Girls in Action Empowers Young Leaders
Encouragement, empowerment and education. Those are just a few of the many focuses of a group called Girls in Action. The organization started in north Minneapolis back in 2005. Since then, it has not only expanded to the suburbs, but also other parts of the country and world.
“Girls in Action is an in-school day program,” says Cara Deanes, development director of Girls in Action. “We go in to schools using women leaders that look like the girls that we are talking to that are from our community and they execute a curriculum.”
The organization is all about helping girls find power in themselves. Leaders help them with school work as well as issues they may be facing outside of the classroom.
“It’s not just helping them with academics,” said Deanes. “It’s helping them find their personal power to get them through everything that life is going to throw at them.”
Girls in the program say that support has helped them feel like they belong.
“It’s a community where I feel extremely supported,” says Fina Jean-Francois, a senior at Maple Grove Senior High. “When I come through those doors and I see the instructors face, I feel welcomed. We speak freely with what we have in mind because it’s supposed to be an open space.”
The organization also shows girls what opportunities are available to them after they graduate high school. The girls participate in career building activities and are able to visit potential job sites. They also meet with women who look like them that are professionals. Women share career advice and stories.
The education portion of the program is a big part of what the organization does. However, some girls say it’s the personal touch that’s made the most impact.
“It’s made me want to love myself more,” added Jean-Francois. “I came from a pretty dark place. This organization made me have more respect for myself and for others. I truly value myself more.”
How You Can Help
Girls in Action is hosting a fundraiser breakfast May 3 at the Brooklyn Center Marriott Hotel. For information on how to attend visit the Girls in Action website.