Our 2018-2019 School Year Program Successes!

By Caroline Crawford, Chief Program Officer

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This has been a banner year for Girls Empowerment Network. Our girl experts have worked tirelessly to ensure the greatest impact on the girls we serve. And that work has paid off. I am so proud of what was achieved with the young women across our service region!  

One of our core values is to “Shout Out” meaning to celebrate our accomplishments and to recognize our victories. It is my honor to “Shout Out” and share with you the tremendous results from the past school year. First of all, let’s take a look at our “outputs”—in other words, how many service recipients were impacted by our work. In our 2018-2019 year, our programs reached 6,096 individuals in the following ways: 

  • Girl Connect: 1,664 

  • We Are Girls Conference Registrants:  

    • Austin event: 1,647 

    • Houston event: 2,071 

  • Pathfinder:

    • 5th Annual Austin Pathfinder Leadership Summit: 32 

    • 1st Annual Houston Pathfinder Leadership Summit: 20 

    • Year-round workshops: 48 additional girls 

  • Girl Advocacy Day: 83 

  • Camp: 104

  • Workshops: 427 

When you add in the 10,000+ additional community members that our staff reached through indirect services such as public presentations, outreach campaigns, training, etc., that makes over 16,000 lives impacted by our mission to ignite the power in girls!

Our signature Girl Connect program in schools is our long-term service that involves the largest expense of staff time. The 1,664 girls that we reached with Girl Connect programming met weekly on the campuses of 70 school partner locations this past year. Here is an examination in further depth of the girls we served through Girl Connect:  

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Socioeconomic status: 78% of the girls served through Girl Connect come from low resource households, as measured by eligibility for free/reduced lunch programs. 35% of girls reported that they received free/reduced lunch status on permission forms and an additional 43% are estimated to receive free or reduced lunch based on a school-wide percentage.

Of course, we are not only proud of the number of girls we reached, but also the impact that we have had on their lives, helping them believe they are power people. To share more about our impact (“outcomes”) we’ll take a look at survey results. In post-surveys conducted with girls across our Girl Connect, Camp, and Pathfinder programs … 

  • 87% reported pro-social bonding with other girls, 

  • 89% reported belief in their own ability to achieve their goals, and

  • 90% reported the ability to solve problems if they give their best effort. 

And I have extra special outcome information to share about our Pathfinder Leadership Summit. Using best practices for assessing self-efficacy (Bandura, 2006; Pajares, Hartley, & Valiante, 2001) and our experience administering surveys to girls in our program, Program Evaluator, Dr. Sarah Miller-Fellows, developed a master question set to assess self-efficacy in each of the “6Cs” we target through our programming:

  • collaboration

  • creativity

  • communication

  • confidence

  • critical thinking

  • coping skills

These new questions assess both self-efficacy specific to each C and general self-efficacy, as previous literature has shown self-efficacy in one domain transfers to self-efficacy in other domains (Urdan & Pajares, 2006). 41 of our summer 2019 Pathfinder Leadership Summit participants completed both pre and post surveys. I am ecstatic to share that Dr. Miller-Fellows’ analysis results indicate that Pathfinder participants showed statistically significant growth in self-efficacy for ALL 6Cs!

This is a BIG DEAL, and I am thrilled to share that we have demonstrated this level of evaluative rigor.

Lastly, girls are not only being positively impacted by our work, they are also having fun when they come to our programs, which makes our content more relevant and approachable for them. In fact, 98% of girls served said they would recommend Girls Empowerment Network to a friend!

Of course, numbers never tell a full story, so I have also included some quotes from girls, parents, and our school champions below.  

What an impressive year for Girls Empowerment Network. These results are a testament to the passion and commitment of our team. And we couldn’t do the amazing work we do without all our volunteers and partners. So, thank you and let’s get back to work! The new school year is waiting!

Ignite Her Power,

Caroline Crawford, Chief Program Officer

Caroline Crawford, Chief Program Officer


Participant Quotes

“Girls Empowerment Network didn’t toss self-confidence and courage in my lap. They didn’t write out a list of instructions for me to follow everyday for me to be powerful. They gave me a mirror and said everything I need is in me, and I’m always going to be grateful for that.” –Pathfinder participant 

“Girl Connect has provided girls in our school an opportunity to grow themselves emotionally and socially. Girls Empowerment Network has also given several girls a place to feel valued and a sense of belonging.  Many of the girls that are group members did not participate in other extracurricular activities that were provide by/or at our school.  We know that students that participate in extracurricular activities are more likely to have better attitudes about school and be more successful.  Girl Connect provided a safe and fun place for girls to learn and grow, and we are very appreciative and pleased with our experience!” –School partner 

“This conference taught me that women are strong and powerful people!” –Elementary school We Are Girls attendee 

“Girl Connect provides a resource for girl empowerment that we would not have otherwise [at my school]. The girls are very fortunate to have an afterschool groups that meets weekly to discuss relevant topics in an all-girl environment.” –School partner 

 "I am so thankful to be a part of this group. I trust you so much more than anybody else at my school.” –Middle School Girl Connect participant 

 “I feel more confident in myself and in being a girl! I hope we do this every year because this was so much fun!” –Elementary school We Are Girls attendee 

“Every student that has been a part of Girl Connect really loves being a part of group and they are always asking to make sure Girls Empowerment Network staff are coming each week. It gives students a place at school that they feel like they belong.” –School partner 

 “I have never been able to sit in a room full of girls and not want to fight. It’s wild, at school none of us would have been friends, but I feel like we are all friends now.” –High School Girl Connect participant 

 “I have seen a huge change in my girls that attended Girl Connect. They have the confidence they need as girls and Girls Empowerment Network empowers them to accomplish their goals!” –School partner 


Caroline Crawford