Alex has been a Girls Inc. girl for 11 years now, starting as a shy six-year-old, and growing into a strong, smart, bold high school graduate who is off to college this year.
“Girls Incorporated is like a second parent to me and I have spent most of my childhood and teenage years there,” Alex says. “My mother and the Girls Inc. staff have all helped me create standards and qualities that make me who I am today.”
“I don’t know where I would have gone after school or how different my life would be without Girls Inc.,” she continues. “It has become my second home over the past 11 years and is where I have learned many important life skills. It has taught me all aspects of maintaining a job and finances, being a good leader and focusing on healthy living. I was able to play outside and make new friends while being in a safe environment. I was given the freedom and independence to discover things I enjoyed and was good at such as art, sports, swimming, and gardening.”
“As a young girl, I was shy but the staff was understanding and always made me feel comfortable. With their guidance, I learned to express my feelings, develop self- expression and gain confidence in myself,” she adds. “When I was a freshman, the Girls Inc. High School Initiative was established in Sarasota. Since that time, I have been both a program participant and volunteer, and I have been introduced to new ideas such as preparing for future education and career planning. I also had the opportunity to be part of the Girls Inc. Girls Action Network, which involves meeting once a month with girls from different affiliates to discuss current issues, as well as give input and review different policies that affect girls and women. This unique opportunity has introduced me to new topics and issues that I have become passionate about, such as Title IX.,”
“The other rewarding experience I’ve gained at Girls Inc. is working as a staff member both after school and during school breaks. As a facilitator, I work with girls ages 5 to 13 in economic literacy, our micro-society bank, and lemonade stand. Not only do I teach the girls about spending and managing money, I also teach them the importance of engaging in community activities. I am capable of managing a group of girls while keeping them safe. I feel fortunate for the opportunity to give back to these girls the skills and values that Girls Inc. taught me.”
“As I plan for my future, she concludes, “I am thinking of pursuing a career that allows me to couple my interest in biology with my love of teaching. I enjoy the way that people think and the different ways they learn. I also enjoy the laboratory environment and the logic and reasoning associated with the sciences. Since I will be the first person in my family to graduate from high school and attend college I can relate first hand to the importance and excitement surrounding this big accomplishment.”