With the Right Mentors, Girls Change Their Futures
One in three children grow up without a mentor of any kind. Yet, studies show that at-risk youth who do have mentors are 35% more likely to see college graduation as attainable. Caring adults who build long-lasting relationships with girls are a core part of Girls Inc. For the girls we serve each year, this means having trained, trusted mentors who are always there to answer questions, open new doors of opportunity, help navigate setbacks, give college and career advice, and listen without judgment.
This month, girls voice their appreciation for the volunteers who help them see their futures as bright and full of promise, often for the first time. These mentoring relationships would not be possible without the individuals, foundations, and corporations who invest in Girls Inc. each year. Because of your support, Girls Inc. girls have mentors who inspire and motivate them to grow up healthy, educated, and independent. To mentor a girl in your life, read and share these mentoring tips.
Denise Kaku Mentor at Seaside High School
I am in my 8th year as a Girls Inc. adult mentor for the high school ECHO program. It took me two years to make the decision to volunteer, but once I started, I realized I had made a great choice. In 2004 I left a career as an organizational development consultant with IRS and was looking for a volunteer opportunity where my skills would match my interests and values.I found out about Girls Inc. through a fundraising luncheon and was quite taken with their mission.
The ECHO program is a very dynamic and robust leadership training experience for young women covering a multitude of subjects such as job interviewing skills, college entrance requirements and girls' health issues, to name a few. I have seen the program grow over the years with new modules added ranging from prevention of violence and abuse to bullying and self-defense.
Our participants volunteer in the community at the Big Sur Half Marathon and the full Marathon in April as part of the Green Team that recycles trash at the events. We encourage the girls to develop their meet and greet skills, make a difference in the environment through educating and recycling and experience the joy of volunteering and giving back to their community.
I partner with Mary Rigmaiden, a Monterey Peninsula College Early Childhood Development professional. She and I have been volunteering at Seaside High School for 7 years.
I am so proud of the youth leaders I have mentored. All have gone on to college, and my first youth leaders from Greenfield are now college graduates from Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Others are at state universities, junior colleges and private colleges.
Why do I continue to volunteer with Girls Inc? Because I can give back to my community by helping young women grow into their leadership potential. I get to bring my expertise and creativity to our program at Seaside High. And I get a deep sense of satisfaction seeing these young women achieve their dreams.
I love my mentoring role and believe it is important for the girls to see successful role models: professional, college trained women who are living productive, successful lives. You just never know what a girl might remember from a conversation or discussion that could have a profound impact at a critical moment in her life. I know my faith and high expectations of these young women does make a difference in building their confidence and self-trust. At our "Graduation" ceremony each year they proudly stand and deliver a 4 minute speech about the program and what it has meant to them. I am amazed and thrilled at the transformation in each participant as they demonstrate poise and confidence, not to mention conquering the fear of public speaking.
I look forward to continuing my relationship with Girls Inc. Denise Kaku
Welcome to Girls Inc. of the Central Coast!
Girls Inc. of the Central Coast is an affiliate of Girls Incorporated, a national organization that has been providing programs for girls since 1864.
Girls Inc. delivers a constellation of programs focused on leadership and self-empowerment for girls ages 8 to 18. Youth Leaders facilitate these programs at 30 school sites in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.
Alumnae, take our survey!
We invite our Girls Inc. alumnae to complete our survey, keep us updated on their activities and give us their feedback and suggestions. It is also a great way to learn about ways to reconnect with Girls Inc. Keep an eye out for information about an alumnae reunion soon!
Recruiting for Summer programs
Strong, Smart, and Bold Summer Camp
Strong, Smart and Bold Summer Camp is a two-week day camp for girls ages 8 to11. Girls participate in research-based programs: Girls Take Another Look increase their awareness of the scope and power of the media and the effects of media messages on girls and women, Girls encourage is designed to sustain girl’s interest in sports through adolescence by introducing them to nontraditional activities and adventures, Operation SMART develops girl’s enthusiasm for and kills in science, though hands-on activities, girls explore, ask questions, persist, and solve problems.
This program is open to girls ages 8-11.
Program Dates: July 5-15, 2016
Drop off time: 8:30am and Pick up time 4:30pm-5:00pm
Cost: $200.00 ($22.22 a day)
School site: Boronda Meadows Elementary School,
915 Larkin Dr
Salinas, Ca 93907
Click the link for more information and the program application
Smart Choices Program
Smart Choices is a summer program for girls entering high school. It inspires girls to make positive life choices about school, relationships and health.
- Living on a university campus for a week.
- Exploring the campus and getting a feel for college life
- Learning about college requirements and how to get a head start
- Enjoying fun outdoor activities
- Meeting girls from other schools in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz County
- Attending fun and interactive workshops that focus on issues of concern to high school girls,
- including healthy relationships, health, peer pressure, self-image and esteem, healthy eating habits, and more…
This is open to all girls who are entering high school.
Program Dates: June 21-25, 2016
Time: 1 week overnight camp
College Campus: University of California, Santa Cruz
Click the link for more information and the program application
Bubbles & Bags
A Silent Auction of
New, Gently Loved & Vintage Handbags to Benefit Girls Inc. of the Central Coast
Please Join Us
Sunday, November 6, 2016
At The Inn at Spanish Bay
First Peek Preview at 1:00pm-2:00pm
(For "Buy it Now" purchases only)
Silent Action 2:00pm-4:00pm
Free Parking available at The Inn at Spanish Bay
For event information and to purchase tickets, visit
Last day to purchase tickets online is November 2,2016, tickets at the door $35
To donate New, Gently Loved &Vintage Handbags contact Patty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831 772-0882 x101 for further information.
Ways to Support
Partner with us and support our girls in their quest to become strong, smart, and bold.
has awarded $2.58 million in scholarships to 413 high school women.
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