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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!