Oasis For Girls, a Project of the Tides Center

Since its founding in 1999, Oasis For Girls has provided life skills, arts, and leadership training for at-risk, low-income girls of color and immigrant girls throughout San Francisco. Our mission is to partner with under-resourced girls and young women to help them discover opportunities and explore their dreams. Our youth-development programs provide a safe space to cultivate the skills, knowledge, and confidence to build strong futures for themselves and their communities. At Oasis, girls learn to make healthy decisions, explore the world and themselves, and discover their full potential. At Oasis For Girls, our work is intended to support the "whole girl." Methodologically, w...

Oasis For Girls, a Project of the Tides Center
1008 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States
415 701 7991
http://www.sfoasis.org

Executive Director

Jessica Van Tuyl

Management Team

Jessica Van Tuyl, Mia Kuartei, Megan Hamilton

Board of Directors

Jessica Van Tuyl, Juanita Luna, Rebecca Brown, Mia Kuartei, Megan Hamilton

Project Leaders

Adriana Lopez

Mission

Since its founding in 1999, Oasis For Girls has provided life skills, arts, and leadership training for at-risk, low-income girls of color and immigrant girls throughout San Francisco. Our mission is to partner with under-resourced girls and young women to help them discover opportunities and explore their dreams. Our youth-development programs provide a safe space to cultivate the skills, knowledge, and confidence to build strong futures for themselves and their communities. At Oasis, girls learn to make healthy decisions, explore the world and themselves, and discover their full potential. At Oasis For Girls, our work is intended to support the "whole girl." Methodologically, we strive to provide extended connections and multiple modes of activity designed to build on one another through repetition and the development of incremental and complementary skills and experiences, while fostering a sense of collective identity as "Oasis girls." This extended contact and sequential skills-building provides girls and young women with enduring opportunities to develop trusting relationships with positive, supportive adults, develop a sense of collective identity and partnership, and engage in an extended period of skills-development and practice. Typically, the activities of our core sequence - the Springboard Series for Girls - operate on a one-year cycle, although girls may choose to extend or modify this course offering. Throughout the year, girls develop multiple positive pathways to future success: A foundation of life skills, critical thinking, and emotional and interpersonal literacy; academic, basic technological, and transferable job readiness skills to support academic and professional development; Expressive capacity through arts creation; education into cultural history and the power of movement building; Peer support and cross-identity learning that cultivates positive solidarity with other females across age, culture, and divisive identities; Exposure to broadened cultural horizons and networks of connections through arts, education, mentors, and adult allies. Our Theory of Change & Primary Strategy: Oasis For Girls recognizes that girls and young women who face social, familial, cultural, and academic challenges need practical and psychological support from trusted and consistent adult allies, delivered within a peer-based culture of care and reciprocal support. We believe that low-income girls and girls of color can achieve autonomy and satisfaction in their personal, academic, and professional lives when engaged in extended, multi-modal, culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate activities in a supportive environment. Therefore, our primary strategy is to provide girls with broad and ongoing exposure to multiple vocational, cultural, and academic opportunities coupled with training in personal and interpersonal skills, delivered in a safe, culturally relevant space that emphasizes autonomy, relationship-building, and positive decision-making. The staff-to-participant ratio allows the development of trusting personal connections between staff and participants, while the limited number of participants allows the development of strong peer relationships and a common culture. We operate year-round during out-of-school times (after school, school breaks, and summer vacation), coordinating with the calendar of the San Francisco Unified School District. Our budget for 2012 is $388,270.31. Who We Serve: Oasis focuses on low-income high-school-aged immigrant girls and girls of color, generally ages 14-17, from throughout San Francisco. In general, Oasis strives to serve two categories of girls: Those who are "on the edge" of risk and those who are "off the radar" - unnoticed, not obviously troublesome, but disengaged and under-supported. In screening applicants, Oasis strives to identify girls and young women who are ready to benefit from the opportunities and services that core to Oasis's work. In rare cases, candidates with greater needs, more complex behaviors, or developmental delays are referred to other organizations that are better suited to meet their needs. In order to foster peer learning and cultivate participants' abilities to positively interact with multiple "types" of girls, Oasis intentionally cultivates a mix of four sub-populations: 1. Girls who are striving, relatively high achievers who carry excessive sense of burden; 2. Girls who may be considered socially awkward, disconnected, or loners; 3. Girls who tend to be quiet and compliant but who are not engaged in positive programs that extend their capacities; 4. Girls who may be dabbling in difficulty to some degree but might readily respond to positive environments.

Programs

As our core program, the Springboard Series for Girls is a yearlong, multi-modal, gender-specific leadership development sequence that emphasizes the development of both internal awareness and external skills. The Springboard Series annually serves up to 130 girls ages 14-17, engaging them for at least a year. This extended contact provides girls with enduring opportunities to develop trusting relationships with positive, supportive adults, develop a sense of identity and partnership within their group, and engage in prolonged skills-development and practice. The Series begins with RISE - "Discovering Myself" - which focuses on life skills and positive decision-making, including workshops on safer sex, self-defense, healthy relationships, nutrition, and college/career options. After graduating from RISE, girls go on to Arts Apprenticeship - "Discovering My World" - in which they partner directly with a working artist to develop arts-based skills of inquiry and self-expression; our summer artistic partner is Flyaway Productions. Girls complete the cycle in the Technology and Leadership Program (TLP) - "Building My Future" - which combines hands-on technology training, vocational preparation, leadership development, personal financial management and budgeting, and academic preparation and planning. Each phase is designed to build on its predecessor and to set the stage for the next phase. This design is consistent with research suggesting that youth development is best fostered through extended, varied modes of activity that allow repeated opportunities to practice new skills connected to critical thinking, behavioral decision-making, cultural consciousness, and interpersonal relationships. All phases within the Springboard Series are offered three times a year, and each meets for approximately two hours a day, three times a week for 8-14 weeks. All phases provide participation stipends that range from $300-500 based a girl's seniority. All three programs within the Springboard Series seek to make change in five areas: 1. Increased Capacity a. RISE: Increased Consciousness of Self: Ability to identify types of oppression b. Arts: Increased Capacity to Express: Ability to conceive, produce, and share an artistic exploration of a relevant issue c. TLP: Increased Capacity to Articulate: Ability to individually and collectively express a point of view about an issue or experience 2. Increased Knowledge a. RISE: Improved behavioral health; emotional awareness and literacy; positive decision-making b. Arts: Develop competency in an art form as a tool for self-expression c. TLP: Develop basic competency in office technology, online research and information-management 3. Enhanced Peer Connections: a. RISE: Improved Relationships and Relationship Circles: Improve peer relationships and behavior across identity and turf b. Arts: Collective Artistic Expression Engage in a collective artistic process; Develop connection with female artists c. TLP: Expanded Academic Connections: Increase ability to respond to one another's research; Enhance possibilities for career and college 4. Increased Skills: a. RISE: Peer Leadership: Help conceive and manage youth activities; Facilitate peer-group decision-making; Teach peers on youth-related subjects b. Arts: Project Leadership Organize and present a collective performance for the public c. TLP: Academic and Vocational Development: Develop a work portfolio; Learn proper, business attire and behavior, business communications, and interviewing; Conduct job-site visits and informational interviews 5. Broadened Horizons: a. RISE: Expand Connections: Expand positive relationships with peers and adult allies b. Arts: Expand Awareness: Expand knowledge of arts, options for activities and pathways; Develop positive relationships with adult allies c. TLP: Expand Future Pathways: Build a career or college plan: research types of higher education, finances and financial aid, educational requirements

Statistics on Oasis For Girls, a Project of the Tides Center

Financial Statistics

  • Annual Budget for 2011: $346,133
  • Annual Budget for 2007: $319,400
  • Maximum Annual Budget: $392,513
  • Other funding sources: 28 percent Government funding
  • Religious Affiliation: none
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