cooking, nutrition, a yoga center and the Pathways Center for counseling.
  • Academic Achievement and Enrichment – Early learning, tutoring, college prep and career guidance, a library, study areas and Internet café.

Take Action:

In the media era where young women are bombarded with conflicting messages and values (think The Notorious B.I.G. singing about “Nasty Girl” and reality TV stars and pop idols making sex tapes to get famous) – there is a very real need to give young women a sense of pride, self-worth and purpose. Girls Inc. is providing a very real service in communities that need it; giving young girls the building blocks to create their futures, rather than having a future thrust upon them through poverty and a lack of education or opportunity.

Get involved by joining the Girls Inc. strong, smart & bold campaign and help them change the world: one girl, one family, one community at a time.

Become a volunteer, join our Girls Inc. Friends & Family and donate, become a Women of Impact member or partner with Girls Inc.!

There are so many opportunities to help us change the world, one girl at a time. Get involved!

Woman vs. Girl

Written by Tabby Biddle

I’ve noticed lately that I have been calling a number of women … girls. It was my husband actually who first pointed this out to me. One day we were jogging past a woman pushing a double stroller on the sidewalk, and I called back to my husband, “Watch out for the girl.” My husband quickly replied, “She’s not a girl, she’s a woman.”

A week after this incident, I received a Facebook message from a male friend with the subject line: Woman vs. Girl. He (I’m going to call him Dan) wanted to know my opinion about whether it was ever appropriate to address women as “girls.” The irony here is that I had not been in touch with Dan for months, so he would not have known that I was currently in a phase of calling women “girls.” I figured this was life’s way of getting me to look deeper into the issue.

The feminist movement worked hard for women to be called "women," and never girls. The term “girl” was considered diminutive and disempowering – a term associated with being a victim. The use of “woman,” on the other hand, was associated with confidence and power. In fact, as I understand it from those who were a little older than I was in the 70s, calling a woman a girl was like spitting in her face.

While I understand the argument of the feminist movement, I am wondering if today we actually give something up if we insist on being called a “woman” all of the time? Could we be abandoning our girlish playfulness and sensibilities? Could we be disenfranchising an important part of us that actually holds the key to our ultimate power as women?

The other question that comes to mind is: Is it okay for a woman to call other women girls and not okay for men to do this?

“I see many of my friends and acquaintances still using ‘girl’ when speaking of women, and sometimes when talking to a woman directly. I feel it’s disrespectful … Now, when I catch my friends speaking in this manner, if it’s an appropriate environment, I will call them on it. I try to be humble and considerate with this suggestion,” said Dan in his email.

How we address each other is important. There is no doubt about that.

I think my occasional turn toward calling other women (myself included) “girl” is a way to reclaim some of my own girl power. To me, this means a person who is fun, adventurous, exploratory and bold. A woman to me is strong, confident, responsible, nurturing and global in her thinking. Probably the most important piece to all of this is the integration of girl power with woman power in each woman herself, allowing a dance between the two.

While feminists made “woman” a hard and fast rule, could it be time to reopen the case? Could we be coming to a time when we need to reclaim “girl” to embrace all of the woman that we are?

 

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Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor living in Santa Monica, CA. She specializes in helping women entrepreneurs and first-time authors get their message out. Additionally, she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their journey of personal transformation.

Oh, To Be a Princess!!






Oh to be a PRINCESS!   – It’s a dream of most little girls.  The challenge of inspiring these little would be princesses to give the same attention to inner qualities as they do hair, makeup and clothes is one that many parents know all too well.   The challenge becomes to define the princess world in terms that a young girl can not only dream but LIVE!

 

This challenge was the inspiration for Sandi Stonebraker when she wrote “On Being A REAL Princess, Secrets of the Happy Heart Princess”. This book is about how to be a princess from the Inside-Out!  It’s about how it feels to be a princess.

 

Featured in the book are sixteen princesses from around the globe who dance into your world with affirmations and messages on what it means to be a REAL Princess.  They understand that a REAL Princess is strong, smart and kind.  She knows how to think for herself and is proud of who she is and what she believes in.   She dreams big and knows that she can make her dreams come true.  She understands that everyone is different but each person is special.

 

The book includes interactive journaling activities dealing with values, self esteem and decision making.  It is a useful tool for parents, teachers, religious leaders and other caregivers to open a dialogue with little girls on all those important issues they face as they grow up in an increasingly complex society.

 

The author feels that it is never too early to begin the discussion on these simple values and feelings and although the book is targeted to ages 6 to 12, all ages seem to feel its power in reminding them of what it is to be a REAL PRINCESS!

 

If you are a parent, grandparent, religious leader, teacher or just someone who has a special little girl in your life, this book is a must!

 

Quantity discounts available

Happy Heart Princess, A Creation of FairyTale Kids

www.happyheartprincess.com

859-655-9571

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