Interview with Girls Inc. Westchester County
We are presenting you Girls Inc. Westchester, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing girls-only programs to inspire Westchester girls. We in Liberty Moves, a local moving company in Westchester County, are very glad to have an opportunity to talk and share with you this interview.
To begin with, we would like you to briefly tell us about your organization
Girls Inc. Westchester is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 and dedicated to providing girls-only programs to inspire Westchester girls to grow up strong, smart, and bold. We are a local affiliate of Girls Incorporated, a 150 year-old national organization with over 85 chapters in the U.S. and Canada.
- What do you do exactly?
And what was the reason that encouraged you to start this organization?
Westchester has a very diverse population. While some may have the impression that it is a wealthy county, we know that there are underrepresented youth right here in our own back yards. Girls in our programs come predominantly from the Westchester communities where at least 20% of families have annual incomes of $25,000 or less. We provide these young women with essential knowledge and skills, with a place to feel physically and psychologically safe, and with a peer group that helps them feel emotionally supported, confident, and bold.
We teach Media Literacy; Violence Prevention and Safety; Financial Literacy; Leadership and Community Action; Health and Sexuality; College and Career Readiness; and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). By helping girls to think critically about the world, avoid at-risk circumstances, confront and overcome challenges, and envision their own potential, Girls Inc. Westchester gives our girls the promise of a brighter future.
- What motivates you?
Describe your mission passion
We are driven by our passion to see the next generation of young women excel, thrive and succeed. We know that they have unlimited potential and we want them to know it as well. All of our programs have been developed and tested by the Girls Inc. National Resource Center, the country’s largest and most comprehensive research center on girls.
Girls Inc. Westchester’s after school activities are targeted toward girls ages 9 to 18 with a focus on the middle and high school years, the developmentally crucial stages when having a girls-only space to share, build confidence, and interact with positive role models can make all the difference.
Every girl deserves to benefit from what we can offer them so that they can succeed in life.
- Tell us about your goals
We want everyone who would like to have Girls Inc. in their school or community center to have us there. We never want to turn down a group of girls due to lack of resources or staff.
- What was the hardest/toughest moment you had to deal with?
Obstacles you faced when dealing with bureaucracy, permits, funding, etc. Something you would like to point out to anyone who might be starting their own organization.
Funding from Corporations and Foundations is sometimes restrictive and full of reporting requirements and conditions. The most challenging thing we deal with is garnering enough unrestricted funds to expand and grow and increase our capacity.
- What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
When girls tell us things like this, “Girls Inc. helps you know who you are as a girl and accept yourself just as you are.”
“If I didn’t have this program, I don’t think there’d be anyone else I could talk to.”
“I want (people) to stop judging me for what I look like, but for how I act. ”
We recently had one of our high school seniors receive a $5,000 scholarship from our National Office. This was a real achievement for us because it was a living example of how we helped the student overcome personal obstacles that were holding her back. She is now in College and doing very well.
- What separates you from the rest? Why you?
– Girls Inc. meets girls where they are
– Girls Inc. believes in them until they believe in themselves
– Girls Inc. has the ability to form authentic relationships
– Girls Inc. has an all-inclusive way of serving the girl (including the family)
Researchers have found that many environments that serve “youth” are more supportive of boys than girls and tend to focus primarily on the developmental needs and interests of boys. Similarly, when institutions or organizations that serve just boys or just girls merge, observers have found that boys’ interest and needs become more central to the combined organization. From midnight basketball to computer games, girls are an afterthought.
- Do you have any upcoming events in the forthcoming months?
Our Strong, Smart, and Bold Gala will be held April 12, 2018 at Doral Arrowwood.
- What is it that you love most about what you do?
Seeing the change that can occur in a girl when a caring adult shows interest in her and in her future.
- What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with today?
Funding growth and expansion.
- Anything else you would like to add?
Contact: How can people reach out to you?
Your organization’s name, phone, address, e-mail and links to your website and social media
Girls Inc. Westchester
901 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603