It’s been seven months since I first joined Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest as the Interim Executive Director and nearly one month as the new, permanent, Chief Executive Officer. I am filled with immense gratitude and excitement.
And, what a time it’s been. The one-year mark of living through COVID-19 just passed, and as we have all embraced this complex and difficult timeline, we at Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest are still standing. Never has there been an era when youth have needed evidence-based, transformative programming such as right now.
Our dedicated board of directors and staff have continued to show up for Girls Inc. youth at a time when they’ve needed us the most. I thank them for their dedication to our mission, which is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. To realize our mission, we have been offering virtual programming for almost a year now. The time, patience and perseverance our staff has demonstrated through the pandemic is truly inspiring. With the COVID-19 vaccine more readily available, we will continue to encourage youth resiliency as we optimistically plan hybrid and in-person programming later this year. We look forward to reengaging in-person with friends like you and community partners as it becomes safer to do so. I could not be more excited to meet our Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest community in person!
Until then and ongoing, please expect to hear from us through this quarterly newsletter, and special communications regarding our mission driven work and other announcements.
Today you’ll read about our virtual programming and meet our new staff and board members. I also want to take this opportunity to invite you to our premier Strong Smart Bold Brunch, taking place virtually on April 23. The one-hour event will feature enticing auction packages, a raffle, and inspirational messages and stories from Girls Inc. youth themselves! The event is free to attend but we are hoping you will also join us for brunch and buy a ticket that includes a donation to Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest. Learn more and get your tickets now.
Thank you for your commitment to our youth. We are building towards a bolder future, and we look forward to sharing more again soon.
Join us on Friday, April 23rd for our premier Strong Smart Bold Brunch – featuring strong coffee, smart youth, and a bold future for Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest.
After 15 years of hosting our annual Power of the Purse gala, we are excited to bring a fresh taste to our biggest fundraising event of the year. Join us for a morning of inspiration as we raise funds to deliver our research-based after-school programming and experiences that help youth grow up healthy, educated, and independent.
Girls Groups kicked off 2021 and the winter term focusing on the question of “Media Balance”: how do we take care of our minds and our bodies amidst the heavy screen time and rigor of distance learning? This topic offered a relevant take on our well-known Media Literacy curriculum, creating a space for elementary and middle school youth grades to decompress, connect and, as always, share their voices and stories. With spring around the corner and hybrid learning resuming at many of our partner sites, Girls Groups plan to remain virtual for the remainder of the school year. Starting March 31st, Groups will be focusing on our popular Mind + Body curriculum and continuing to hold our popular monthly Yoga with the Unicorn drop-in sessions.
In addition to our weekly groups, our Seattle Advisory Group continues to meet and provide a consistent and crucial virtual gathering space for our Cascade Middle School youth.
In response to youth and family feedback, the team has also begun to pilot virtual tutoring sessions, matching qualified and passionate volunteers with youth based on individual need. Last but not least, with summer around the corner the Girls Group team will be rolling out summer camp registration soon!
From January-June, Eurekans are invited to year-specific Monthly Learning Sessions for important program development activities and all-year exploratory Monthly Learning Sessions where they can continue to widen and deepen their excitement for STEM. This year, we have themed each month according to their interests. January was “Taking Action” month featuring sessions that channel their innate social advocacy into action.
February was “College Readiness” month featuring Spirit Week and sessions led by The College Place. March is “My Space” month featuring sessions that encourage them to claim and take up space. This month we are partnering with Macy’s, CREW, Fehr and Peers, and Sam DeJarnett.
Leadership Council continues to meet every other week and the youth have begun working on their individual/small group advocacy projects. They’ve been following Girls Inc. National’s updated Taking Action Toolkit which culminates in a year-end advocacy project of their choosing. Last week youth shared their passion for a variety of topics and project ideas, including:
Lack of mental health resources in schools
Sexual and reproductive health advocacy in schools
The lack of Latinx/WoC representation in counseling and mental health field
Creation of a social media page for LGBTQIA+ advocacy
Letter writing campaign to juveniles in detention centers
Advocacy through dance choreography
WE ASKED HER WHAT MAKES HER STRONG, SMART, AND BOLD
Ami Margolin, Director of Development
I am strong because I have been resilient through difficulties in my 43 years and gained strength from the women who helped me through.
I am smart because I was raised in a house full of books. Reading allows me to travel anywhere, learn about anything, and live experiences I would never face.
I am bold because my mother showed me how to be bossy and speak up for what’s right.
Corina Davis – Managing Director | Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
I believe that ensuring all women have the confidence to be strong, bold leaders begins with our individual communities and bringing the right people and resources to help girls at a young age have all the tools and relationships they need to develop their individuals strengths. I am thrilled to be part of an origination that shares my belief and has a track record of making big differences in many girls’ lives.
Sheila Murty – EVP, People & Culture, Tillamook
I believe that when girls and women are empowered to live to their full potential, everyone benefits in society. And while we have seen progress in the world, significant barriers still stand in the way of women and girls’ ability to thrive and I want to be part of an organization whose mission is to close those gaps.
Mary Segesta – Director, Azure Marketing, Microsoft
My life’s motto is “be the woman I want my daughter to be when she is an adult.” This has guided me for the past 15 years, leading me to embrace all my life’s highs and lows in both my personal and professional life.
This motto led me to recently transition my 30+ year technology career to focus on areas that I’m most passionate about. When I found Girls Inc., I knew immediately I needed to get involved. Their purpose of “Inspiring all girls to be Strong, Smart, and Bold,” directly aligns to my values and life motto. It’s exactly what I want my teenage daughter and all girls to be. As a board member, I have the ability to engage and influence programs that will positively impact girls to thrive at all stages of their youth. The idea of developing the whole girl, ages 6-18, to grow up to be mentally healthy, educated, and independent is of significant importance especially today as millions of women have left the workforce due to the pandemic. There is nothing more important to me than to provide girls and young women the skills, tools, and training to create their own GIRL POWER.