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Hardy Girls Healthy Women

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Civil Rights, Community Coalitions, Girls Clubs, Women, Womens Rights, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Hardy Girls Healthy Women is a Maine-based, research-driven, youth-informed nonprofit. Established in 2000, we partner with girls and gender expansive youth to ignite curiosity, promote thinking critically, build coalitions, and challenge the status quo. We believe in changing the culture, not fixing the young person. HGHW works with 1,200+ girls and gender expansive youth annually through year-round, statewide programs. Our mission is to take girls and gender expansive youth seriously and to put the power in their hands to challenge a society that ignores their brilliance.

Target demographics: self-identifying girls and gender-expansive youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1.200 girls and nonbinary youth, 65 community partners

Geographic areas served: Maine

Programs: Feminist Action Board (high school students), Coalition Groups, Muse program (for college-aged women and nonbinary students), Camp Brilliance, Ruckus Roundtables, and G*rls Rock! Conferences

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

As a former board member and now a donor to Hardy Girls Healthy Women, I've seen the impact this organization has made on youth in Maine. It creates much needed safe spaces where youth can be themselves, talk about tough topics, work together on creative projects that help develop their critical thinking skills, and nurture relationships with their peers, which is so vital to building self-esteem and confidence. This is such an important organization for amplifying the voices of Maine youth, especially the voices of youth in rural areas of this state. I can't praise HGHW enough. It's an organization that would have changed my world when I was girl.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My time with HGHW as a committee member, a board member, and planner has been one of enrichment and growth. As a former healthcare provider and now healthcare administrator, I've worked with so many individuals over the years who did not have the support nor edification that this organization provides to our youth today. HGHW surrounds girls and gender expansive youth with tools, programs, and coalitions to uplift them and encourage them to find their power and use it throughout their lives.... power that they will then grow and encourage in other generations to come.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I felt lucky to serve HGHW as a board member for three years. The youth involved, either through designing and leading programs or showing up and creating space as participants, the staff, and the board, are all curious and committed to showing up for the things that matter most. They promote deep thinking and learning across all of their programs, and offer space to celebrate and lift up the incredible work youth are engaged in - both in Maine and around the world. I am inspired by HGHW and grateful for the chance to learn from them.

1 Kelli Wescott M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The work of HGHW is so incredibly important. This organization activates young people - girls and nonbinary youth - disrupts narratives, engages critical thinking, and upends gender norms. The programs are led by or guided by youth, meeting each person where they are at and encouraging their voices. They do so much on such a small budget with a power team.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

HGHW has been such a wonderful organization to work with over the past years--when I was part of the Muse program HGHW provided such formative experiences and guidance for me around work with hardiness and youth leadership for youth, and now as a board member it is amazing to see the many ways HGHW promotes youth voices and scaffolds youth coalition building across the state. I really can't express how much of an impact HGHW has had for me personally as a young adult feminist and educator, or how much I appreciate the work I being spearheaded by youth working with HGHW across Maine.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a committee member and now Board member of HGHW for 5 years, I can say without hyperbole that this organization has changed my self understanding as a woman, partner, parent, and ally to girls and gender expansive youth. The people involved in HGHW, from Staff to Board to volunteers, from middle school youth to the Girls Advisory Board to our college Muses, all shine with a brighter light, thanks to the programming, safe space, relationship, and support created by and for all those involved with this nonprofit. Changing the soil in which we all grow!!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with HGHW in college and met so many wonderful and brilliant young people in Waterville who were developing insightful and nuanced perspectives on their community. I loved these conversations and often left coalition group meetings feeling fired up and ready to challenge the issues embedded in my micro community. When the pandemic hit, Hardy G*rls programming had to make a major shift. I joined the Board and watched the organization press on in any way we could imagine, always with creativity and passion, and always towards our mission of celebrating the brilliance and activism of girls and gender expansive young people.

1 Rose D.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am extremely proud to be involved with HGHW since 2019. The mission of this organization resonates deeply with me- creating online and in school programming that centers and highlights the power of girls and gender expansive youth while fostering critical thinking, media literacy, activism, all with a feminist vision. If I’d had access to a project like this when I was in my youth, it would have radically changed the trajectory of my life for the better, and I see this possibility reflected in the youth HGHW works with. I’ve had the privilege to meet some of the present and former Hardy G*rls in “the wild” in a school setting or through HGHW directly and can confirm that those who’ve interfaced with our organization continue to be vibrant, deep thinking, engaged and wildly cool young people. They inspire me all the time.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with Hardy Girls, Healthy Women for a few years now and am just so impressed with their mission, their ideals, and the work they do for the girls and gender expansive youth of Maine. Their programming is exactly what the world reads right now. I wish I had had Hardy Girls when I was growing up in Maine!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a therapist, I have seen first hand the importance of giving youth the space to explore who they are in a safe space. Hardy Girls offers programming that is created by girls for girls and gender non-conforming youth and works to help them recognize their value in our society. Hardy Girls provides these safe spaces through its Girls Advisory Board (high schoolers who meet monthly and create the curriculum for our Girls Rock! Conferences, its Girls Rock! Conferences for middle school youth to be held April 13 & 14, 2022, Girls Coalition Groups (college students who create a safe space and facilitate discussion among middle school girls and gender expensive youth), and its workshops delivered to middle school faculty and staff. As a Board member I am honored to work alongside the youth who are involved in our programming and am humbled by their ability to advocate for their beliefs.

3 Christy H.4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a sociologist of education and an ex-Civil Rights worker in gender equity, I am thrilled to be moving onto the Board of HGHW, based on the foundational work by Lyn Mikel Brown, Carol Gilligan, Mary Pipher, and many others that we must focus on the resilience or "hardiness" of of girls and gender expansive youth in order to create healthier adults.

4 Tess F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hardy Girls is best organization I have been involved with. They helped me grow as a person, feminist, and leader over the 4 years I was a volunteer, all while working with young girls throughout central Maine to help them see that they have the power to change the world! Hardy Girls was the highlight of my college experience as it introduced me to some super cool young people I would otherwise not have met. Thank you for everything, Hardy Girls!

Review from Guidestar

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hardy Girls is an incredible resource to our school, our students, and the broader community. As a school counselor, I often work with female students who have low self-esteem and have a hard time recognizing their strengths. Hardy Girls' programming helps girls and young women take a critical view of the messages that they get from media sources and empowers them to take action and change this culture for the better.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

HGHW is an amazing resource for the State of Maine. As a public school educator, woman, and mother of two daughters, I am beyond thankful that we have access to HGHW. I know that when my daughters are old enough, I will encourage them to be involved with HGHW. I don't know if others realize what a gift HGHW is, with an amazing dedicated staff whose main mission is to empower girls!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with HGHW for many years now and I stay involved because their vision will help girls and women lead more healthy lives. The leadership stays focused on the goals and consistently creates and runs programs that are achievable, fun and make palpable differences in girls lives. I know when I contribute to HGHW my money is used wisely. I don't know who gets more pelasure from giving - me or the girls!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

HGHW is inspiring. As a young feminist it is a place to feel warm and welcomed. PBG, (Powered By Girl) the website for girls by girls that HGHW launched is amazing! It's full of spunk, satire and passion for girls and the issues that we face in today's harsh and uncompromising society. HGHW's mission to eliminate negative, sexist and stereotypical portrayals of women and girls in the media is one that is dear to my heart. I have two little sisters that are aged six and four. My hope is that by the time they are 16 they will see real, positive and powerful women in ads, movies and television shows. I think that HGHW is making this happen through their programs, websites and events.

2 Lauren41

Donor

Rating: 5

It's all about great leadership. Many organizations have strong missions to create changes but HGHW excels because of great leadership that includes collaboration. My husband and I have been supporters and know the most is made of our support.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the co-president of the Girls Advisory Board at Hardy Girls, I have been involved with the program for five years. As a younger student, I attended Adventure Girls sessions, as well as other programming. Hardy Girls has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it has shaped me in many ways. Hardy Girls has educated me on the issues that face girls and women today, as well as how I, and others, can address these issues and encourage positive change. Hardy Girls has also helped me to develop leadership skills with both peers and adults. The relationships I have formed while working on the Girls Advisory Board will be long lasting, and the skills that I have learned from my work with Hardy Girls will be important for the rest of my life.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the president of the Girls Advisory Board at Hardy Girls. I have been involved in Hardy Girls programming since I was in 2nd grade and I am now a senior in high school. Hardy Girls has shaped my life and given me so much experience and self-confidence. Hardy Girls has opened up doors for me and has taught me how to use my voice and the importance of activism and speaking up for others. Because of my experiences on the Girls Advisory Board I feel more comfortable working with a team, speaking in public, teaching younger girls, and I know that my voice and what I have to say matters. In a world where girls are taught to blindly follow the media, Hardy Girls gives girls opportunities and the support they need to speak back and to encourage other girls to do the same. It is an organization full of wonderful, dedicated role models and programs that teach girls that they can, in fact, change the world.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am in one of Hardy Girls Healthy Women's programs, the Girls Advisory Board (GAB). It is a place where I can talk with other teens who care about women and girls' rights to talk about real issues that girls are affected by. GAB also focuses on teaching girls about leadership, and I have learned many things about how to effectively communicate in a group setting and be responsible, especially when it comes to decisions that effect many people. I look forward to activities with the other girls in the group and going to the Girls Advisory Board meetings every month.

4 Peggy20

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hardy Girls Healthy Women is more than an organization for girls. It's an organization for everyone who not only believes that we can have healthier relationships and stronger kids, but that we can help kids be stronger by giving them a sense of power and allowing them to hold the reins. I've talked to so many girls who feel less alone because of Hardy Girls, who know it's okay to be brave and nothing less than necessary to remain true to who they are. Engagement - and I suppose, ultimately, that's what I love most about Hardy Girls Healthy Women is their ability to engage girls in the world and with each other - is so key for young women - and HGHW puts engaging with the world on so many levels within reach of girls in Maine - and increasingly - girls everywhere. It's an extraordinary feat.

2 Tobi S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Hardy Girls Healthy Women since its creation. As an attorney, I have referred many clients to their programs. Hardy Girls work with girls, through their Girls Coalition Groups, the Adventure Girls programs and the Girls Advisory Board, promote girls learning first hand how important their thoughts and voices can be - creating critical thinkers and social activists. I have actively worked for 11 years helping HGHW obtain donations in the community and have donated as well especially for their Girls Rock awards and weekend. Their approach for working with girls is unique and powerful.

3

Advisor

Rating: 5

HGHW is a remarkable, young, innovative and unique organization working with girls to encourage them to strengthen their ability to know, be grounded in , be comfortable themselves and therefore to explore what they can know and do for themselves and with their communities. Rather than "empower" girls, HGHW focuses on how to support girls to empower themselves, providing programming in everything from developing critical thinking through fun activities, to conferences for girls to learn and hear from one another, to a curriculum to develop literacy for being a critical thinking girl in a society that gives very mixed messages. I am proud to be part of HGHW, its ability to grow smart and to partner effectively, to develop and use resources strategically, to have fantastic leadership, and to have become a model organization for working with girls in the country.

2 Carolyn38

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hardy Girl Healthy Women launched an anti-bullying campaign to support LGBT youth five years before most of the rest of the nation. It was a courageous initiative at a time when most girls' organizations were invested in pretending that a lesbian or queer identity was something that only happened to adults.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

As one who has funded Hardy Girls Healthy Women for work on our philanthropy's initiative to change the cultural acceptance of violence against women and children, I can tell you that Hardy Girls is an exceptional grantee to work with. Not only does the organization do the work they propose to do, they involve girls themselves and community collaborators to help achieve their goals and vision. The fact that all of the staff are young women is even more exciting and great role modeling for the girls they serve.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Hardy Girls Healthy Women since I was a junior at Colby College in 2005. Over the years, I have been able to facilitate girls groups at a local middle school, run two hockey clinics on Colby's Johnson Pond, be a facilitator at Girls ROCK! weekend, and more! I love being part of a group of committed leaders who want the best for girls and women. I enjoy watching the excellent programming that HGHW provides to their surrounding community. The mission of HGHW is to strengthen girls' self confidence, give them a critical eye towards the media, and expose them to careers and activities they might not have considered for themselves. I have seen girls look at me wide-eyed and say, "WOW! I didn't know I could do THAT!" I fully support all that HGHW is doing and will help them continue to thrive!

3 Emily46

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter isn't quite old enough to actively participate in the exceptional programming at HGHW but I am counting down the minutes until she can. Until then I benefit from their articles, resources and posts as I provide may daughter with a solid foundation to build on in the next phases of her life. I so appreciate HGHW and feel incredibly lucky to have them as a close by resource.

2 ____680

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working in the domestic violence field, primary prevention is key to the elimination of domestic violence. I have long been looking for resources that expand, enhance, and celebrate the individuality of each young woman. HGHW presents a model that should be replicated world-wide. The organization works to scaffold the work of young women - empowering them not by acting on their behalf - but by standing behind them as they navigate the course of their desired/intended actions.

2 Jennifer114

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They provide great information and resources to girls not only in our area but all over the country. Their message is one of empowerment for girls and women of all ages. They want our world to be one where women are equals, treated fairly and and are safe in our communities. I adore this organization!