When a girl participates in a gender-focused leadership development program, her experience becomes a critical building block for her future. For many girls in Washington State, however, access to these programs is limited or nonexistent.
To bridge this access gap for thousands of girls across our state, we have launched the Girls’ Leadership Organizations of Washington (GLOW) Initiative.
Together with 14 girl-serving organizations (GSOs), we are investing in and building the capacity of the organizations that deliver these important programs.
As a cohort, our GLOW Initiative grant recipients participate in program quality assessment and executive leadership development. Together, these organizations are exploring how they can improve their programs and reach more girls.
For organizations like Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), participating in the GLOW Initiative has opened a new opportunity to evaluate and enhance their programs.Anna McCracken, Program Coordinator at Y-WE, experiences the impact of their programs firsthand. For her, evaluating their program quality and effectiveness is critical to ensuring girls have the best possible experience at Y-WE.
The experience girls receive at Y-WE is important to their retention, said Y-WE Co-Director Victoria Santos. Girls often start at Y-WE in middle and high school, and return during college to give back to the organization.
The leadership experience created at Y-WE is building a community of young women who are confident and eager to advocate for their communities.
Young Women Empowered Career Day, 2016
After Y-WE’s annual Career Day, a student – Bianca – shared how her experience has helped her break through labels and gain confidence in her leadership.
“Being from an immigrant background is sometimes hard because of all the stereotypes and people saying ‘you can’t do that.’ Because of Y-WE, I’m less shy, I’m trying new things, and I’m advocating for affordable housing and healthy food for my community,” she said.
Beyond program impact and improvement, the GLOW Initiative has allowed Y-WE to collaborate and learn from their peer organizations. Jamie-Rose Edwards, Co-Founder and Co-Director at Y-WE, credits Women’s Funding Alliance for convening Washington’s GSOs and investing in their collective advancement.
Since GLOW launched, the initiative has made significant impacts on the cohort organizations. By sharing where each organization is excelling and where they need support, the GSOs are exploring how they can leverage each other’s strengths to serve more girls with high quality programming statewide.
This statewide movement is made possible with your support. Thanks to your generosity, young women and girls like Bianca will have access to leadership development programs that will set them on the course for success. Together with you, we are setting Washington’s girls on a brighter path of opportunity.