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The WNY Women's Foundation has offered funding to six programs for the 2016-17 school year specifically designed to serve the needs of girls in out of school time programs. Each program is diverse in who they serve, geographic location, what they offer, and the strategies they use. All of the programs offer opportunities for the young women to build their self-esteem, develop new skills, and enhance interpersonal relationships - all of which will ultimately result in positive academic, social, and emotional changes. In addition to financial support, the WNY Women's Foundation supports the program through "value-added" experiences and connections that add to the girls' experiences as well as programmatic capacity. The total monetary investment in these programs from the WNY Women's Foundation is $23,339.50.
Announcing 2015 Impact Grantee Recipients & Partnerships
As identified in our Pathways to Progress Report, for our community to thrive, there must be increased opportunities for mentoring and leadership development of our women and girls. Organizations from across Erie and Niagara County were invited to apply for funding to address this need. Congratulations to all those that applied, as each is doing important work in our community. Grantees received a total of $18,682.00.
The NativityMiguel Middle School Out-of-School-Time Program is focused on supporting girls at risk of academic failure by increasing their self-esteem and confidence. Girls at the St. Monica School will be offered the opportunity to participate in the "Girls on the Run" after school program. Additionally, specialized programs for rising 7th and 8th grade girls will strengthen their leadership and decision-making skills and prepare them for the future personal and academic challenges. The WNYWF is happy to support the girls of St. Monica's School for the second year with this grant.
Valley Community Association's "Building Up the Future" program, located in the Buffalo River community, will offer 5th - 8th grade girls the opportunity to learn about themselves and build skills that will serve them in the future as a part of their after school programming. Participating girls will attend specialized workshops throughout the school year that will focus on building self-esteem and confidence, team-building, goal-setting, healthy relationships, positive body image, self-respect and recognizing their own inner beauty.
"The program will help our middle school girls increase their self-esteem, make smart choices, identify positive adult role models, be healthier, and create and maintain healthy relationships in their lives. These, we believe, are the cornerstones to helping young women realize their dreams and to achieve lifelong success!"
-Lori Overdorf, Director of Development & Youth Services
Peace of the City Ministries, located on the west side of Buffalo, offers unique programming for young women, 12-18 years old, allowing them to learn hard and soft skills needed to be a strong, smart and professional businesswoman. Zieani Jewelry and Santuary Soaps and Fragrances are small businesses run by the girls in the program. The young women do everything from creating the products, to marketing, to sales to financial monitoring of the business. The girls take on roles of mentor and apprentice; they learn STEAM skills including design and chemistry, entrepreneurial skills, and professionalism. Girls who participate in the program gain self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence to be a leader as they grow into adulthood.
We've engaged Cradle Beach and Computers for Children to work together to provide broad-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) curriculum to girls enrolled in Cradle Beach Project SOAR at International Preparatory School at Grover Cleveland in Buffalo. Computers for Children will develop and offer a STEAM curriculum designed to engage female students in a fun a creative way. The curriculum will include robotics, program coding, computer construction and diagnostics, and science experiments, circuitry, design, as well as projects that present the basic elements of electronics and conductivity. Cradle Beach will work with the same girls to make connections between the STEAM concepts presented by Computers for Children and the Living Classroom environment they offer at their camp on Lake Erie. The agencies are enthusiastically approaching the opportunity to enrich the experience of these young girls through a new collaboration.
Watch the some of the young women from our Impact Grantee programs
meet Dr. Esther Takeuchi at the 2015 What She's Made Of Celebration:
2013/2014 Grant Awardees:
YWCA of Niagara implemented the Techbridge® program, intended to encourage young girls to gain interest and confidence in STEM fields. Later this year, the girls will have the opportunity to visit Modern Recycling, the Power Vista, the Planetarium, and Keen Wind Turbine. At time of report, 71 girls have been impacted by this program.
Sari Zugermayr, the girls' teacher, laughingly said that one girl exclaimed to her parent at the end of the day "Today was great! We didn't learn anything!" which is exactly what learning is supposed to be like.
At NativityMiguel Middle School, funding allowed young women to leave the City of Buffalo for the first time since 2008. Girls participated in the Girls on the Run program, which uses an experience-based curriculum that incorporates running to foster healthy practices, and more participated in a summer camp. NativityMiguel believes that young women who achieve academic success are more likely to attain economic self-sufficiency as adults.
"If you think you can, you can, and with the right attitude you will. Your talent may get you there, but it's your attitude that will keep you there. This message is contrary to the message the at-risk girls in this program receive from 'the streets.'" -Nancy Langer, President
Mentors at Buffalo Prep noted increased self-confidence, academic excellence, development of healthy lifestyle practices, and the improvement of interpersonal relationships among the 20 participants. Additionally, girls were able to meet goals which they had set for themselves, both academic and within the program, and attended workshops on subjects ranging from financial literacy to hair care to the dangers of human trafficking.
Daeja Sanger of Buffalo Prep's Sister's Let's Talk Mentoring and Leadership Program says that "Participating in the mentoring program has made me think deeper about my future, to work on procrastination, and love myself".