I am excited to announce that I am an official member of the Strong Women Strong Girls, a mentoring program designed to encourage young girls to be courageous enough to grow into strong women. As stated on their website (http://www.swsg.org/) “Strong Women, Strong Girls has created an innovative after school model that uses the study of contemporary and historic female role models, mentoring relationships with college undergraduate women, and skill building activities to help at-risk girls in grades 3-5 build positive self-esteem and skills for life-long success.”
Although at the time I applied, I did not know much about the organization, after attending a training day, I seem to have gathered the following information. Not unique only to Duquesne, or even the city of Pittsburgh, Strong Women Strong Girls also has a chapter in Boston and is hoping to expand further. It is a unique program that unites two generations of women striving to learn, college students and elementary aged girls. Mentors visit their sites once a week in a small group, and feature one “strong woman” each time. Ranging from Coco Chanel to Michelle Obama, from these lessons, the girls not only learn about these women, but also learn to recognize their strengths and their abilities.
Training was very interesting. It took place in the Hill District, which is where many of the sites are located. Upon arrival, I was afraid to even leave my car; I had only heard terrible things about this area of town. However, half way through a seminar, we were asked to go explore the Hill District to better understand our girls and where they come from. At first, I was petrified; my parents would die if they knew what I was doing. However, as we began to stroll, I found that there was a lot of construction going on, and some houses were as nice as mine at home. The people were friendly; they were all willing to speak to us and were excited that we’d be mentoring some girls from their community.
After the training was over, the director announced that their “Grammy”, Stella, would reside with the school that completed the most surveys on the training program. I am happy to announce that Duquesne swept away the competition, beating out Pitt, Carnegie Mellow, Carlow, and Point Park. You can see photos of Stella and her new home on the SWSG Pittsburgh Facebook Page! (http://www.facebook.com/swsg.Pittsburgh)
I haven’t started mentoring yet, but I can already tell this is a great program to get involved with!