Oasis's Technology & Leadership Program for Girls!

by Oasis For Girls, a Project of the Tides Center
Jazmin prepping for interview
Jazmin prepping for interview

In the last year, the ENVISION program has served over 45 low income young women of color, providing them with key technology training, leadership development, post secondary planning, career awareness, and job readiness skills.  ENVISION has been transformational in the lives of these girls, providing them with a space to start building their futures.  

One such girl is Jazmin.  She grew up with her parents and disabled sister. Because of high medical bills from her sister's condition, the family has often been homeless, living with friends or in local shelters. Consumed by her family’s challenges, Jazmin was often distant and disengaged at school, and with her classmates.

At the recommendation of a school counselor, Jazmin enrolled in our ENVISION program, Jazmin discovered her interest in fashion after talking to a Career Nite panelist who works in socially conscious fashion design and sourcing.  Because of the support and growth opportunities provided by Oasis For Girls, after graduating high school, Jazmin moved on to an internship at Bloomingdale’s. While there, she developed an impressive portfolio and fashion blog, and as a result, was admitted to the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing.

Jazmin visited Oasis just a few months ago and spoke with pride about her accomplishments. She noted that Oasis was a place of community and inspiration for her during a time when she felt overwhelmed and hopeless.  “Oasis is a special place. The programs made me realize I could build my life. It wasn’t that I was on a bad path at the time—I just wasn’t on any path. At Oasis, I was challenged to set goals and achieve them.”   

With a constant eye on meeting the ever evolving needs of our girls, Oasis conducted a needs assessment with our participants this Winter.  Through this process, we recognized that our girls need more intensive support in preparing for post secondary education and careers.  As a result, in collaboration with our key stakeholders, we have engaged in a strategic planning process to shift the focus of the Technology & Leadership Program to more specifically address these needs.  The new program, ENVISION College & Career, begins in the Summer of 2013 and advances girls’ awareness of, readiness for, and success in high-demand careers in growth industries, including STEM. ENVISION provides career awareness opportunities, job readiness training, and post secondary planning to support success in and transition from high school to college and career.

More specifically, ENVISION participants will:

  • Enhance career awareness: identify careers of interest, research these careers, and identify educational pathways toward completion
  • Build job readiness skills: develop positive vocational behaviors and competencies to be successful in the workforce
  • Identify post secondary options, discover areas of academic and vocational interest, and use these to enhance college readiness
  • Develop individualized, realistic, and actionable Next Steps Transition Plans to tie current decisions to future opportunities

We believe this enhanced version of the Technology & Leadership Program will better meet the needs of our girls, propeling them into advanced education and exciting careers that will promote their health, self sufficiency, and happiness!  

Clothing Swap for interview attire
Clothing Swap for interview attire


Google Job Site Visit Picture
Google Job Site Visit Picture

After serving over 70 girls through our College & Career Program over the last two years since acquiring the program from GirlSource, we've decided to add two new program elements this Spring to support participants in enhancing their leadership skills, planning for post secondary education, and exploring future careers.

Through our Sisterhood, we'll create progressive opportunities for girls to build leadership skills from one program to the next with unique roles based on their tenure at the organization:

  • Oasis Girls (girls enrolled in their first Oasis program):  Undertake program leadership roles (Sous Chef, Inspirational Guru, Tour Guide, Dust Bunny, and Ice Breaker Leader)
  • Oasis Sistahs (girls enrolled in their second Oasis program):  Manage programmatic leadership roles by assigning roles, prepping girls for their roles, and following up to ensure that roles are completed. 
  • Oasis Queens (girls enrolled in their third Oasis program):  Internal responsibilities include planning, implementing, and evaluating program wide events including Girls Nite, Family Nite, Career Nite, and Graduation.
  • Oasis Divas (girls enrolled in their fourth Oasis program): External responsibilities including working with the Executive Director on program planning, funder site visits, board meetings, and community meetings. 

With enhanced leadership skills, Oasis girls will have the confidence to be active agents for positive change in their own lives, the lives of their Oasis sisters, and their larger community. 

In addition, girls in the College & Career program will create a personalized Next Steps Transition Plan over the course of the program.  A customized binder created by each girl, the Next Steps Transition Plan will contain sections for program materials, academic progress reports, an aptitudes/interests/career worksheet, a My First Choice Colleges list, an academic coursework roadmap, a list of individual contacts (Sistahs Who Support Me) and community resources.  The format fosters reflection, reinforces skill development, and establishes connections between choices and outcomes. To be shared with other girls, family, and friends at graduation, the Next Steps Transition Plan will be a key resource and guide as girls continue to navigate the path toward college and career.  

Stay tuned for more exciting updates on Oasis For Girls College & Career Program and thank you for your ongoing support!   

Celebrating a UCB Cal Bears Victory!
Celebrating a UCB Cal Bears Victory!

It's been a year or so since Oasis acquired the Technology & Leadership Program from a sister organization that had to close its doors, and we've had a chance to explore, revise, and grow the program to maximize its benefits to the great girls and young women we serve.

So, we'd like to introduce you to the new and improved program, which will now be known as the Oasis College & Career Program. An essential element of our year-long Springboard Series for Girls, the new C&C Program will help Oasis girls open new doors to a world these girls have rarely glimpsed.

In just the past year, the C&C Program has packed their lives full of wonderful "first time" experiences. On just our recent trip to the campus of UC Berkeley, for example, there were so many "firsts": 

  • The first time some of them had ever walked on a university campus;
  • The first time they had seen academic excellence embodied in women of color;
  • The first time they had ever watched a capacity crowd cheering for talented female athletes;
  • The first time they ever heard the words, "This campus could be a great fit for your talents...."

And that trip was just one dream made possible through the support of our partners. There have been others, too:

  • The trip to Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley, where the girls met young women who had made the leap into the realm of global technological innovation;
  • The trip to the hip-hop dance class at Dance Mission, where could could celebrate and embrace the cultural gifts of their own generation;
  • The trip to the San Francisco Food Bank, where the girls developed a deeper understanding of the connections between food access and social justice....

So by supporting just the past year of College & Career, you have helped pave the way for Oasis girls to discover the connections between their high school lives and the worlds of academics, athletics, arts, technology, and equity: You helped them discover -- and claim their place in -- the larger worlds around them.

Learning about the science of making perfume
Learning about the science of making perfume
Exploring a biology lab at Mills College
Exploring a biology lab at Mills College


Mills College Field Trip
Mills College Field Trip

This Spring, we're celebrating a year of the Technology and Leadership Program (TLP) at Oasis For Girls! 

When GirlSource – one of the city’s longtime leaders – was forced to close its doors in October 2010, Oasis acquired its flagship program, TLP.  The acquisition of TLP – so well aligned with our mission, our service approaches, and our target population – offers an ideal complement to our lifeskills, arts, and leadership programs. After implementing the first cycle of TLP in the Spring of 2011, we have just recently completed our third cycle serving over 45 girls in total, and we are finding great synergy in the addition of this technology-based vocational and educational program to complement our arts and leadership approaches.

TLP’s primary goals are as follows:

  • Increased Capacity to Explore and Articulate a Point of View: Be able to individually and collectively conceive, produce, share, and discuss a social issue of importance to young women
  • Increased Technological and Vocational Skills: Develop basic competency in standard office technology (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, google docs and blogs), online research and information-management, and graphic-design platforms such as Adobe Professional, and Creative Suite
  • Enhanced Peer Connections: Share and respond to one another's research and writing and collaboration around a shared social issue; b. Enhanced sense of collective possibilities for career and college; c. Develop positive exposure with female role models in work and school
  • Increased Leadership, Artistic, and Vocational Skills: Develop an activity log to support job applications, create position-specific resumes and cover letters, identify and submit applications for jobs, business attire and behavior, business communications, and basic interviewing skills; conduct job-site visits and informational interviews
  • Broadened Horizons: Build a career or college plan: research types of higher education, finances and financial aid, educational requirements for post-secondary education (California state breadth requirements, AP courses, SAT testing), how to research individual colleges and majors

Recent graduates of the TLP report valuable learning and growth as a result of participating in program including:

  • 100% of girls report being able to think critically about social issues and articulate their views to others
  • 92% of girls report a commitment to pursuing post secondary education
  • 85% of girls report knowing how to search and apply for jobs they are interested in

In addition, TLP graduates have been recognized as important scholars and leaders in their communities by the prestigious community and city leaders including the San Francisco Foundation and the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families.  These young women are profiled below.

Daynelita Dulalas, Technology and Leadership Program Summer 2011 Graduate, was awarded the Koshland Young Leader Award! A highly prestigious award, the Koshland Young Leader  Award provides financial assistance to college-bound San Francisco public high school students  from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Koshland Young Leadership Award  recipients are high school students who are highly motivated to achieve  despite facing formidable challenges in their lives and embrace a commitment  to supporting their families and communities. 

Arielle Piamonte,Technology and Leadership Program Summer 2011 Graduate, was awarded the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families Youth Warrior Award! The Youth Warrior Award is awarded to 12-16 remarkable young leaders who have made a commitment to using their knowledge, skills, and talents to bettering themselves and their community and have overcome challenges to become positive and motivated change-makers.

Technology Training
Technology Training



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Organization Information

Oasis For Girls, a Project of the Tides Center

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.sfoasis.org
Oasis For Girls, a Project of the Tides Center
Project Leader:
Adriana Lopez
Development Director
San Francisco, CA United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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