Girls Inc. is partnering with The Academy for Success to provide school-based comprehensive programming to high school teen girls. The collaboration is part of an effort by Girls Inc. to broaden its impact by reaching more teen girls throughout the community “where they are” outside of its capacity at the Goleta Valley Teen Center. The partnership, which began in December 2020, is currently serving 24 youth from Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos high schools, creating a safe and supportive virtual space for girls to connect.
Each week, Girls Inc. facilitators meet with the teens for one 45-minute virtual workshop. Outcomes for the program focus on Girls Inc.’s STRONG programs: Girls are in charge of their health, and possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop and sustain healthy lifestyles; and BOLD programs: Girls are socially and emotionally intelligent and display character and confidence in the life skills that allow for independent, productive and fulfilling lives. These outcomes support The Academy’s ultimate goal to graduate productive and responsible citizens with a comprehensive life plan.
Girls Inc. curriculum focuses on:
- Goal setting and visioning
- Gender stereotypes
- Body positivity
- Healthy relationships
- Affirmations and gratitude
“This has been a unique opportunity because this is the first time we are providing programming during school vs. afterschool as well as delivering Girls Inc. programing virtually,” says Girls Inc. Teen Programs Director Brenda Mendoza Alamo. “For many of the youth, this is the first time that they are in a safe space where they can learn and have conversations about issues that affect women and teens. I am happy that Girls Inc. is able to provide the youth with this space.”
The Academy for Success is a life-changing program is for students who need more personalized support to be academically successful. Participating students are placed in a cohort to work with Academy teachers and mentors, and attend group and personal counseling to help develop healthy behaviors. The three-year plan includes academic support, counseling, and internships. Students receive tutoring, get help with their organization, and check grades weekly with their mentors. In 2020, 98% of the seniors in the Academy program graduated from high school and 92% enrolled in post-secondary education.
For many of the youth, this is the first time that they are in a safe space where they can learn and have conversations about issues that affect women and teens.
Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. Our comprehensive approach to whole girl development equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. These positive outcomes are achieved through three core elements; people- trained staff and volunteers who build lasting, mentoring relationships; environment- girls-only; physically and emotionally safe, where there is a sisterhood of support, high expectations, and mutual respect; and programming- research based, hands-on and minds-on, age appropriate, meeting the needs for today’s girls.