Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA

by 4GIRLS Organization
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Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Empower a Girl in Long Beach and Anaheim, CA
Brenda Villa, Keynote Speaker
Brenda Villa, Keynote Speaker

Greetings 4GIRLS Friends,

We hope that this message finds you all healthy and safe.

During the past several months, 4GIRLS has been hard at work designing and delivering our program in a new virtual format. The culmination of this effort was the first 4GIRLS Virtual Workshop ever, which was held on November 7, 2020. By all accounts, the event was impactful and accomplished our goal of inspiring and empowering the middle-school girls in attendance. The feedback received from the girls included “This is the best workshop I have ever done”, “I am ready for new ideas to come my way”, and, “Thank you so much for today!!! I haven't felt this happy and powerful ever until today.” WOW.

The theme of our Virtual Workshop was “Bold”, and one clear embodiment of the word was our keynote speaker, Brenda Villa, the most decorated female water polo player ever. She is a four-time Olympic medalist and four-time World Champion! Brenda, a child of Mexican immigrants, began playing water polo at age 8, and, in high school had to play on the boys’ water polo team because there was no girls’ team. She was the first student from her school to go to Stanford University, where she was awarded the 2002 Peter J. Cutino Award as the top female college water polo player. Through her keynote message, Brenda demonstrated to the girls what it means to have grit and tenacity and how important it is to follow your dreams. She is now helping other kids follow their dreams through the Brenda Villa Foundation (https://www.bvfdn.org/our-story), which strives to give access to aquatic sports to youth in under-resourced communities. Brenda shared, "Anything that you are the first in, make sure that you are not the last." Excellent words of wisdom. Brenda!

Some other important topics covered during the workshop included mindfulness to teach the girls how to be present in the moment, breathwork to show the girls breathing techniques to control the mind, which in turn controls the body, and a segment on mental health. The topic of mental health is always important and especially so during these challenging times in which we are living. Symptoms of anxiety and depression have increased, in some cases significantly, during the pandemic and youth are not immune. In fact, we learned during the 4GIRLS workshop discussion, that mental health issues are on the rise in youth and that girls have a higher incidence of depression than do boys. Important tips, tools, and resources for coping with anxiety and depression were shared with the girls. In addition, segments on journaling, accomplishing goals, sparking joy, and self-affirmations also provided the girls with methods to shift any negative thoughts or self-talk. Some of the powerful affirmations shared by the girls included, “I am unstoppable”, “I am a trail blazer”, “I am good enough”, “I am worthy”,  and, “I am ready to be me.” The middle school girls that attend our 4GIRLS Workshops never cease to amaze us!

The 4GIRLS leadership team and extended team of volunteers feel energized by our first Virtual Workshop and look forward to continuing to leverage a virtual platform to help drive our mission of inspiring and empowering middle school girls. We are also very excited that our board continues to grow with new and diverse talent, including the latest addition, Caryl Strong, Managing Director at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Caryl brings extensive experience in accounting to the organization and will be closely aligned with our CFO. Welcome to the team, Caryl!

In closing, we wish our 4GIRLS community joy and peace as we embark upon the holiday season.

 

Sincerely,

 The 4GIRLS Board of Directors

I am...
I am...
Virtual Inspiration
Virtual Inspiration

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Organization Information

4GIRLS Organization

Location: Long Beach, CA - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
Maria Gugerty
Long Beach, CA United States
$33,051 raised of $50,000 goal
 
379 donations
$16,949 to go
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