Girls and young women are the community leaders and CEOs of our future, but many face obstacles and barriers to their success. These following organizations work to empower and inspire young women to reach their potential and lead us all into a better tomorrow.
Latina girls between the ages of 12 and 17 are more likely than non-Hispanic girls of the same age to experience depression, pregnancy, substance abuse, or drop out of high school. Latinitas was formed to empower Latina girls to achieve academic and personal success.
Club Latinitas fosters creative expression in girls in 4th through 8th grade. In the club, they use hands-on activities to learn the basics of journalism. The skills they learn include everything from writing and photography to desktop publishing and web design.
For older girls, there are several teen programs that allow Latina girls in high school to specialize in an area that appeals to them. They can hone their leadership skills in the Teen Leaders program or develop their multimedia and writing skills as part of the Youth Editorial Advisory Board.
Latinitas strengthens the self-esteem, self-confidence, and cultural identity of Latina girls, so they can build their own success.
Founded by Angela W. Patton, Girls for a Change began as a camp to a fill a gap in the Richmond, VA area: programs to encourage and inspire African American girls. The organization's main goal is to help black girls and girls of color develop skills that will help them be successful, such as leadership and social change innovation.
Today, Girls for a Change still offers four different camp experiences at Camp DIVA Leadership Academy. SHE Can Lead is a two-week residential camp for middle school girls. Let HER Lead is a two-week residential camp for high school aged girls. GIRLS Count is a day camp for elementary school girls. REVamping Fashion Leaders is a single week residential camp for high school girls.
In addition to Camp DIVA, Girls for a Change offers social change training and sponsors Girl Action Teams, where participants are challenged to create solutions to problems in their communities – especially problems faced by adolescent girls of color.
If you are interested in volunteering with Girls for a Change or making a donation, check out their website here.
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) was founded in 1998 with the express intent of providing services to young women and girls who have experienced sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. Nearly twenty years later, GEMS is still the only organization in the state of New York to specifically designed to help these girls and young women.
Since its inception, GEMS has focused on helping sexually exploited youth escape commercial sex exploitation and domestic trafficking. GEMS also aims to transform public perception and along with it, the systems and policies that fail young women and girls at risk of domestic trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
In addition to direct intervention and survivor empowerment, GEMS has prevention and outreach initiatives that focus on education including peer-led workshops at youth detention facilities
There are a variety of ways to get involved with GEMS, from simply spreading awareness by sharing information about GEMS on social media or making a donation to volunteering time or requesting a Youth Outreach Speaker for your organization or school.
Even though women make up 50% of the world’s population, less than 25% of STEM jobs are held by women. Girlstart aims to change those numbers for the better.
Using innovative and informal education programs, Girlstart gets girls interested in STEM at a young age. Girlstart encourages girls to take risks, make mistakes, follow their curiosity, and express their creativity.
Based in Texas, Girlstart offers after school programs at many Central Texas schools where girls learn about science and math in a hands-on environment.
Girls in 4th through 8th grade can participate in Girlstart Summer Camp. This is a very popular summer day camp program that has already sold out for 2017.
Girls Science Extravaganzas are held throughout the year in the Austin area. These daylong events are filled with STEM-themed experiments and activities the whole family will enjoy.
Donations and support from community members make Girlstart programs accessible to all regardless of ability to pay. In fact, in 2016, 95% of all Girlstart participants did so at no cost!
To support Girlstart, check out their website.
Middle school aged girls are at alarming risk for dangerous behaviors. In 2009, over one-fourth of middle school aged girls have been or will be suicidal, more than one-third have eating disorders, and over half experiment with tobacco, alcohol, or drugs2. But data also shows that mentoring can lower those numbers.
GirlTalk is based on the idea that when high school girls mentor middle school girls, they all benefit. Through GirlTalk, middle school girls learn they are not alone and have the opportunity to feel heard and understood during these tumultuous formative years. Meanwhile, the high school mentors have the opportunity to share their experiences, and serve as a positive role model and leader.
Founded by 15-year-old Haley Kilpatrick in 2002, GirlTalk has grown from the small once a week hour long meetings Haley first held to a nationwide network that has reached more than 60,000 girls. Amazingly, all GirlTalk resources are available online, free of charge, so any girl can start a local chapter.
You can support GirlTalk by volunteering, making a monetary gift, or purchasing something off their Amazon wishlist. More details here.
Girls deserve a chance to reach their full potential. These are just five of the fantastic organizations that are working hard to ensure all girls have that chance. Want to discover a few more? It’s easy to find charitable groups that support girls and young women in your area with WorkHERO. To find out more, contact us today!