Girls For A Change is a national organization that empowers girls to create social change. We invite young women to design, lead, fund and implement social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.
GFC provides the tools, resources, partnerships and support girls need to gain the voice, ability, and problem-solving capacity to realize their full potential. We welcome and serve all girls and focus our efforts on girls who live in low income communities.
Today, in cities
across the country, Girl Action Teams of approximately 10 girls and two
women volunteers called GFC Coaches meet during the school year to
identify an issue they want to change and then design and implement a
social change project.
Imagine the possibilities if every year thousands of middle school
and high school girls learn how to tackle community problems! Picture
the huge number of powerful women leaders driving local communities and
the world toward success and well-being.
- Empower girls to be social change makers by providing the tools, resources and support girls need to move from being spectators to being change makers.
- Catalyze professional women to support urban middle and high school girls to become social change makers and innovators, by training the women as social change makers and activists.
How we accomplish this mission:
- CHANGE YOUR WORLD TRAININGS: Starting in 2008, GFC took its annual Girl Summit, a day long conference on the road. Each year 2,500+ girls and 400 women are given the tools to create change in their community through our Change Your World Trainings. The trainings also include teaching girls what social change is and showing girls examples of a diverse group of social change makers.
- GIRL ACTION TEAMS: Thousands of girls have the opportunity to participate in community teams. The girls identify challenges in their communities and design and implement creative solutions to address them as a team. Each team has two women coaches to guide and support the girls through the project. This is a free after school program.
- “NEW GIRLS NETWORK”: GFC connects girls to a network of professional women and legislators who help them build their own web of contacts and mentors. This network aims to help girls accomplish their GFC project as well as their personal goals. It also builds a bridge to the rich opportunities of local communities, as many GFC girls live in lower income areas.
- GFC ACTION NETWORK: Thousands of girls connect online to share their world changing ideas, collaborate on projects and download GFC’s Change Your World Action Kit to begin transforming their communities using this “how-to” social change guide.
How GFC benefits girls:
In completing the GFC program, girls will gain an increase in four areas:
- Self-efficacy (belief in one’s personal power to produce an effect)
- Authentic relationships with women volunteers, called coaches
- Social Change skills (critical thinking, problem solving, resource development, and networking)
- The ability and confidence to express and implement their ideas
CORE VALUES: GFC uses its core values in decision making and daily operations. Volunteers of the organization are also trained to use the core values when representing GFC. GFC is a social change organization that supports girls in fully developing their voice, ability, and problem solving capacity to realize their full potential.
- GFC values girls as a powerful and unique resource for creating social change.
- GFC values the process of creating social change.
- GFC values being intentionally innovative, risk taking and visionary to make broad and lasting impact.
- GFC values people being in a place of self-fullness* in order to create change. People are the organization’s most valuable asset.
- GFC values direct and honest communication to ensure authenticity in the creation of social change
- GFC values the diversity of all women and girls and believes diverse and unlikely relationships are personally transformative and key elements to creating social change.
*Self fullness is defined at GFC as a balance of personal health, personal growth, and self-care.
HISTORY: GFC was founded in San Jose, California in 2002 and has since doubled the number of girls served. We expanded to the Phoenix Metro Area in 2005 (see Communities). In 2008, GFC took its annual Girl Summit on the road for our National Tour. The tour included teaching more than 2,500 girls about social change and giving them the tools to create change through our Change Your World Trainings. Girls For A Change began empowering girls in 2000. Without the support and dedication of the following individuals and partner organizations GFC would not have been possible:
Founding Steering Committee Members:
Niko Everett, (formerly Clifford) Founding CEO and Current Board Member
Whitney Smith, Founder and current CEO
*Mariah Dabel, Founding Board Member, named Girls For A Change.
Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County
The Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Advocacy
Partner and Founding Organizations:
Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
The County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Advocacy
The County of Santa Clara Dept. of Public Health - Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Network
Women’s Technology Cluster- Nonprofit Incubator