Girls to Women (G2W) is “dedicated to supporting girls as they design their futures for successful womanhood.” We opened our doors in early January of 2007, after being approached by a number of community parents wanting a locally oriented program for their daughters. We hit the ground running, and celebrated 7 years of community service to low-income families in East Palo Alto in January of 2014. In 2013 (and thus far through 2014) we’ve served 50 girls ages 6-14 and their families over 90% of whom were below-poverty or low-income, and nearly half in single-parent families – with a broad-spectrum, multicultural program. What’s unique about our approach, as compared to worthy but large-scale youth programs in our community, is an intensive, individualized approach that optimizes outcomes for girls and their families. Participants attend, on average, over 3 times/week during the school year and for a term now 28% above previous years, currently averaging 14 months. Cultural diversity has also shifted since early 2012 and now includes Latina (89%), African American (5%), Pacific Islander (4%), and South Asian (2%) cultural groups. Close to two-thirds of our girls’ parents are immigrants. Thirty percent of the girls are English Learners. All reside and/or have parents working in East Palo Alto.
While we request that families give what they can in support of their girls’ participation, few can afford to contribute more than a token per year. Over the past year, families’ contributions comprised less than $4,300, which met just 2% of expenses and under $100 per family per year. In any event, we don’t require a fee for service.
The current Girls To Women after-school program runs every school day afternoon and emphasizes:
1. Academic support, including bilingual support;
2. Mentoring, multiculturalism, & leadership development with culturally reflective women;
4. Sports and games;
5. Health awareness;
6. Gardening, nature & outdoors;
7. Conflict-resolution and socialization skills.