Here are some highlights from GFC's Girl Action Teams across the country.
Girl Action Teams Community Impact
Thousands of community members have been impacted by GFC Girl Action Team projects. Some projects that impacted community members:
- 200 high school students received teen pregnancy prevention materials at their school
- 100 middle and high school students learned about how they can love their bodies and have a positive self image
- 30 high school students plus community members participated in a poetry slam against racism
- 100 5th graders actively participated in a school assembly about bullying prevention
- 350 high school students plus school faculty attended an assembly about peer pressure and its influence on teens, particularly around decision about sexual activity
- 50 high school students and their family member attended a workshop about how students who are immigrants can access higher education
See a full list of Girl Action Team Projects here.
GFC's Long Term Impact
The following are results from a longitudinal study. GFC girls who are a part of GFC Girl Action Teams as compared to girls not in the program showed the following:
- Girls have access to a positive caring adults, their GFC Coaches
- Girls receive encouragement and support from an adult, for instance Coaches invite girls to take on leadership roles
- Girls realize that the skills they are learning through GFC can translate to their own lives and realize they can create change for themselves (self-efficacy)
Girl Evaluation Highlights
Program Goal 1: By the end of the 8 month program, all GFC girl participants will increase their self-efficacy, defined as: one’s belief that they can accomplish their goals.
- 94% of GFC girls agreed that despite the fact that creating changes in a community is challenging, they know they can create change (this is a 4% increase from the previous year!)
Program Goal 2: By the end of the 8 month program, all GFC girls will feel increased adult support and positive adult role modeling.
- 87% of GFC girls believe their GFC Coaches (the women volunteers who work with Girl Action Teams) care about what they are doing
94% of girls in GFC agreed that GFC affiliated women are change agents
Program Goal 3: By the end of the 8 month program, all GFC girls will report being part of a positive peer group in their GFC team, where they feel comfortable and supported.
- 93% of girls in GFC agreed they work well with their GFC teams.
- 90% of girls participating in GFC will report that they feel comfortable and relaxed working with other girls (this is a 10% increase from the previous year)
Program Goal 4: By the end of the 8 month program, all GFC girls will learn skills in public speaking, problem solving and how to effectively work with a team through their GFC experience.
- 76% of girls on GFC teams agreed they can plan, lead and implement a project.
- 80% said they had done public speaking or a group presentation
- 46% said they led part of a meeting
- 23% said they raised money for their project
- More than half of girls said they had led part of their project or completed a project plan
Program Goal 5: By the end of the 8 month program, all GFC girls will have knowledge about ways to create social change as it relates to their GFC project and in their life outside GFC.
- 72% believed they could fix the problems in their communities
- More than 90% of girls also reported that they know they have choices about what happens to them in life and that they can make positive changes in their personal lives
Program Goal 6: By the end of the 8 month program, all GFC girls will report explicit awareness of the transferability of the skills learned in GFC – such as public speaking, problem solving and working with a team - to other life situations and contexts.
- 90% of girls in GFC agreed that if they can make changes in their community that they can make changes in their own lives
- 75% of girls reported they can speak up when things are bothering them
Program Goal 7: By the end of the 8 month program, all GFC girls will have utilized and will have continuing access to a new network of diverse peers and adults.
- 80% of girls in GFC reported that they feel comfortable talking to someone who is not like them
- 78% of girls in GFC reported they met girls and women in GFC they would have not met otherwise
Girls on GFC Girl Action Teams also said:
- 83% of girls reported understanding how social change happens
- 66% of girls reported that they have changed in a positive way since joining GFC
Girls reported that they like the following about GFC:
- Becoming social change agents
- Everyone's ideas are heard and used in project planning
- "I have learned how to speak my opinions"
- Gaining knowledge about the community
- "I learned to overcome my fears"
- "Meetings are productive"
- It's a place to express yourself
GFC Community Outreach
- Parent/Guardian Newsletters
- Community Newsletters (organizations and schools) in each site
- Collaborated as a committee member on the Arizona Girls Roundtable to present four unique community workshops addressing the needs of Arizona girls
- Partnered with the University of Arizona Building Partnerships For Youth to present on youth as partners and engaging youth as leaders in community organizations
- Nominated to join the Arizona Governors' Task Force on Youth Development; Out of School Time Work Group
Who are GFC Girls?
- 85% of girls attend a GFC target school, meaning it is ethnically diverse and in a low-income neighborhood
- Ethnicity of girls participating in GFC Teams: More than 85% of girls self identify as young women of color.
- Ages of girls participating in GFC Teams: approximately 62% are in Middle School (10-13) and 38% are in High School (14-18)
Who are GFC Coaches?
- More than 200 women participate as Coaches each year
- 45-55% of Coaches self identify as women of color
- Approximately half of GFC coaches are between the ages of 18-30
GFC Coaches Reported:
- 96% are highly satisfied with their interactions with GFC staff.
Coaching with GFC has affected them by:
- “It has helped me loosen up so that I could handle the unexpected. “
- “It helped me decide where I’m going in life.”
- “I am more open minded.”
- “It has opened up job opportunities.”
- “I redefined success.”
- “I can now empathize with people I don’t necessarily relate to.”
- “I recognize that I have a choice in how I see all situations."
- “Learned how to tactfully guide a meeting.”
Coaches said they learned the following:
- Learning and sharing from other
- Listening skills
- What empowerment looks like
- Greater awareness of diversity Issues
- Social change project planning skills
- Learning to accept recognition/praise
- How to co-facilitate
- Youth are inspiring
- Respect for youth
- Trust in others
- How to connect with others
- Trust the girls, the process, and myself
The Girls For A Change model is built on our core values and uses social change, youth development and coaching to fully engage women and girls in creating change. There are four elements of the model:
- Girl Action Teams: Girls participate in teams to identify challenges their communities face, then design and implement creative solutions to address them. Each team has 5-10 girls and two women Coaches to guide and support them through the project.
- New Girls' Network: GFC connects girls to a network of professionals and elected officials who help girls build their own web of contacts and mentors. This network helps girls accomplish their GFC project as well as their personal goals. It also builds a bridge to the opportunities of the community, as many GFC girls live in lower income areas.
- Girl Events: In 2008, GFC's Annual Girl Summit hit the road for our first ever National Tour! Girls throughout the US particpate in Change Your World Trainings as the National Tour comes to their schools. More than 2,500 girls learn about social change and how to create it in these trainings. Girls in all sites attend an annual Spring Into Action training for girls and coaches and a Completion Ceremony. Spring Into Action includes skill based workshops for girls that relate to the work on their project. The Completion Ceremony is an annual celebration of girls and coaches!
- Girl Steering Committee: Each year, 15-20 girls also participate as members of the Girl Steering Committee. As members of the Steering Committee, girls serve on organizational committees and also have the opportunity to join the local Advisory Board or the National Board of Directors. At the national level, at least four girls sit on the Board and act as voting members. There is no quorum without two voting girl members at a Board meeting. Girl Board Members also participate in annual strategic planning meetings for the organization and advise staff.
Join thousands of other young women in a historical movement to change the world. GFC did something rather revolutionary…we asked girls, like you, what your lives are like, what you worry about, and how you want your life and your community to be different. And, we asked girls like you how we could help you make big changes.
We found out that you have the answers, and all we need to do is give you the space, connections, and support to create your own solutions. To get involved:
You can change the world! Take action now…join a GFC Girl Action Team
Girl Action Teams meet at schools or community centers. Two women volunteers called Coaches work with a group of girls to create a community project that tackles a social issue girls choose. To join a team, visit our list of cities here and then click on the "Contact Us" link to email your local GFC staff person. In your email, include your name, the school you attend and an email or phone number where we can reach you. This information will help us respond to you quickly about the teams in your area.
If GFC is not in your city yet…start a GFC Girl Action Team OR join the Girl Action Network
GFC is growing every year, but if we are not in your city yet you have options. You can either start a team in your city OR join our Girl Action Network.
If you want to start a team, you will need to partner with an adult mentor who can help you implement the steps needed to start a team. There is a cost to start a GFC team, so you will need to work with your adult mentor and GFC to see how we can support your fund raising efforts. To learn more, click here.
The Girl Action Network allows you to connect with women and girls around the world who are creating change! It's free to sign up and after you do, you can download the GFC Girl Action Kit at no cost. This kit guides you through the process of creating a social change project in your community. You can do a project on your own or get your friends involved! To join, click here.
A Message to Future GFC Members from Alina, Member of GFC Girl Action Team 15
From being in GFC, I, first and foremost, learned that I can do ANYTHING as long as I put my mind to it. I learned about the importance of hard work, dedication, perseverance, optimism, and teamwork. I learned how powerful the voice of female youth can be.
I met fabulous, enthusiastic people who truly care about improving their society and world. I met my awesome team, made up of diverse and different young women, united by their passion for changing their community for the better.
I accomplished things I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I would: I wrote proposals, solicited my idea to big-time executives, gave an interview on TV, and witnessed the success, growth, and positive impact of a remarkable organization called Girls For A Change.
I definitely feel that GFC has helped me find my voice, my aspirations, and the kind of career I’d like to have in the future (Director of GFC!). My coaches and teammates have been extremely supportive and encouraging, which has totally boosted my level of self-confidence. They have become my mentors and some of the "bestest" friends I’ll ever know. You can change the world!
How to Volunteer
Want to support girls in changing our world? GFC volunteers are essential to our mission. All volunteers are provided appropriate training for their position and are supported year-round by staff and professional connections.
Girl Action Team Coach
Teams are made up of 5-15 girls and facilitated by two adult women coaches who are trained by Girls For A Change to support the girls’ projects and enhance the skills, resources and creativity the girls innately possess.
Girl Action Team Consultant
Girls need the support and consultation of professionals in a variety of fields as they plan and implement projects. Girl Action Teams can contact consultants (a.k.a. The New Girls' Network) any time throughout their project cycle.
Volunteers interested in helping to plan events or participate in organizational decisions can join a GFC Committee focused on diversity, program, marketing, finance, nomination and other topics.
Get involved! Click here to learn more about volunteering in our GFC sites.