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May 20, 2020

4GIRLS Project Report - May 2020

4GIRLS Workshop, 2019
4GIRLS Workshop, 2019

“Everything can change in an instant. Everything. And then there is only before and after.” - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

 

Greetings 4GIRLS Friends,

The quote above has never been more applicable for so many as it is during these times. The 4GIRLS leadership team hopes that this message finds you healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

In early March, a couple of weeks before California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to “stay at home” due to Covid-19, the 4GIRLS Anaheim team held our organization’s last in-person activity, an art based Empowerment Event at The Ponderosa Family Resource Center. The theme of the event was “Where Will My Feet Take Me?”, providing the 23 girls in attendance an opportunity to reflect on what path they see for themselves in their future. One fun exercise included having the girls look at each other’s shoes and acknowledging that they were all different and that that was okay because everyone has a different path requiring a different pair of shoes. It was a fun and inspiring activity and culminated with the girls making a banner for International Women’s Day 2020. And, then, everything changed.

As with most areas of life these past couple of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way that the 4GIRLS Organization is currently operating. A couple of months ago, what we would have expected to be sharing with you in this edition of the GlobalGiving Project Report, was the tremendous success of our 10th Anniversary 4GIRLS Workshop in Long Beach, CA. We would have been excited to report that we had the largest attendance of girls in the history of this organization. We would have praised the subject matter experts that contributed their time and talent to deliver a meaningful and impactful program, incorporating this year’s theme - BOLD. We would have shared inspiring anecdotes from our remarkable keynote speaker - President's Scholar, McNair Scholar and California State University Long Beach Associated Student’s “Woman of the Year”, Taryn Williams. We would have shared with great joy that Maria Shriver’s daughter, bestselling author and advocate Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, was our special guest speaker. (Maria Shriver, via the California’s Women’s Conference that she used to host, is the inspiration for 4GIRLS!) And, most importantly, we would have shared some of the transformational moments of the workshop from the vantage point of the middle school girls in attendance. Unfortunately, we do not have any of these stories to share because the workshop was postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.  

This situation has prompted the 4GIRLS Organization to assess and consider new ways for delivering our program, so that girls in the communities that we serve can continue to receive inspiration and empowerment even though we cannot hold in-person events at this time. To that end, 4GIRLS recently established a “Virtual Outreach” Committee to expand our program by developing a more robust virtual presence and enhancing our impact via our social media platforms. The committee is currently actively working with our Junior Mentors to create some fun and impactful social media campaigns and develop virtual activities to keep the middle school girls, who were not able to attend the workshop, engaged. (The Junior Mentors are high school girls that help to facilitate the workshop experience for the middle school girls.) The energy and excitement among the committee members and the Junior Mentors is palpable and it is great to witness that, out of uncertainty and chaos, new ideas and creativity can flourish. What we do know for certain is that many, if not all, of the new virtual programs that are being developed will be added to our 4GIRLS “toolkit” moving forward. We will continue to leverage these virtual programs even after we are able to return to our in-person activities as they will be a great vehicle to allow the 4GIRLS mission to reach even more girls, including those beyond the geographic regions in which we operate today.

Since our last report, the 4GIRLS Board of Directors has undergone a change in leadership. Kerith Dilley, 4GIRLS Board President, resigned, and Yesmean Rihbany, 4GIRLS Board Member, was voted in as the new Board President.  In addition, Lisa Monteiro, 4GIRLS CFO, resigned, and Sharon Faustina, 4GIRLS Board Member and Long Beach Chapter Treasurer, was voted in as CFO. Having dedicated several years and many woman hours of meaningful and impactful service to the 4GIRLS Organization, both Kerith’s and Lisa’s contributions to 4GIRLS have been significant on many levels and their mark on our organization is indelible. We are forever grateful for their service! Subsequent to these Board departures, we added two members to the 4GIRLS Board of Directors - Claudia Copley, Founder of 4GIRLS, and, Janet Bittner, former Executive Director of 4GIRLS. Both Claudia and Janet bring tremendous passion, wisdom and vision to the organization and we are excited to have them on the Board.

In a period marked by a lot of change, the 4GIRLS team has been able to successfully regroup and pivot thanks to strong leadership and committed volunteers. As we look forward to the future, we will continue to build on the core strengths of the program while innovating in areas that will allow 4GIRLS to evolve in new and exciting ways so that we can continue to inspire and empower middle school girls. And, we look forward to announcing the 4GIRLS scholarship winners over the course of the next couple of weeks. Now, more than ever, these girls need to be recognized and rewarded for their resilience and hard work during these uncertain times.

Wishing our 4GIRLS community, donors and business partners continued health and safety.

 

Sincerely,

The 4GIRLS Board of Directors

"Where Will My Feet Take Me?" Empowerment Event
"Where Will My Feet Take Me?" Empowerment Event
Banner for International Women's Day 2020
Banner for International Women's Day 2020

Links:

Jan 10, 2020

4GIRLS Project Report - December 2019

4GIRLS Gala - Yareli and Claudia Copley
4GIRLS Gala - Yareli and Claudia Copley

Greetings 4GIRLS Friends,

This past quarter was a momentous one for 4GIRLS in a variety of areas - we exceeded previous records with regards to the number of 4GIRLS Workshop attendees and in our fundraising efforts, we participated in a fun, new experience and, we announced some significant changes within our organization.

We are proud to announce that, as the Orange County chapter continues to expand its reach, 90 middle school girls were empowered at the 4GIRLS Workshop that took place on October 12th and 13th, at the Ponderosa Family Resource Center in Anaheim, CA. This is the largest group ever to attend the Orange County event! In addition, there were 14 high school girls who served as Junior Mentors and 14 adults who served as Mentors. And, there were approximately 20 female volunteers throughout the weekend helping to ensure that the event ran smoothly. We are so grateful to all of the individuals that gave of their time and energy so selflessly! The theme of this year’s conference was “Resilient” and the girls in attendance had the opportunity to learn from a number of subject matter experts who incorporated the theme into their sessions, such as Girls Inc, Resilience OC, Power of One (Self Defense) and many more. The event was clearly impactful as is evident from some of the feedback that we received, including:

Thanks to the 4GIRLS Workshop, I want to show the world who I am.” - Beyonce, a 7th grader

Tomorrow I am going to make one change to my life, and it will be to never give up.” - Scarlett, an 8th grader

One new thing I learned about myself during the 4GIRLS Workshop was that I am capable of helping these girls.” - Ana 12th grade Junior Mentor

We never cease to be awed by the transformation the girls experience when they participate in this program!

Over in Long Beach, the 4GIRLS team was immensely busy preparing and executing on their biggest 4GIRLS fundraiser to date! The Long Beach Annual Gala took place on November 1st at the Recreation Park Golf Course in Long Beach, CA. The theme was “Noche Para Las Niñas” (English translation, “A Night for the Girls”) – and was a play on the Día de los Muertos theme. Everyone got into the spirit of the event with festive face painting, terrific Folklórico dancers and a delicious Mexican feast. The highlight of the evening was our guest speaker, Yareli, a 9th grader who attended the 4GIRLS Workshop throughout middle school. She spoke from the heart as she shared:

Another thing they manage to talk about at the workshop was about bullying. I was picked on my whole entire school life and it affected me so much. Being bullied gave me the false impression that I needed to be what the bullies wanted me to be. People are always going to criticize you no matter what and you can never seem to satisfy them. Though it is hard having to go through it, I had to remind myself just to be me. I come to school to continue my education and increase my chances of a brighter future, not to subject myself into what others want me to be. I came into the workshop nervous and afraid, but I left feeling good about myself and aware that I am worth everything.”

Powerful words from a young woman who now realizes she is powerful!

And, speaking of powerful, 4GIRLS participated in the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade in Long Beach, CA on December 7th. Our float was adorned with empowering words, which were themes from our past workshops – including the word, “powerful”. This was the first time most of the girls (and adult volunteers) had ever been in a parade and it was an experience they will not soon forget. It was a great opportunity to showcase our organization and give the community an opportunity to see and hear from us in a fresh new way. One of our Junior Mentors, Sion, mastered the microphone and enthusiastically shared with the crowd about our organization and our mission. It was great for all the girls to witness Sion using her voice with such confidence! And, we all used our voices as we sang inspiring songs from our 4GIRLS playlist proudly and loudly – and, many in the crowd sang right along with us! It was a memorable evening and we are already thinking about next year’s parade!

In closing, we have some announcements to share. First, the Samueli Foundation donated $10,000 to 4GIRLS Orange County! The Samueli Foundation is a philanthropic organization that provides financial support and services to local nonprofits and we are so appreciative of their generosity! This gift will allow the Orange County Chapter to further expand their reach and perhaps break their workshop attendance record again next year!

And, we have important leadership changes to report at both the Board and Chapter levels. With regards to the Orange County Chapter, we are excited to announce that Hadela Sanchez will now serve as the new Orange County Chapter Director and Angie Gomez, former Chapter Director, will now serve as the Associate Director. At the Board level, Janet Bittner has decided to step down as Executive Director, but will continue to contribute her time and talent to the Long Beach Chapter. And, our Founder and Board President, Claudia Copley, has decided to step down as Board President after 10 years(!), but will continue to be a 4GIRLS leader and visionary as the Long Beach Chapter Director. Kerith Dilley is our newly elected 4GIRLS Board President and we are honored to have her level of non-profit expertise and leadership taking us into the next decade of 4GIRLS!

Wishing our 4GIRLS community, donors and business partners an empowering and inspiring 2020!

Sincerely,

The 4GIRLS Board of Directors

4GIRLS Gala - Folklorico dancers
4GIRLS Gala - Folklorico dancers
Belmont Shore Christmas Parade - 4GIRLS Float
Belmont Shore Christmas Parade - 4GIRLS Float
Orange County Workshop - Sharing Your Word
Orange County Workshop - Sharing Your Word
Orange County Workshop - Group Pic
Orange County Workshop - Group Pic

Links:

Sep 26, 2019

4GIRLS Project Report - September 2019

Unwind and Undo Stress Empowerment Event
Unwind and Undo Stress Empowerment Event

Hello 4GIRLS Friends,

This past quarter has been a busy time of community outreach, fundraising activities and event planning sessions, all in preparation for our upcoming key events, including the 4GIRLS Orange County, CA Annual Workshop. We also had our share of fun along the way for both the adults, who the Orange County Fundraiser at the Tennis Club at Newport Beach, and the girls, who attended the “Unwind and Undo Stress” Empowerment Event in Long Beach.

Community Outreach and engagement is very important for nonprofits in order to become or stay connected with volunteers, supporters and the community at large. At 4GIRLS, we have a number of leaders that do an excellent job with Community Outreach and they were actively out in the community this past quarter evangelizing the 4GIRLS’ mission and purpose. Some of the events in which we participated include the Wells Fargo Volunteer Expo, National Night out in Anaheim and Santa Ana (a community-building event that promotes police-community partnerships), Brookhurst Junior High Registration Week, and Back to School Night at both Brookhurst Junior High and Ball Junior High. These community outreach activities have yielded volunteers, workshop presenters, mentors, junior mentors, workshop participants and even a board member. Clearly, they are an important component of our communications strategy, and, as such, we will continue to dedicate time and resources in this area.

Also important to 4GIRLS (and, critically so) is fundraising. If you are receiving this Global Giving update, you know this to be true. 4GIRLS would not be able to fund and deliver all of the various programs that we offer were it not for fundraising. On July 2nd, 4GIRLS partnered with Mixed Bag Designs by Boon Supply, Mixed Bag Fundraiser for 4GIRLS, who has generously offered 40% of the profits of all purchases made at the link listed to 4GIRLS. The primary fundraiser during the quarter, however, was held on September 6th at the Tennis Club at Newport Beach. The venue was lovely, the food was tasty, and the auctioneer kept the attendees engaged! The result was a successful evening where the funds raised will allow more girls to attend the 4GIRLS Orange County Workshop than ever before. Our organization is grateful to the 4GIRLS supporters that joined us at the event – your contributions will make a difference in the lives of many of the young women in the community!

Our fundraising efforts allow us to offer programs and activities like the Empowerment Event that we held on September 15th at Go Inward Holistic Sanctuary in Long Beach (https://www.goinwardlb.com/). The theme of the event was “Unwind and Undo Stress” and Cori Cauble, Awareness and Meditation Coach, lead the group through a relaxing and fun yoga, movement, breathwork, and meditation session. Cori had the girls focus on the power they can feel when controlling their anxiety and breath. They also learned positive self-talk and awareness techniques. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the event and the feedback received was overwhelmingly positive including, “It was amazing!”, “What a wonderful event!”, “My daughter loved it!”, and, our favorite, “What am I feeling? What is this feeling? Oh, it’s euphoria!” Equipping girls with life skills and toolsets like these is one of the key undertakings of 4GIRLS. A core tenet of everything that we do, whether at an Empowerment Event such as this or at a 4GIRLS workshop, is that we inspire and empower middle school girls preparing them for real life success.

And, speaking of a workshop, the Orange County workshop is quickly approaching and will be taking place on October 12th and 13th in Anaheim. The team has been working diligently as they prepare to deliver the best and biggest workshop yet! We are expecting over 100 girls to attend, ready to be inspired and empowered! To apply to be a 4GIRLS workshop participant, junior mentor, adult mentor or volunteer, please visit our website at https://www.inspiration4girls.org/1/apply/.

In closing, we would like to thank the Anaheim Community, who in July, granted 4GIRLS Orange County with a $1,500.00 check! We continue to be humbled by the generosity of the communities that we serve. We cannot accomplish our mission without you!

 

Sincerely,

The 4GIRLS Board of Directors

What am I feeling? Euphoria!
What am I feeling? Euphoria!
Community Outreach
Community Outreach
Orange County Committee Members
Orange County Committee Members

Links:

 
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