GR!DC is a caring, inclusive, fun space for girls and non-binary youth to learn to play music, build friendships, and be leaders. I've volunteered with GR!DC a number of times and I love being a part of a community that is thoroughly involved in its mission and work.
For 10+ years and counting, Girls Rock! DC continues to host transformative, creative and confidence-building musical programming for DC youth between the ages of 8-18. This organization is unique in its community support, inclusivity, youth leadership opportunities - not to mention musical education - and provides music education to those students who often miss out.
Girls Rock! DC is doing amazing work to support youth in the DC Metropolitan area. I cannot overstate the importance of organizations like GR! DC in building a future with strong, confident leaders (with awesome musical skills to boot).
Girls Rock! DC is a really special organization - every year, volunteering at summer camp is the highlight of my summer! This community is really strong, with both youth and adult volunteers coming back year after year. Everyone involved really cares about the youth and making sure they are learning and having the best possible experience. The organizational values of rock camp are particularly amazing - I've never seen a program that is more focused on what amplifying youth voices actually looks like in practice.
I feel honored to serve on the Board of this organization. The creativity that comes out of the Summer Camp is truly awe-inspiring.
Girls Rock! DC's work uniquely combines youth leadership development and empowerment through music/arts/activist education. It offers a much-needed space for young people, especially cis-, trans-, and gender non-conforming youth to build confidence, create community, and build friendships that will last a lifetime. With its 10 year history, I often meet people in the community who are former campers or volunteers. A truly community-driven organization!
I volunteered with Girls Rock! DC their very first year, back in 2008, and I've loved the organization ever since. Various young ladies that I mentored attended the week-long camp over the years, and they still rave about it to this day. I served as a volunteer while the girls rocked out. The culmination of the camp, the final concert, is powerful and inspiring!
Girls Rock! DC offers a much needed avenue for girls and nonbinary youth to explore music, identity, camaraderie, and community. A highly effective and established organization, Girls Rock! DC has been responding to the needs of DC area youth responsibly and sensitively for years through fun engaging programming and youth leadership, driven by a passionate base of volunteers and supporters.
This organization creates opportunities for cis and trans girls and non-binary youth to rock out (and build confidence, practice leadership, and develop their own artistic and political voice). GR!DC is wonderful.
I was a volunteer with Girls Rock! DC and loved it so much that I joined the team permanently. Girls Rock! DC practices its feminist values more deeply than any organization I know. I love how the programs are truly youth-centered. This is an incredible music education organization!
Many times we consider supporting a cause and never know for sure if it will make a difference. I am writing to tell you that Girls Rock! DC, helped change my little girl’s life.
Katie was a happy, friendly and creative little girl until about 18 months ago when her life took a terrible turn. Sadness became crippling. Fear of a few things became uncontrollable fear of most things. Her emotions prevented her from being able to attend school, church or any other activities. Some days she was too afraid or sad to leave our home. Her friends dropped away as they were unable to relate to her. She withdrew from everyone, just so she could feel safe. What a terrible burden at the tender age of twelve.
However, love of music was a constant in her life. She would laugh and sing her heart out at home. But she could never share that joy with anyone but her father and me.
And then, everything changed. Katie got a scholarship to attend Girls Rock! DC. At first I was afraid to try another camp. But I spoke to one of the volunteers and heard her caring and concern. This program seemed different from ones we had tried before. Katie was terrified the first day. But they had counselors, a nurse and a compassionate staff who were patient and let her engage at her own pace.
This camp wasn’t just about the music. These women and men had created a place where girls can feel accepted, safe and powerful. They learned to be genuine and that they deserve respect. They were shown that we are all different from each other and that those differences make us beautiful.
The curriculum was about more than music theory. It was about the portrayal of women in music and media, developing leadership skills, creative problem solving, collaborative behavior, healthy relationships and more. In addition, they got to rock out every day with other girls and excellent mentors. I had to hide my tears from her when she came home the second day and said she made a friend. Can you imagine how amazing those words sounded to me?
Since this wonderful camp has ended, my Katie has proudly told people that she performed on the same stage as Loretta Lynn, who played at the 9:30 club the night before the Camper Showcase. She has joined two other bands and auditioned for a semi-professional children’s chorus. She is attending school regularly, volunteers at a local agency, and has reconnected with an old friend.
So you see, this camp helped change my little girl’s life. She will always have to work hard to stay well, but this camp helped start her on that path. It gave her an opportunity to understand her own power and how her love of music can be a shelter for coming storms. I cannot express how grateful I am to the staff of Girls Rock! DC, for the role they played in this life-changing camp. I know the camp will be well remembered by all of the girls. The lives they have changed must be many.