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Jun 27, 2019

4GIRLS Project Report - June 2019

Resilient Girls
Resilient Girls

As the 4GIRLS leadership team reflects back on this past quarter, we are amazed and pleased with how productive and impactful our events and activities have been! And, we are happy to share with you what we have been up to since our last update.

The marquee event of the quarter was the 9th Annual 4GIRLS Long Beach Workshop held on March 23rd and 24th at Richard D. Browning High School, where we inspired and empowered over 100 middle school girls. The theme this year was “Resilient” and we had an array of amazing subject matter experts present and lead activities based on the theme. The main event of the weekend was the outstanding keynote presentation by Dr. Elaine Choung Hee-Lee, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology and Applied Genetics and Director of Human Performance Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology

at the University of Connecticut (yes, that is a mouthful!) Dr. Lee shared the fascinating work she has done studying extreme athletes and wove that into her powerful message about tenacity and perseverance (her “take home message” can be seen in the photo below.) And, to cap it all off, she gave the girls a wonderful gift – an offer of her time, by providing her contact information with an open invitation for them to reach out to her if they wanted to learn more about her field of study or had an interest in visiting her campus. Dr. Lee definitely left a lasting impression on the girls (and the adult women, too!)

Other significant events that transpired this past quarter included two Empowerment Events and a Community Event. The first Empowerment Event took place on April 28th when, thanks to the tremendous generosity of a community outreach team working with Cirque Du Soleil, 4GIRLS was given the opportunity to see their newest show, Amaluna, at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA. This show has a majority female cast, including a 100% female band. “Amaluna is a tribute to the work and voice of women”, according to Director of Creation, Fernand Rainville. In true Cirque Du Soleil fashion, the show mesmerized us all, especially the girls that attended who had never experienced anything like it! Our other Empowerment Event for the quarter took place on May 25th at the Ponderosa Family Resource Center in Anaheim. 4GIRLS Committee Members held a financial workshop teaching the girls in attendance about money and financial literacy. The event was a success and the girls learned valuable, real-life skills that they could begin implementing in their lives immediately.

On May 18th, 4GIRLS held a Community Event where we invited the community at large to attend a special screening of the movie, “On the Basis of Sex” at The Art Theater in Long Beach, CA. The film tells the true inspirational story of a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her groundbreaking battle with the U.S. Supreme Court for gender equality and women’s rights. We had approximately 75 guests from the community attend, some of which had never heard about our organization, so it was a great opportunity to share our story with them. And, it was a great opportunity for the girls in attendance to learn the amazing story of this small but mighty woman and how much one person can accomplish through grit and perseverance!

As if all of this activity was not exciting enough, we wrapped up our quarter by awarding our annual 4GIRLS Scholarships to high-school seniors and, to several middle-school girls to be used towards a summer enrichment program. Our scholarship recipients include:

  • Isabella, 8th grader, will be attending CSULB Young Artists and participating in the Long Beach Music Academy Jazz Band Camp this summer
  • Echo, 7th grader, will be attending “Sing CO,” the Orange County Summer Arts program
  • Daryn, graduating senior, will be attending Stanford University in the Fall with intent to pursue a Law Degree and become a Long Beach District Attorney, before embarking on a career in politics 
  • Maritza, graduating senior, will be attending California State University, Long Beach to pursue a career in Biology to become a Pediatric Neurologist
  • Carolina, graduating senior, will be attending Fullerton Community College and aspires to become either an English teacher or a social worker
  • Isabela, incoming senior, who wants to pursue a career helping others and improve her community, will use her award to cover school related expenses
  • Nancy, incoming senior, who is focused on pursuing a future career in law enforcement, will use her award to cover educational expenses

Congratulations to all of the winners! Your accomplishments, awards and your aspirations are impressive!

And, thank you, the 4GIRLS supporters, for continuing to make all of this possible through your generosity!

 

Sincerely,

The 4GIRLS Board of Directors

Dr. Elaine Lee
Dr. Elaine Lee
4GIRLS Financial Workshop
4GIRLS Financial Workshop
Amaluna!
Amaluna!
4GIRLS at the Art Theater
4GIRLS at the Art Theater

Links:

Mar 15, 2019

4GIRLS Quarterly Project Report - March 2019

Where has the time gone? We can hardly believe that here we are in March, already! It seems like only yesterday that the new year was underway and our 4GIRLS Board of Directors had gathered for our annual planning meeting. That all-day session was immensely productive, and we walked away with clear objectives for the year and a renewed commitment to our organization and our mission!

On January 26th, 4GIRLS participated in a community event at the Youth Empowerment Safety Symposium (YESS). YESS is sponsored by the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force and is designed to raise awareness of the dangers young people face today and equip them with the tools necessary to avoid those dangers. The event gave us the opportunity to introduce the mission of 4GIRLSto a new audience and share with them what we are doing to inspire and empower girls to be confident, authentic and resilient. A number of the girls and women that we spoke with expressed an interest in participating in or helping with our program. These events are immensely valuable for demonstrating to our youth that there are individuals and resources available in their communities to help empower them so that they can navigate life’s challenging situations.

And, on the topic of empowerment, on February 23rd, the Anaheim Chapter of 4GIRLS hosted a vision board event at the Ponderosa Family Resource Center. This event gathered past and present 4GIRLS participants who were ready to envision their future and focus on their success. Guided by two fabulous 4GIRLS Anaheim Chapter members and supported by other volunteers, the girls were able to place their goals, dreams and hopes onto their vision boards, allowing them to visualize the future they desire for themselves. In addition, they were taught the value of positive thinking and the importance of taking actions to achieve their goals. However, the most significant thing that they learned was to never give up and to always dream big!

And, this message ties in nicely with this year’s workshop theme, which is “Resilient”. The Long Beach Annual Workshop is coming up on March 23rdand 24thand, as in year’s past, we have an amazing line-up scheduled of subject matter experts and an outstanding keynote speaker all delivering content based on the theme. 4GIRLS board members and our team of volunteers have been working diligently in preparation for the event – which will be taking place at a new venue this year. We are looking forward to the excitement of workshop weekend and once again witnessing the transformation of all of the middle school girls in attendance! 

In preparation of our upcoming Long Beach Workshop, we delivered our annual 4GIRLS Mentor (adult women) and Junior Mentor (high school girls) Training on March 9th. There were approximately 40 in attendance, all who graciously gave several hours of their precious time on a weekend in order to be fully prepared and equipped to succeed in their very important roles. The training, which was facilitated by the incomparable, Pamela Sepulveda, LCSW and 4GIRLS Advisory Board Member, was a success by all accounts and left the attendees energized and excited for the big day ahead!

In closing, we are happy to report that Cal Optima (https://www.caloptima.org) generously awarded the 4GIRLS Anaheim Chapter with a $1000 sponsorship for participating in Day of the Child! These funds are made available to non-profits that serve Santa Ana and Anaheim and allow Cal Optima to spread the word on the amazing services that they provide for low income communities. Thank you, Cal Optima!

And, thank you for your continued support. We cannot do this without you.

Sincerely,

The 4GIRLS Board of Directors

Musical Chairs Ice Breaker at Mentor Training
Musical Chairs Ice Breaker at Mentor Training
Mentor and Junior Mentor Training
Mentor and Junior Mentor Training
Vision Board Empowerment Event
Vision Board Empowerment Event
Desert Dreaming!
Desert Dreaming!
Visualize It!
Visualize It!

Links:

Dec 14, 2018

4GIRLS Quarterly Project Report - December 2018

4GIRLS Orange County Workshop Attendees
4GIRLS Orange County Workshop Attendees

October and November were busy months for the 4GIRLS Organization with several events, including two marquee events – the Anaheim, CA Annual Workshop and the Long Beach, CA Annual Gala. On October 13thand 14th, the 4GIRLS Anaheim chapter held its annual workshop and it was the largest one yet with 80 middle school girls in attendance! The theme was “Courageous” and the keynote speaker, Sky Gaven, exemplified the theme well. Sky is a Latin-American entrepreneur and award-winning filmmaker who has been making courageous and bold moves throughout her relatively short career. In addition to filmmaking, Sky has experienced success in the music industry, launched a one-of-a-kind creative agency and helped to kick start some successful YouTube stars. Her passion and energy resonated with the girls and her drive and entrepreneurial spirit were great to witness. In addition to the keynote, the girls had the opportunity to experience and learn from a variety of “courageous” subject matter experts including Tara Van Deusen, 6thdegree black belt and the president of the Power of One Martial Arts and The Power of One World Leadership (http://www.po1kids.org/index.html). Exposing girls to strong powerful role models that can inspire and empower them – like Sky and Tara - is one of the key tenets of the 4GIRLS Organization, our annual workshops and our ongoing quarterly Empowerment Events.

And, speaking of Empowerment Events, the 4GIRLS Long Beach Chapter held one in October which was facilitated by Kellie Walters, PhD, and co-founder of  Smart Fit Girls - a program that teaches adolescent girls how to love their bodies by embracing their own strength (http://smartfitgirls.org). Kellie taught the girls the basics of nutrition, anatomy and resistance training. And then they participated in a workout with weights and a fun “Twister” nutrition game. It was an informative and fun afternoon and the girls were able to take home elastic exercise bands so that they could immediately put their learnings into practice! The Orange County chapter, led by Angie Gomez and Kerith Dilley conducted a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Empowerment Event in November. The girls enjoyed an afternoon of  hands-on STEM based activities. The activities included the opportunity to build volcanos and learn about why and how they erupt and also to construct towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows -  as tall as they could make them - while ensuring they remained structurally sound. The exercises encouraged the girls to use critical thinking skills and to work collaboratively to accomplish their tasks.

And, finally, also working collaboratively (and tirelessly!), the 4GIRLS Gala Committee planned and delivered the best 4GIRLS Annual Gala to date. The Gala is the primary vehicle for raising the funds that are needed to support all of the programs and activities that are offered to the girls at no cost. On November 3rd, the Long Beach Yacht Club was the site of a nautical night to be remembered – an amazing evening of food, entertainment and fun! The most memorable moment of the evening was the authentic and heartfelt speech delivered by former 4GIRLS workshop participant and now a 10thgrade Junior Mentor, Aneth. Her moving speech garnered a standing ovation and clearly illustrated the positive impact that 4GIRLS is having in the communities it serves. Aneth shared, “…being a teenager is difficult, we are always worrying about our presentation around others, following in a pack was safer… 4GIRLS helped me to identify and strengthen my character… manage my own insecurities and that changed my life in school and everywhere around me. Being a participant then becoming a junior mentor was inspiring for me. There is a powerful surge of satisfaction when you help impact someone. Joining 4GIRLS has taught me tons. I have learned that helping people gives me a force of willpower to push my shy and timid ways to the side. My goals have changed, not only to be a doctor but to follow in my adult mentor’s steps, volunteer, help, serve in any way I can to any girl I can reach”. Bravo, Aneth!

As 2018 comes to a close, we look back with pride at all of the things that we were able to accomplish and all of the young women and girls that we were able to inspire and empower. And, we have already begun to look ahead to 2019 and have started our planning for the coming year. The next big event on the agenda is the Long Beach Annual workshop, which is taking place on March 23rdand 24th. We had to secure a new venue for the upcoming event because we have outgrown our old space – a great problem to have! We eagerly await the new group of girls that will be attending the 2019 workshop and look forward to seeing their 4GIRLS evolution.

Thank you for your continued support and generosity!

Sincerely,

The 4GIRLS Board of Directors

Keynote Speaker, Sky Gaven
Keynote Speaker, Sky Gaven
Gala Speaker, Aneth
Gala Speaker, Aneth
Nutrition and Fitness Empowerment Event
Nutrition and Fitness Empowerment Event
STEM Empowerment Event
STEM Empowerment Event
Self Defense with Tara Van Deusen and Team
Self Defense with Tara Van Deusen and Team

Links:

 
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