Girls: Oregon, Action, Leadership, Service
What is Girls: Oregon, Action, Leadership, Service? This is a transformative program where high school girls develop leadership skills, learn to empower themselves, and hear from an all-star lineup of women leaders from across all sectors dedicated to offering a resource many of them wished they had when they were in school. We believe girls in Oregon have important contributions to make to all our lives, and we work to give girls a place to learn and connect, and a platform to make their voices heard. We ran a successful after school teen program, but decided to expand it so that more girls from the Portland area could benefit from our trainings and begin leading today in their schools and communities. Girls: Oregon, Action, Leadership, Service was launched in October 2014 with our daylong Summit at PSU for teen girls from around the Portland Metro Area.
Why Teen Girls? We know that girls are less likely to self-select into leadership. This pattern starts early and can extend throughout their lives. What can start as deciding not to raise their hand in class or run for student government can lead to a lifetime of sidestepping leadership, instead of stepping into it. We can change that pattern today by encouraging confidence, giving access to opportunities, and presuming that girls are already leaders.
What is an online Leadership Project? We know the lives of teen girls are full and so they don’t always get the time to think about where they want to go, what they want to do, and if they want to lead. We made this space for them to combat the busyness that leads to not getting the chance to step back and invest in themselves and their potential leadership. Students are not always able to attend our events or prefer to explore their leadership at a different pace. The online leadership projects give students the chance to explore their own leadership through art, writing, and video. Our first leadership project asked teens to read a short graphic novella of a teen girl leader from around the world and then create a short graphic novella of themselves or an imaginary teen.
Thank you to 2014-2015 Summit co-conveners YWCA of Greater Portland & Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest!