“Fresh Futures” Summer Program Brings Girls Inc. Members to SBCC

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria members converged on the Santa Barbara City College campus for two weeks this summer as part the new Fresh Futures Summer Camp, a program designed to provide incoming fourth through seventh grade girls (ages 9-13) with a new and exciting experience that supports them through the transition to teenage life.

The nonprofit organization partnered with the STEM Transfer Program at SBCC and the Inner Warrior Project (IWP) to bring a well-rounded, targeted curriculum that engages the “whole girl” and dares her to dream big. The initiative is designed to grow the number of girls served with an impactful, comprehensive Girls Inc. experience and serve as a catalyst for growth across programs.

“We recognized a gap in service between this particular age group, most often because girls are gaining more independence and may not require after-school care or day camps,” said Jessica Wetzel, Program Director at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “Our goal with the Fresh Futures Initiative is to truly engage all girls for a sustained period of time on a continuum of programming that addresses their needs at every stage.”

The STEM Transfer Program, which assists Hispanic and/or low income students in creating a streamlined educational plan that ensures transfer to a four-year institution in a STEM area, hosted on-campus workshops for girls and offered an inside look at the college experience. Throughout the two-week program, the girls participated in math and physics labs with current SBCC students and professors, took tours of different departments on campus, and more.

“It was a pleasure hosting Girls Inc. of Carpinteria members – they were not only introduced to Santa Barbara City College, but they were also involved in engaging workshops with our STEM faculty,” said Adolfo Corral, STEM Transfer Program Coordinator. “The girls had the opportunity to see themselves in college and that will have a positive impact on their futures. We look forward to working with Girls Inc. again next summer.”

Assertiveness and self-defense training offered by the IWP helped the girls learn to better express themselves and to build confidence in a college setting. The IWP was created as a movement to help create a safe community where boundaries are voiced and respected, and to empower individuals to protect themselves through education in martial arts, yoga and health.

“The Inner Warrior Project’s Youth Assertive Training provided tools for Fresh Futures participants to feel safe, exercise their confidence and communicate effectively using their assertive voice, so that they can develop into bold women,” said Karina Munoz-Benalcazar, Self-Empowerment Mentor for IWP. “We’re proud to offer this training in combination with the interactive, engaging, and educational itinerary this camp provides.”

The Fresh Futures Initiative is slated to continue into the school year, offering after-hours programming and weekend workshops designed to engage girls and their families and providing new avenues for participation that are more accommodating to their changing schedules.

For more information about Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, please call (805) 684-6364 or visit www.girlsinc-carp.org.

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Girls Inc. of Carpinteria is a member of Girls Incorporated®, a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. With local roots dating to 1864 and national status since 1945, Girls Inc. has responded to the changing needs of girls through research-based programs and public education efforts that empower girls to understand, value, and assert their rights. We provide programs for girls 6 to 18 years old that focus on science, math, and technology; health and sexuality; economic and financial literacy; sports skills; leadership and advocacy; and media literacy. To learn more, become a volunteer or offer support, please visit www.girlsinc-carp.org/.

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