A group of 14 local teens from Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, a nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold, are taking part in a once-in-lifetime trip to Washington D.C. this week, with the exciting opportunity to leave their footprints on our Nation’s Capital.
Over the course of the week, Girls Inc. members have met with the offices of our local representatives and senators, including Congresswoman Lois Capps and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, to discuss youth mentoring grants, STEM legislation, immigration, and more.
“Meeting with Congresswoman Lois Capps has been one of my favorite moments of the trip so far,” said Girls Inc. member Yulisa Rosales. “She made me feel like I have a say in the world and have a chance to do something in life.”
The girls also spent time visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Air & Space Museum–one of the world’s most visited museums, touring Google and Microsoft’s D.C. offices where they participating in coding activities, and touring monuments and sites such as the Capitol Building and the Holocaust Museum. They also had a chance to explore the campus of George Washington University, providing them with a broader context for their options and possibilities for their futures.
For many of the participants, this trip was their first time flying on an airplane, leaving the state, and staying in a hotel.
“Our programs are designed to expose girls at a young age to Strong, Smart, and Bold female role models and diverse career paths, including government and policy-making, so they can begin envisioning their own paths to success and establishing life goals with the confidence that their goals can be achieved,” said Victoria Juarez, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “We’re so proud to be developing the next generation of female leaders – and these girls are beyond excited to get out of their comfort zones and discover the city where world-changing decisions are made every day.”
“We are here to pave the way for other girls,” said Girls Inc. member Maria Zamora. “Through our actions, we can show girls that they can accomplish anything and only through active participation in the democratic process can we make change.”
The girls, who will be entering their junior year of high school, are members of the organization’s Eureka! program, a five-year, college-bound program that aims to break gender stereotypes by encouraging girls to discover and explore different career paths and fields. Eureka! also includes fitness, nutrition, and personal development activities that encourage girls to be healthy, strong, and self-confident.
Following the trip, participants will share their experiences with members of City Council and other local clubs. The girls have also been blogging and sharing photos from Washington this week on the Girls Inc. website (http://girlsinc-carp.org/category/blog/).
The organization launched its five-year Eureka! program in 2012 to provide leadership and education enhancement opportunities for teen girls, beginning the summer before their eighth grade year up through the end of high school. The girls travelling to Washington D.C. are part of the program’s first cohort and will be entering their fourth year with Eureka!
For more information about Girls Inc. of Carpinteria or the Eureka! program, or to make a donation, please visit www.girlsinc-carp.org or call (805) 684-6364.
About Girls Inc. of Carpinteria
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/.