We are living in unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, many of us find ourselves facing new everyday challenges. Some of us are juggling work with caring for children who are no longer in school. Others have aging family members who are part of the more vulnerable subset of our population. Then there are business owners who are facing the uncertainty of being able to stay afloat during the economic downturn. As a mother of two, I find myself trying to navigate the uncertainty and find ways to assure my daughters that we will eventually be ok, and return to normalcy.
While we practice social distancing, it is important that we do not abandon interpersonal connections. I am honored to work with a dedicated team of strong, smart, and bold individuals who are committed to finding creative methods to communicate virtually with our families and youth. We are working to determine the best technological platforms to stay connected and utilize them to implement easy and accessible options for learning, community, and safety. We will continue to develop programs and activities, as well as provide social and emotional support during these ever-changing times. Even though Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest is not able to be physically with your youth at this time, we’re in this with you.
No one knows for sure what lies ahead, but I believe it’s possible that, at some point not too long from now, our community institutions will be able to get back to something that’s closer to normal. When that happens, Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest will be poised to pick up where we left off, offering the supports that girls need to become the leaders they were born to be.
We will come out of this together. Stay safe and healthy.
- We joined other leading organizations to advocate for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act relief to include nonprofits, and asked Congress for $60B in emergency stimulus funding. Learn more here.
- We joined other partners in requesting another $500M in funding for out-of-school time youth-serving organizations.
- We joined a letter urging Congress and all state elections officials to adopt and fund a number of voter inclusive policies and practices. Read more here.
- We signed onto a follow up letter that specifically asked for $2B for states to implement these reforms and preserve the integrity of elections
- We joined public interest organizations in signing a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about Lifeline customers, a program that offers subsidies to low income households, so that they can obtain access to telephone and Internet service. Read more here.
- We joined other organizations in calling on the Department of Education and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to suspend rulemaking on the proposed Title IX sexual harassment rule until after the national emergency has ended.
- We signed on to a letter to the White House, Department of Justice, and FBI concerning the rising hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) related to COVID-19.
While after school Girls Groups are on hold right now, we are staying prepared for sites to launch and exploring creative ways to maintain youth and volunteer engagement throughout the closures. Our Leadership Council will be holding remote meetings and staying connected as they continue their leadership development programming. We are also preparing for site-based summer camps which will serve at least 140 youth (2nd-8th grade) across the Pacific Northwest.
Our Family Summer Kick-Off Eureka! events are coming up in May and June. First, second and fourth year Eurekans and their families are also invited to orientations for their four-week exploratory STEM and college/career readiness program summer camps. Third year Eurekans will be spending the summer interning for Northwest Youth Corps. Finally, we are actively working on placing our rising fifth year Eurekans into job shadows. Previous job shadows include placements at LAM Research, OHSU, and Banfield.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Eureka!, by hosting a Monthly Learning Session, being a guest speaker, or hosting a job shadow, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
After much careful deliberation, Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest has decided to reschedule Power of the Purse 2020 from Friday, April 10th to Saturday, June 27th out of concern for the safety and wellbeing of our community.
We hope that by pushing the event back, our community will be able to stay safe and then come back together for our most impactful night of fashion, shopping, food and girl empowerment yet!
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY LUNCHEON
On Friday, March 6th, over 100 women across Oregon gathered together for the first – and sold out! – inaugural International Women’s Day Luncheon at Canopy Portland, with a single mission: to support the next generation of Oregon women leaders.
The speakers and emcee included: Elizabeth Nye, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest; Eileen Park, Director of Communications at the Office of the Mayor of Portland; Sheila Hamilton, Author, Journalist, Radio Personality, Advocate; Nikki Fenix, Leader of Pom Pom Social in Portland, Photographer, Artist and Activist; Kali Ladd, Executive Director/Co-Founder of Kairos PDX; and Ashley Korslien, KGW anchor.
The diverse experiences, perspectives, and journeys shared filled us with inspiration and hope, and event proceeds went to programming for Girls Inc. youth across the Pacific Northwest! The event organizers have already begun planning for the second event, set to take place March 2021.
PI(E) DAY FUNDRAISER AT RALLY PIZZA
For the fourth year in a row, we celebrated Pi Day (3.14.2020) at Rally Pizza! They offered $3.14 draft beers and well wines, and sold an Eureka! Meatball Pizza with proceeds benefiting us at Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest! In total, Rally Pizza raised over $650 for us.
We took the opportunity to table and interact with the community that we serve. Thank you to everyone who came out for Pi(e) Day, and thank you to Rally Pizza for your continued support of our mission!
In Fall of 2019, Girls Inc. reached out to a small group of affiliates to pilot the new Girls Inc. Programming Quality Rubric that was developed by research organization, Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. The Seattle region of Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest worked with the Weikart team to conduct program observations that assessed the new Girls Inc. tool. This tool will include a general assessment and a way to evaluate healthy sexuality programming.
As Girls Inc. wrapped up the pilot process in late Winter, the next steps involved finalizing the tool and training materials with feedback from affiliates. Our Program Outreach Coordinator, Kintasha Jackson – who has a background in Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA), is serving as a representative in the Youth Work Management Training of Trainers. Kintasha is participating in webinars and will attend a training at the Girls Inc. National Resource Center.
Amidst our focus on improving the quality of our programming, we have also continued to expanded it’s reach. This Winter we grew to serve two new schools, now providing Girls Groups at five schools in Highline and Seattle Public Schools. We are looking forward to continuing to grow!
WE ASKED THEM HOW THEY ARE
STRONG, SMART, AND BOLD
David Wolf – Finance & Administrative Manager
Strong, in the strength of my relationships, an eagerness to learn, and an ability to navigate change and adapt quickly.
Smart, in recognizing the value of my strengths and those of others, and knowing when to turn to others for help.
Bold, in being willing to face my fears and work with those around me to overcome them, and also in supporting them in facing their fears.
Lexie Gallegos – Program Coordinator
I feel strong, smart, and bold when I show up for others while continuing to grow and expand as my own person. I have a deep desire to keep learning and changing, which has led me to a variety of work on farms, at summer camps, and in schools across the country. I love supporting others as they continue to grow and find new joys too, which means I spend a lot of my time listening and building relationships. I try to reflect the light that others emit back towards them when they need a little encouragement, just as my mentors and role models did for me growing up. Through challenging times and big life changes, I’ve tirelessly pursued all things that make me feel connected and hopeful for the future.
Youn Han – Eureka! Program Manager
When I was young, my family experienced many challenges that are common among immigrants. My parents came to the US with $70, spoke no English, and brought skills that weren’t valued in white-dominant culture. Despite and because of all that, our family did what we could to meet needs while maintaining our values and sense of identity. I was once asked why I don’t have an “American” name – I said “why isn’t my name American?” I maintained a healthy lifestyle because my family wasn’t able to navigate and afford health insurance. I got a full-ride scholarship to the University of Georgia because there was no other choice.
In recent years, I have become more outspoken and relentless in dismantling oppressive practices and beliefs that young girls like me face. I strongly believe in bringing intersectionality to the forefront of what youth experience, and I integrate it into my professional and personal life.
WE ASKED THEM WHAT BROUGHT THEM TO GIRLS INC.
Liz Martin – Director of Marketing, OnPoint Community Credit Union
Girls Inc. youth are as deserving as any other children, yet don’t always have the resources or support they need to reach their full potential. I’m passionate about equal rights for all, and know that the specific issues girls and women face need advocates, fighters and supporters. I hope to be a small part of furthering the Girls Inc. mission to serve this underserved population and create more future women leaders.
Ed Powers – Vice President of Membership and Business Development, First Tech Federal Credit Union
I believe I have a responsibility as a white male leader to promote diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace and beyond. I know I receive benefits just because of who I am and how I look, and I don’t want to waste the opportunity of bringing others – including women – along.
I am also the proud parent of two daughters (11, 14) and have been married for 20 years to a strong woman. I want to help my daughters develop into strong women as well as expose them to as many opportunities as possible.
Have you read Stronger, Smarter, Bolder: Girls Take the Lead yet? As shown in a recent assessment by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), the Girls Inc. Experience makes a measurable and marked difference in the lives of girls, regardless of demographic, academic, and social characteristics.
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