By Freida McNeil
The leadership of Girls For A Change (GFAC) is building evidence on the root causes of the generational poverty experienced by Black girls and other girls of color. Data shows that while Black women are acquiring advanced educational credentials at a rate higher than any other category of workers, they continue to languish at lower earning rates than those same workers. Application of solid and accepted approaches to enhance the self-efficacy, social and emotional well-being and the technical and leadership skills of high school girls of color has produced outcomes that are building evidence to move the structure and methods of the Girl Ambassador Program forward. The program is built on two important pillars, sustained and supportive engagement between GFAC and black girls and other girls of color, and a solid approach to investing in the girls the elements of the “hybrid skills” that have been identified as the most attractive skill set for 21st century employment prospects.
The second co-hort of the program will wrap up in late June. Girls in grades 9-12 from local high schools are completing their tech (towards Microsoft certification), soft skills, and leadership skills training. The 10th – 12th graders are preparing for minimum wage employment. Their 5-week employment is scheduled for July and August.
The data addressing the barriers to the academic and career advancement of black women and girls clearly shows that their limited exposure to key skills allows the system to exclude them from consideration. In response, GFAC focuses on sustained and trusting relationships with the girls along with intentionally selected experiences and exposures that will allow them to see various work opportunities from both the outside and inside. Direct work experiences are crucial to meet the need for the girls to experience and understand work in a variety of settings.
Five additional employment placements are needed to meet the requirements of this year’s cohort of 10th – 12th grade girls. If you are able to host one of the girls in minimum wage paid employment at your business, please contact Tasha Chambers at firstname.lastname@example.org – 804-263-0491. GFAC is building a pipeline of employable Black women. We see the future…We’ve planned to Empower our girls…Victory is imminent!