For over twenty years, Girls Empowerment Network (GEN) has responded to the systematic decline of self-esteem in girls. We have held conferences, workshops, camps, and summits to ignite the power within Texan girls. GEN staff always noticed that something special was happening when girls circled up, joined their peers in an authentic space, and had the opportunity to just be themselves. It didn’t matter if the girls were eight or eighteen, these young women were gaining more than just higher self-esteem – they were rewriting their stories and shedding labels. Not only was their confidence increasing, but girls began to truly understand how unstoppable they are.
GEN girls increase their confidence not just within themselves, but in the classroom, at the dinner table, and out with friends. They are connecting to their own identity, values, and boundaries. They are connecting to their peers on a deeper level through vulnerable conversations and collaboratively acquiring new skills. They are connecting with their teachers, parents, guardians, and wider community in new ways. They are connecting to their own power and the collective power of a small group dedicated to making a change.
This connection is crucial. And for that reason, we have decided to change our school-based programs name to Girl Connect. Though the names clubGEN and 180 have served us well, we are so excited to roll out this new program name: Girl Connect. This encompasses all the connection we create for young women whether they participate in an after-school program or are referred to us for an in-school program. We will remain focused on our core curriculum, plus new modules like Failure and Resiliency, Self-Compassion, and Growth Mindset. Please join me in celebrating our new name, Girl Connect. This is a very special time in our organizations herstory. Go Girl Connect!
Caroline Crawford, MSW
Chief Program Officer