GREENSBORO, NC, July 6, 2018 - The program is designed to help middle school girls develop the courage, compassion and confidence to be lead themselves and others. Lillian said her confidence has gone from about a six before the program to a nine or even a 10 after the experience.
“I found out that it is very good for girls to be both smart and confident,” she said.
In 1984, Women’s Professional Forum Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, was created by members of The Women’s Professional Forum to promote, facilitate and support the education and leadership skills and qualities of girls and women. Two years ago, WPFF decided to invest in a leadership experience for middle school girls.
“In middle school, girls can be insecure and sorta lose themselves,” Lillian said. She echoes what the research suggests as a most difficult time in a female’s life.
This life stage, spanning ages 11 to 13 and grades six through eight, is one of extreme transitions. Physical changes, emotional growth and social upheaval are hallmarks of this stage of development. More than any other time in their lives, girls need adult and peer support and guidance to come through the middle school years relatively unscathed.
In partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership and Guilford Nonprofit Consortium, WPFF underwrote the research, design, facilitation and testing of an interactive curriculum for middle school girls ages 13 to 15 in Guilford County.
Lillian McNeal, 14, feels ready for high school, and Girls Leadership Edge was a major factor.
During the fall, 18 Guilford Nonprofit Consortium members whose nonprofits serve middle school girls, took the training on Girls Leadership Edge at The Center for Creative Leadership.
Facilitators received a Resource Tool Kit, a Resource Guide, Girls’ Workbook Exploration Card Decks and experiential activities for each of the five two-hour modules. For six months, the facilitators have offered the program to middle school girls throughout Guilford County.
Tracey Nicole Hayes, founding board member of Leadership LINKS, Inc. and trained GLE facilitator, offered the program to a group of middle school girls through her nonprofit. She said it gave middle school girls an opportunity to be vulnerable in a safe space.
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