Social profit inspires young women

A DAY IN THE LIFE – Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta

By THERESA WELLS, Connect Contributor

Zombie Run

What does it mean to be a girl in the modern era? During a time when there are more stresses and more influences on the development of young women than ever, organizations like Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta have a mandate to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

Through programs designed to connect young women to their peers and develop new skills, Girls Inc. has delved into the world of media literacy for young women, leadership discovery, self-defense, economic literacy and programs created to engage girls in the fields of math, science, technology and engineering.

Says Girls Inc. Executive Director Ann Dort MacLean: “We work to help the girls develop a strong sense of self and community. We show them the strength of their voices and help them discover their voices. We help them grow into happy and responsible young women who give back to others. Self confidence – being comfortable with who they are, understanding what they can become and comfortable in their own skin – results in a focused force-to-be-reckoned-with woman – who lead fuller lives, lives of challenge and success. The girls learn how to be a good friend and to appreciate good friends.”

Girls Inc. is a social profit organization that raises funds through a variety of initiatives, including the annual Zombie Run. Now in its fourth year, the Zombie Run takes place this year on Saturday, September 26 at Birchwood Trails. This fun-filled event has proven incredibly popular with both runners and would-be Zombies, bringing all the participants together with volunteers and the Girls Inc. staff to raise fun in one of the most unusual and unique events in Fort McMurray’s social profit scene.

As a recipient of the Girls Inc. Women of Inspiration honour and the parent of a young woman, the vision and mission of Girls Inc. is close to my heart and my own personal values.

The world has become an increasingly difficult atmosphere to navigate for all young adults, but perhaps even more so for young women as social media has changed both the way youth interact with each other and with the world.

Assisting in developing the skills necessary to contend with this world, as well as encouraging young women to pursue paths in non-traditional careers, Girls Inc. works to provide all young women in our region with the tools they need to succeed, whatever the challenge.

“Future goals for Girls Inc. are to continue to offer quality programs for the girls in our region and to expand program delivery to new schools. We provide programming for the outlying communities and hope to get back into Fort MacKay and Janvier for program delivery.”

According to Dort MacLean, the future goals are similar, but with an even greater reach: “Future goals for Girls Inc. are to continue to offer quality programs for the girls in our region and to expand program delivery to new schools. We provide programming for the outlying communities and hope to get back into Fort MacKay and Janvier for program delivery. We also hope to have girls who have taken programs and are now high school age become mentors and role models for younger girls in programming.”

Thanks to Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta our young women have every opportunity to become the strong, smart and bold women this world – and our community – needs.

– Connect Weekly –