Name: Sarah Boston
Programs facilitated: Redefining Beauty, Media Smarts
1) How did you learn about Girls Inc.?
Each year my firm makes donations to organizations with missions that align with ours. I discovered Girls Inc. through my research and fell in love with the mission to create strong, smart, bold girls. I also appreciate that a very high percentage of the donation goes directly to programming.
2) Why did you choose to volunteer with Girls Inc.?
I was immediately impressed with the quality programming and felt confident that I could make an impact delivering the content. Personally, I have three sisters and am a mother of two boys. I miss my girl time!
3) What have you enjoyed most about volunteering with Girls Inc.?
I’ve really enjoyed getting to look through the lens of a young girl again, when the world was hopeful, and full of opportunities. The connections that can be made with the girls who participate are strong. I love watching minds work; developing ideas, challenging the norm, expressing thoughts, being creative. It is a real privilege to be part of their lives, even for a short time.
4) Does any facilitation memory or any one of the girls stand out to you? Explain.
In this past session of Redefining Beauty, we were role playing scenarios and the girls were taking turns reading and acting them out. We came to the last scenario and I asked the girl holding the slip of paper to read it to everyone. She froze. Then her eyes teared up. I told her to take a moment and read when she was ready. With a quivering voice, she read the scenario about always being picked last for group activities/sports. I could tell that this was similar to her own experiences. The group gave some great feedback and ended on a confident note. At the very end I quietly gave her a hug and told her that was very brave. It really hit home that the material is addressing real issues and this is a safe platform for them to discuss and face them together.
5) Why do you think Girls Inc. programs are beneficial to girls?
We all need supportive communities in order to grow and thrive. Participating in a Girls Inc. program at any age demonstrates how powerful knowledge and confidence can be for a woman.
6) Have you noticed any changes in your own life since volunteering with Girls Inc.?
Absolutely! Expanding the number of relationships in your life always expands perspective. I’m slower to judge and faster to show compassion. I’ve also learned a thing or two about creativity from my co-facilitator!
7) What kind of things have you learned after facilitating a Girls Inc. program?
There continues to be so much pressure on girls to be “perfect”. With messages coming from many directions, girls have more noise in their lives than ever before. But in just a few weeks, a dramatic shift can happen. You get to see firsthand that despite challenges, there is always hope; there is always a light in the darkness.
8) Tell a tip for volunteer program facilitators about volunteering or working as a team.
Enthusiasm and the ability to laugh go a long way. I have given speeches in front of hundreds of people before, but I was never as nervous as I was in front of twenty 12-year-olds! Communication with my co-facilitator was key; we talked through each week and came prepared. Mostly, we had fun!
9) Tell a tip for Girls Inc. Girls.
“Strong, smart and bold,” is not just a tagline, it’s a lifestyle. It’s the thing that will keep you going when you feel down, the thing that will build your confidence to do whatever it is you want to in life, the thing that will help you help others.