I am so thrilled to finally be able to introduce you to our new Seattle Regional Director, Donya Saunders. Donya started with us on April 15th, and has hit the ground running in Seattle to support our programs, partnerships, and board committee.
Donya comes to us most recently from Girls Inc. of Greater Los Angeles, but also spent time at Girls Inc. of Alameda County, so she has a great understanding of The Girls Inc. Experience and how to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Donya brings a rich understanding of positive youth development and a passion for expanding our programming into the Seattle area.
I’m also grateful for the new board members representing our Seattle Committee:
Committee Chair: Coby Cohen | Trial Attorney | Rossi Vucinovich
Kiran Ball | Director of Operations, Global Real Estate and Facilities| Amazon
Danielle Funston | Co-Founder and President | Sentinel
Christy Hardin | Product Marketing Director | ABB, Inc.
Darcy Shearer | Senior Corporate Counsel | Expedia, Inc.
Patricia Zavalza | Steam Support Manager | Valve
We’re growing in Washington, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our newest community in Seattle. Do you know someone who would love to champion Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest? Don’t hesitate to forward this email to them or connect us!
We cannot wait to see what we can do by bringing the Girls Inc. Experience to the entire Pacific Northwest.
We know you have a strong community of people who believe in the Power of Her and want to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Rappel For Her is a perfect, adventurous opportunity to be bold, and encourage your friends, family, colleagues, and network to champion girls in the Pacific Northwest. Here is what to do:
Raise $1,000 to Champion Her by encouraging your community to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold (we’ll provide templates for emails and social media, so don’t worry, you’re not on your own!). For one year, you’ll get all of the benefits of being a Champion For Her Go-To Partner!
Want to go further and recruit a team from work or become a sponsor?
When you eat Wild Friends, you’re helping women and girls throughout the Pacific Northwest achieve their dreams.
Through their pioneering giveback program, Fuel Her Future, Wild Friends donates 1% of sales to programs that help ensure women and girls have the environment and empowerment to make their dreams a reality. We were lucky to be chosen as their first nonprofit partner, and extraordinarily grateful for their ongoing support and partnership. Not only do proceeds from their Chocolate Hazelnut Butter help to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold, but founders Keeley and Erika have been inspirational to girls in our programs themselves. From guest speakers in our high school classes to hosting field trips for Eurekans! and Girls Council to their support as one of the first sponsors of Rappel For Her to being 2019 Power of the Purse Purse-o-nalities, Keeley and Erika have truly shown what it means to be in her corner.
“We loved being a part of Rappel For Her! It was a creative way to get our community involved in fundraising for Girls Inc. In the months before the event, we had many influencers in our social media community post about the event which helped raise awareness for Girls Inc and also allowed us to raise more money. The actual rappelling was pretty terrifying but SO worth it – a once in a life time experience that we couldn’t recommend enough. Even though we were scared, it was so inspiring and empowering to see Girls Inc. Girls younger than us rappel down the building with no fear! #girlpower”
With YOU in Her Corner, She Will Change the World.
Congratulations, and we cannot wait to see how you change the world:
Teresa | Genesis | Emogene | Ani | Myzhane |
Amaya | Mara | Larissa | Tizita (Tizzy) | Audrey
Eureka! would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:
Cambia Health Solutions | Comcast | Daimler Trucks North America | ESI | ERM Foundation | First Tech Federal Credit Union | Genentech, Inc. | Intel | Lam Research | ON Semiconductor | Mentor Graphics — A Sieman’s Company | PGE Foundation | Qorvo | Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel | Tektronix Foundation | Applied Materials | The Standard | Thermo Fischer
And a special thank you to all of the families and friends of our Eureka! graduates. We know this work would not be possible without your trust and support of Girls Inc.
Do you know a rising 8th grade girl who goes to a Title 1 school, aims to be a first generation college student, and wants to challenge herself to explore STEM for the next 5 years? Tell her to apply for Eureka!
Want to host a field trip, be a guest speaker, or work with our Eureka girls this summer? Sign up to volunteer!
GIRLS INC. OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST HOSTS
#GIRLSTOO TEEN TALK ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT
AND VIOLENCE IN OUR SOCIETY
Earlier this month, Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest was lucky enough to partner with our Girls Inc. National Policy Office to host one of three regional #GirlsToo Teen Talks across the country, during which local young people discussed the role that power, culture, gender norms and social media play in sexual harassment and violence, and advocated for raising awareness about the problem through education.
“The #MeToo movement has sparked a long overdue conversation about the pervasive nature of sexual harassment and violence, but many people still fail to recognize that young people—girls in particular—are impacted, too,” said Megan Kovacs, Director of Community Relations for Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest. “We hosted this Teen Talk in order to create a forum where teens could talk about these issues and identify steps that people in their own community can take in order to play a role in creating the broader culture change required to fix this intergenerational problem.”
The Teen Talk was moderated by Reema Zaman, an award-winning writer, speaker, actress, author of the critically acclaimed memoir, “I AM YOURS,” and a long-time supporter of Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest.
“The first time a predator came into my life I was 11. I reported that and I was told ‘boys will be boys,’” said Zaman. “For abuse culture to exist, it needs silence. Breaking that silence begins when ordinary people stop acting as passive bystanders and start acting like upstanders who call out sexual harassment when they see it.”
Nationally, about 7 in 10 girls have been sexually harassed by the time they leave high school, and a survey of young girls between the ages of 14 and 19 released last year found that 3 out of 4 girls feel unsafe at least once in a while. The majority also said they hear boys making sexual comments at least several times a week.
In Oregon, women and girls in are more likely to be victims of sexual violence than the national average and have the highest incidence of reported depression in the country, according to a 2016 report from the Women’s Foundation of Oregon. Participants on the panel began the discussion by highlighting the need for awareness and education to combat sexual harassment.
Aarna Dixit, a sophomore at Sunset High School, commented on the prevalence of sexual violence among girls under 18 and said, “It’s time we start teaching it in schools because education is prevention.”
Ashley Lin, a sophomore at Union High School, agreed, “We need to create a space for relevant sex ed both at schools and at home. That talk needs to be shifted so it’s not just a talk about sex, but how we can have healthy relationships and respect for one’s self and partner.”
The panel, which included a handful of students from immigrant families, also touched upon the global nature of the problem and how silence is the common denominator across cultures.
“In the place I was raised, we don’t talk about these types of issues and women will remain powerless unless they are recognized,” said Lisa Amani, a junior at Roosevelt High School whose family moved to the United States from Africa three years ago. Her sister, high school senior Johana, added, “We are all from different areas but all of us—women and girls—are impacted.”
Students also discussed the role that social media and power dynamics play in allowing sexual harassment and violence to persist both online and off.
“Social media and digital media in general adds to an already established system of objectification of men and women,” said Ben Stern, a freshman at Grant High School. “When you come to view people as objects, you dehumanize them, which helps make it easier to harass or even assault somebody.”
Others noted how television and movies can also be a tool to educate people about consent and healthy relationships.
“What we see on the screen often affects us and how we behave and think about these topics, so it’s really important that we start having these conversations in things like TV shows,” said Dixit. “It’s important that we see consent reflected in all relationships, including LGBTQ and interracial ones, too.”
All of the students agreed that the school system and adults must play a larger role in educating young people about healthy relationships and consent.
“My call to action is for adults, especially parents with younger children. The cause of sexual assault is from indoctrination of our young men that they are better than girls and women,” said Stern. “This needs to happen by parents being more accepting and talking openly with their children about gender and consent.”
“Our call to action starts with us—right here, right now. The youth are bringing these issues to adults, but nobody is listening,” said Lin. “We have to keep fighting for future generations, but we also need role models who can guide us and teach us how they got where they are today.”