News and Events

The Inspiration Project Authors

IMG_3072Whitney Thomas

Grants Manager

My Work:
I am the Grants Manager, so I research, write, and report on all of the corporate and foundation grant opportunities for Girls Inc.

Favorite Girls Inc. moment:
I facilitated a program at an IPS school, and the girls asked if I would come back for another cycle, so I signed up for another program at the school. At the end of the second cycle, they asked if I could come back, and I told them they had already completed the only two programs offered for the year. When their principal came to dismiss them, they all begged the principal for another program so that we could come back again. It was neat to see how excited the girls were to stay involved with Girls Inc. They are our best advocates to continue programming at schools, and aren’t shy to ask their school leadership for more. These experiences help inform my writing, because I truly believe in the work we do!

Interests/Free-time-fillers:
I have a Schnauzer/Terrier mix, Guinness, and he is equal parts rotten and cute, and also constantly needs hugs and attention. I spend hours reading food blogs and experimenting in my own kitchen. I love reading Janet Evanovich and Mary Kay Andrews books, but they don’t fill too much time, because I always read their new releases in the first couple of days they come out. I’m also a big fan of soccer, and you can find me at the high school soccer fields on Saturdays cheering for my younger sister.

Favorite quote, saying, or advice:
My grandpa grew up during the Great Depression, and was only able to finish the sixth grade before leaving school to help support his family. He always told me to stay in school, because if I lost everything tomorrow, no one could ever take away my education.

“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” –G.D. Anderson

7264portrait_drop_shadow_jessicJessica Morris

Program Support Coordinator

My Work:
As a Program Support Coordinator, I have the opportunity to work with 3 amazing groups of people: the incredible girls that participate in our programs and keep inspiring me to do what I do, the talented and passionate volunteers who keep coming back cycle after cycle to help enrich our girls’ lives, and the equally dedicated program partners who invite us into their buildings to work with their girls and help ensure the success of our programs within their organizations. Having worked in this position for the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with individuals from all 3 of these groups, and I love seeing the impact that our programs have had on our girls, volunteers, and even program partners.

Favorite Girls Inc. moment:
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience so many great Girls Inc. moments! One of my favorites involved a Work it Out program at a middle school where a girl who had barely spoken over the first few sessions decided to share something personal with the group, and the rest of the group was so supportive of her, and so happy that she’d shared. It was very touching, especially since middle school students aren’t always so kind to one another! The feeling of sisterhood was so palpable in that moment, it was powerful and inspiring.

Interests/Free-time-fillers:
In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, watching awesome shows on Netflix/borrowing them from the library, reading, listening to music/going to concerts, spending time outside (especially in parks), creating nail art, and baking yummy things.

Favorite quote, saying, or advice:
“Get yourself back to thankful.” –from Myranda’s grandma. My friend, Myranda, said her grandma would always tell her this when she was feeling down/feeling sorry for herself. I think it’s a nice, simple quote that always reminds me to appreciate all of the good things in my life, rather than dwelling on whatever is bothering me at the moment. Looking at things from that perspective—where the good things invariably outweigh the bad—can help turn my mood around quickly.

Kacy Ray HeadshotKacy Ray

Volunteer

My Work:
As a Content Marketing Manager I help dictate the online presence of over 700 TCC, Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer locations. My team is in charge of not only social media, but also email campaigns, blog development, and any other copy our company may need. On the side, I help small businesses and non-profits increase their social media impact through consulting and day-to-day social media management.

Favorite Girls Inc. moment:
TBD

Interests/Free-time-fillers:
I love taking advantage of living in downtown Indianapolis. You’ll usually find me checking out a new restaurant or biking along the cultural trail. I am also passionate about travel and try to explore new cities and places as often as possible.

Favorite quote, saying, or advice:
“Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. We live for what we believe” – Donald Miller

Justina SoltiesJustina Solties

Volunteer

My work:
I am a Girls Inc. volunteer. I first volunteered in 2014 as a program facilitator and am now excited to contribute to The Inspiration Project.

Favorite Girls Inc. Moment:
My favorite Girls Inc. moment is a bunch of little moments strung together. Sometimes I think that’s the best way to look at the impact of Girls Inc. programs. There will be many ‘ah-ha’ moments for the girls, and as they keep building upon each other week after week and year after year, the girls have a series of experiences that set them up for success. It’s amazing to see a girl’s ‘ah-ha’ moment during a program and realize that this particular experience is a defining moment in her life’s journey.

Interests/Free-time fillers:
I spend a lot of time working, but when I’m not on the clock, I enjoy exploring all of what Indianapolis has to offer. I love hosting friends who have never been to Indy before – attending festivals, touring unique neighborhoods, or discovering a delicious restaurant. I also like to travel (though I wish I did it more!), relax with movies or TV, and cheer on my favorite hockey club, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Favorite quote, saying, or advice:
“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regrets. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Love. Live as if this is all there is.” – Mary Anne Radmacher. I use this quote as my guiding personal mission statement because it touches on just about every aspect of life. I know that there will always be some areas that I need to work on more than others, but this is always a constant reminder and inspiration for me to lead a fulfilling and well-rounded life.

IMG_4055Rachael Chatham

Public Relations Intern

My work:

 I’m a current student at IUPUI majoring in journalism with a focus in public relations. My minor is psychology. I’m currently an editor for IUPUI’s only independent student media, The Campus Citizen and doing public relation work for Girls Inc.

Favorite Girls Inc. Moment:
So far, my favorite Girls Inc. moment is reading some of the stories and experiences the young girls write about in surveys and also the photos of their work.

Interests/Free-time fillers:
I’m obsessed with my dog. I enjoy hiking, writing, and anything related to human behavior. I have a severe documentary addiction. I’m also highly interested in social justice.

Favorite quote, saying, or advice:
“What if I fall?” “Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” I have no idea where it came from, I saw something online one day with this quote and its quickly became my life motto. It’s been the background of my phone for over a year now and I think it helped me grow from my comfort zone.