Volunteering as a coach with Girls For A Change (GFC) is a dynamic and rewarding experience that leads to connections with young women throughout , implementation of a social change project and a contribution toward putting women at the global leadership table. Two Coaches work with each team with approximately 10-25 girls. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about this volunteer position.
Q. How long is the commitment?
Coaches for GFC begin with a mandatory orientation in either August or January. Teams will start in either early September or the beginning of January. There are also coach training sessions offered throughout the year on a variety of topics. We ask that you or one of the coaches from your team attends these trainings. We ask for you to commit to 12 weeks as a volunteer coach. You can coach in the fall from August to December or in the spring from January to May (Please see the following questions on trainings for more information.)
Q. What if I cannot make a 12 week commitment?
If you are unable to commit for one full program term (12 weeks), Girls For A Change can work with you in a variety of ways. If you are not able to commit for the majority of the time period, we can explore other volunteer opprtunities within the organization. Please contact your local Program Director for details.
Q. Do you provide training?
GFC begins supporting coaches in the fall and spring with a mandatory orientation session. Coaches are provided with information needed for meetings including curriculum materials, forms and team management ideas. The training also includes how to work as a co-active leader with your partner coach. Following the fall orientation sessions, coaches are asked to attend at least two more training sessions on a variety of topics pertaining to social change projects and working with middle school and high school girls. The additional trainings are 2-3 hours long and offered every other month.
Q. What if I miss trainings?
We ask that each coach tries to attend all trainings. If you are unable to attend a training, we ask that one coach from your team attends the training. This is something that you and your partner coach can coordinate during the coach orientation sessions as the dates are set for all sessions. The fall and spring orientation sessions are mandatory for coaches.
Q. How much time does it really take to be a coach?
We ask that coaches plan on committing 10-15 hours a month to Girls For A Change. This time includes:
- Four meetings with the girls (8 hours)
- One monthly coach training (2 hours)
- Prep and drive time (4-9 hours)
The majority of your time will be spent preparing for the meetings you are attending with the girls including, communication with your co-coach, creating agendas, contacting girls and doing some personal preparation for meetings.
Q. What if I have to travel because of work?
If you are required to travel, we ask that you remain in close contact with your partner coach about when you will be away. One coach must be present at each meeting. We understand that many jobs require travel trips during the week. If you travel consistently each month, committing to a coaching position may not be right for you. We have other volunteer positions that may work better with your schedule.
Q. How much planning and leading will I do? How much will the girls do?
During the first few meetings, coaches may be doing most of the planning and leading. GFC wants girls to learn how to be leaders. So you are able to model for the girls as a leader and then allow them to take on more responsibilities as the year goes on. It is important to remember that middle school and high school girls need assistance with organizational and leadership skills. Coaches teach and model these skills throughout the year.
Q. What if I have not worked with girls before, does that matter?
The coach orientations in the fall will address how to work with girls and also give scenarios for some of the situations you may encounter in groups of girls. We will also provide you with a resource guide, called a Coach Toolbox that will help you facilitate meetings and provide resources for working with youth. In addition, we provide staff and volunteer support, through a coach mentoring program, to help you along the way. It is helpful to have experience with youth, but not required for this program. Girls For A Change will partner with all coaches to provide support around any of your needs including work with girls.
Q. Why do I have to pay to be a coach?
In compliance with state laws, GFC conducts background checks, including references and fingerprinting reports, on all coaches to insure the safety of coaches and girls in our program. In order to cover the cost of these checks, GFC charges $15 to all coaches. Financial assistance is available.
Q. Why do I have to be fingerprinted and pay for it?
Arizona and California require that volunteers working with youth are fingerprinted for everyone’s safety. We will distribute materials regarding fingerprinting in your orientation packet after you are accepted as a coach. The cost of fingerprinting varies between $10-$50 depending on the agency and the level of screening required. If you have been fingerprinted before, you must still be fingerprinted by GFC. This is a one time fee and process. Financial assistance is available.
For more information about coaching in your area see our Volunteer page
We look forward to having you contribute your time to Girls For A Change!