Apply to Join

Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls

by Girls to Women
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
Academic Support & Mentoring for Underserved Girls
We look forward to getting back to this!
We look forward to getting back to this!

Hello to all supporters, parents, participants, volunteers, and allies generally. We hope that you and yours remain safe and healthy as we continue an uncertain path through the COVID-19 Pandemic and its evolving impacts.

After Winter Break we started up with a new round of what had been our School Year offerings -- digital storytelling, mindfulness, nutrition & fitness, ongoing support for transition-age young women, and monthly parenting support workshops. Our search for a new HQ and centralized program facility continued. We began a partnership with East Palo Alto's new Kipp-Esparanza High School to offer tutoring for our K-12 girls.

We were also in the thick of organizing our 9th Annual Community Fun & Fitness Run/Walk 5K, normally a nexus of volunteerism, health & fitness awareness, fundraising, and community solidarity-building. The Latinx Family Hikes series which was so popular several months earlier was coming together for 2020, pending the end of our rainy season.

We had close to 40 girls so-engaged, along with hundreds of community volunteers, staff, and families’ participation in the planning for the 5K Run/Walk. Family Hikes were to take up again in late April.

Needless to say however, by early March everything was suddenly in suspense, and of course Shelter-In-Place commenced on 03/17/20 here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Since that time, we hosted in late April and early May a phone- and video-conferencing series of one-on-ones with our girls’ families, asking what their basic needs were. Most of these low-income parents and guardians, so many of whom are immigrants, identified the following as critical:

  1.  Assistance with rent and other occupancy expenses. With the housing market the way that it is, there is fear that even a relatively minor problem with rent payment can lead to eviction once the temporary ban is lifted;
  2.  Nutritional support, for especially those low-income and largely immigrant workers who’ve lost their jobs through COVID-19, whether they qualify for unemployment insurance or not;
  3. Assistance in learning how to set up videoconferencing at home, both the hardware and the software/programs, especially now that K-12 formal education is now primarily being conducted online.

We have been directing unrestricted individual donor and other revenue into helping our SIP families as best we can with the three preceding items. Since April, we’ve distributed several $thousand in rent and utilities payments assistance; organized grocery pickups for our girls families with assistance from the Second Harvest Food Bank. Staff, along with culturally and linguistically-reflective volunteers, have remotely-coached families in setting up the videoconferencing capacity now required for everything from virtual family visits, to job-seeking, to online classes for school-age children.

We've applied to appropriate emergency COVID-19 funds which regional foundations and other donors have devised. But grants revenue alone won't allow us to provide the basic levels of support for our girls' families in-need. As it has always been, we depend upon the contributions of financial, volunteer, and in-kind resources from individuals to achieve the level of service which we do.Thanks again to all of you who have done so.

And please -- if you can at this time of economic instability -- consider making another gift to g2W. The stakes are so much higher now for the low-income girls and their families (see following link to discussion of low-income Peninsula families' vulnerabilities during COVID-19). Normal learning and development have an uphill battle when economic and social crisis strikes those with little to fall back upon.Your interest and support in the futures of our 'low-income but high-potential' girls and their families make the difference.

In the meantime, may you and yours remain safe & healthy. We will get through this.

The girls miss their arts activities . . .
The girls miss their arts activities . . .
We're planning a 'Virtual Run' for later this year
We're planning a 'Virtual Run' for later this year

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Getting deeply involved in art
Getting deeply involved in art

Happy New Year to all readers -- volunteers, parents, and donors. We hope this finds you well. Here at g2W, we've scaled back a bit from the warm season while investing in attempts to locate major organizational capacity-building set-pieces.

Our more indoor-oriented activities -- mindfulness classes, See Us For Who We Are digital photography & storytelling, support for transition-age young women, and parenting support and nutrition workshops -- continued with a few interruptions for The Holidays.

We're holding steady with close to 40 girls and their families participating during the late fall and winter months. Come the late spring weather, we'll double that or more with expected participation in the Latinx Family Hikes, 'Season 2.' If the program's inaugural 2019 popularity was any indication, the Peninsula Open Space Trust, g2W, and Latinx Outdoors will collaborate to help get hundreds of individuals out acting naturally in our nearby parklands and public open spaces.

Those of you who've read our bulletins since mid-2018 know that, upon loss of our Beech Street facility lease in East Palo Alto, we shifted to a decentralized program delivery approach sited in other community-serving venues in our service area. But we've always been on the lookout for a new fixed-site facility where we can optimize our programming for low-income girls and young women.

We're still looking; any leads welcome! Both institutions and families alike in our area continue to deal with stratospheric housing costs and low availability. While we search for a more permanent g2W home, we're also looking at potential sites for our 12th Annual Summer Session, which will be here before we know it!

Meanwhile, we're organizing our 8th Annual Margaret Wright Fun & Fitness 5K Walk/Run event. This community-building get-together has withstood venue changes, thunderstorms, and other challenges to become a source of community health & fitness awareness, fun, new friendships, and revenue for g2W programming. Our thanks to all of the advertisers, donors, volunteers, and community groups who have helped make the Fun & Fitness 5K is the local tradition which it has become!

In a time and place where the call from low-income families for structured out-of-school programming for their girls continues, we remain committed to our served community. Individual donor revenue now our largest single revenue (formerly under that from institutional grants). Special thanks then to all of you GlobalGiving donors who have made our work possible as we do our best to be nimble, adaptable . . . and soon, we hope, with a place of our own, winter and summer!

In training for the 5K Fun & Fitness Run
In training for the 5K Fun & Fitness Run
See Us For Who We Are photojournalist at work!
See Us For Who We Are photojournalist at work!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Suf's Up! at YMCA Swim Center
Suf's Up! at YMCA Swim Center

Greetings to all of our donors, volunteers and other supporters.

At the end of July we wrapped-up our 11th consecutive Summer Session program. With 'g2W' still in the market for a permanent new program-capable facility, we sited Summer Session 2019 at the local Seventh Day Adventist Church on Beech Street, not far from our former home (where we still retain our administrative office and modest activity space.

This year's program ran 5 weeks, Monday thru Friday, between June 24, 2019 and July 26. Twenty-nine girls ages 7-14 from Latinx, African-American, Asian, and Pacific Islander cultural groups participated.

But before our summer program began, all the activity leaders had a one week training the week prior which took place in our Girls to Women office. During that week we finalized and ran through the entire 5-weeks' curriculum elements

Two of our activity leaders were college graduates who demonstrated excellent abilities with program delivery and group dynamics management throughout the summer. Our third leader was a recent high school graduate gaining experience before she headed out to begin her post-secondary education at UC Davis. We valued being able to share and exchange knowledge with this trio of great young leaders!

Each program day began with 'Circle Time' where all staff and participants convened to discuss each day's plan. After circle time was the morning's scheduled activity. After a lunch emphasizing good nutrition and presentations from the cultural traditions of our participating girls, there were unstructured, elective activities, emphasizing quieter such as arts, reading, or math games intended to minimize 'summer slump' learning loss between school years.

In particular, journaling and other topical writing during the summer, we find, keeps girls moving forward with English skills.That's important for any student, but even more so with our nearly 50% immigrant-background and English-Learner girls.

Recurring Summer Session 2019 activities included:

  • Nutrition and culinary arts learning & practice on Mondays;
  • Digital video and photography on Monday and Wednesday afternoons;
  • Swimming Tuesday and Thursday mornings;
  • Arts and dance activities on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons;
  • Hiking in regional open-space and natural areas like Skyline Open Space, Rancho San Antonio, and other parklands every Wednesday morning;
  • Stage acting and crafts on Fridays.

The older girls 11-14 extended the digital photography activity into photo-essay explorations of what in the local community supports, or detracts from, community environmental health -- a significant Mid-Peninsula issue. This awareness and self-expression building exercise was led by local journalist Kate Bradshaw, who published a related article in our local Almanac (see attached article). A showing of selected photos on this topic was subsequently held by our supportive friends at Menlo Park's Cafe Zoe .

Parental involvement at all levels, from hiking field trips chaperoning to nutritional support, added to the safety and smooth functioning of Summer Session 2019, thanks again, Parents!  

 Since the summer ended we have rolled into our School Year programming. While our popular new Family Hikes series is on-hold for the rainy season (and here's hoping that we get some very soon to abate recent extreme fire danger!), we're otherwise continuing with mindfulness practice; life-skills support for transition-age young adults; digital photography; our new Congolese dance series; and an ongoing monthly parenting support and skills-building meetings.

For example several of our girls attended the Facebook Family Hackathon event as well as a Streetcode Academy session . . . we engage our girls in these activities to address the lingering 'digital divide' which results when lower-income communities don't have adequate access to information technology exposure and learning.

In late September our Founder/Director Pat Foster received a Local Hero award from the Mid-Peninsula Media Center (see attached YouTube clip). Many of our families attended and dispensed enthusiastic support for her at the award event. Congrats to you for this well-deserved recognition Patricia!  

More recently, we had a Day of the Dead ceremony for our primarily Latinx cohort of girls and their families at St. Francis of Assisi Church here in East Palo Alto. We received numerous 'Thank Yous' and, well, we could not be more proud. The gathering drew in a number of new-to-us families, who expressed gratitude and no small suprise that a girl-centered program like this exists in town. It makes us happy to realize that, little by little, we are making a difference in these girls' lives, and in those of their parents and families generally.

And it is the support of you donors, volunteers, and other supporters who make that possible. THANKS AS ALWAYs and Happy Harvest Season to you all!

Parents help chaperone a hiking field trip
Parents help chaperone a hiking field trip
Girls' cultural traditions include healthy cuisine
Girls' cultural traditions include healthy cuisine

Links:


Attachments: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Gearing Up For A Family Hike
Gearing Up For A Family Hike

We seem to be hitting our stride with our new decentralized program delivery model, which has been in operation for about 14 months now. Local East Palo Alto youth-serving organizations are natural partners for our services for girls and young women, and Oxford Day Academy, Phoenix Academy, and College Track have hosted g2W activities for over a year now.

Thirty girls this spring completed the 9-week digital photography workshop series taught by Oakland artist and arts educator Van Nguyen Stone -- 20 at Oxford and 10 more at Phoenix. As-always, the theme was explorations of gender stereotypes, identity, and self-expression through personally-crafted images. Girls from low-income and immigrant backgrounds benefit from encouragement to look at presumed gender roles, explore how they affect lives, and to make their own decisions.

Our longtime ally and education professional Lakiba Pittman continued her Mindfulness training series with middle- and high-school girls at College Track. Nine young women completing the 12-weekly sessions. Our evaluations tell us that participants feela  greater sense perspective, attention-span, and non-reactive responses to challenging situations, with less chronic anxiety and helplessness in the face of negative emotions and conflicts.

We're proud to mention that our illustrious Founder/Director Pat Foster has been recognized with a Local Hero award from the Mid-Peninsula Media Center. Coupled with her Jefferson Award from last year, we're delighted to see Ms. Foster being recognized for many decades of service to local disadvantaged youth and their families again lately.

While we are still looking for a more permanent (affordable) program facility for g2W, we did find a local church hall to site this year's 6-week Summer Session. We hope that's a sign that a suitable long-term space will present itself as our search and word in the community about it continue.

Our monthly Family Hikes series has started quite popularly, with over 50 local families with girls ages 6-18 having participated in 3 hikes -- to Rancho San Antonio Preserve & Deer Hollow Farm, Pichetti Ranch Preserve, and Skyline Ridge in the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space parks system. The hikes' role in supporting stronger family ties, good physical health, and more positive attitudes make the effort well worthwhile. Our partners Latinx Outdoors and the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District are equally pleased with the strong start to this new collaborative program.

In the meantime, rest assured that our lean, mean (well, not really) but efficient new operation stretches every dollar. The dollars which you donors invest in our work is, as it always has been, key to our ability to serve. Thanks now -- and every time!

The girls didn't chicken out at Deer Hollow Farm
The girls didn't chicken out at Deer Hollow Farm
Many girls have had limited contact with nature
Many girls have had limited contact with nature

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Director Pat Foster wins a 2019 Jefferson Award.
Director Pat Foster wins a 2019 Jefferson Award.

 Hello supporters far and wide; and welcome to our first report of 2019.

With nine months’ experience running programs under our new model to inform us, we began the first months of this year continuing activities adapted and/or piloted during 2018: 

  • Monthly parent workshops with representation of up to 15 families at any one meeting;
  • Arts programming suggested by the older girls’ Leadership Group;
  • Digital photography and storytelling for 40 high school participants;
  • Weekly mindfulness training/stress-reduction learning for 30 with Lakiba Pittman;
  • Transition-age Women’s support group with over three dozen participants on the mailing list;
  • Fitness & health activities’ literal run-up to our 8th Annual Margaret Wright Wellness 5K Fun & Fitness Walk/Run.

At the end of January, our programming got a lift when Girls To Women and our Founder/Director Patricia Foster received a Jefferson Award from CBS Bay Area. Showcased was the 'My Story, Your Story' digital photography and storytelling program.  Congratulations to all the young women who created thought-provoking art pieces with a message!

Our 8th Annual Mari Wright Fitness & Fun Run wrapped up duly soaked in the showers so typical of this winter’ weather, back on the first Saturday of this month. While downpours didn’t allow the event’s largest-ever turnout or number of dollars raised, what was clear were the roots that The Run had put down in our community since the first one in 2012. State Assemblyman Mark Berman provided an inspirational pep talk, and contestants included no less than 30 who are in-recovery with the support of local substance abuse treatment & advocacy agency Free At Last.

In the wake of the Fun Run and all that went into it, this might be a good time for us to give a shout-out to our current Community Partners:

Oxford Day Academy, East Palo Alto – Serves as a site facility for programming which we organize.

College Track, East Palo Alto – Like Oxford Day Academy, it also serves as a site facility for programming which we organize.

City of Menlo Park’s Recreation ProgramProvides low-cost structured summer youth activities.

Castilleja SchoolFun Run volunteers.

Stanford University – Another source of academic support tutors and mentors.

Second Harvest Food Bank – nutritional support and volunteers.

Eastside College Preparatory – culturally- reflective young academic

StreetCode Academy - Information-Technology learning for middle school girls.

Oxford Day Academy, East Palo Alto – Serves as a site facility for programming which we organize.

 It has been a challenge shifting quickly from mainly in-house programming to a decentralized model, with activities staged in multiple community venues. But we have learned even more about how to find and leverage community resources, invoke good will, and partner with local residents who have the skill and the will to give back to our young people.

Our Organizational Budget is now close to $75,000 less than anticipated in early 2018, with two employees rather than five doing more in the way of community engagement, program scheduling, and coordinating, and less of program delivery and onsite logistics. Sarah Hoffman continues to work beside Patricia as she has for nearly two years, as Programs Coordinator.

 And now it seems, we will have a roof over our heads, what with new program space in the offing -- after nearly a year without one. There's a large hall not far from our previous HQ in East Palo Alto which we hope to soon be occupying for our Summer Session 2019 if not for longer.

 Reflecting upon the past year, we're reminded of the adage: 'Adapt or perish.' We have adapted, while keeping programming for our 'low-income but high-potential' girls and young women. This 'we' includes all of you who contribute your dollars, hours, expertise, or in-kind items to The Cause.  Let us close by saying Happy Spring, and Thanks for your support!!

A recent support group meet-up for young women
A recent support group meet-up for young women
Young artists at the Jefferson Award media event
Young artists at the Jefferson Award media event
A young finisher at our annual Fun & Fitness Run
A young finisher at our annual Fun & Fitness Run

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Girls to Women

Location: East Palo Alto, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Girls_to_Women
Project Leader:
Patrica Foster
Executive Director
East Palo Alto, CA United States
$35,475 raised of $58,300 goal
 
585 donations
$22,825 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.