Lunch Bunch programs provide an opportunity for volunteers to tell their story and answer specific questions about how they reached their level of professionalism and achievement. The program matches girls with professional women who help the girls explore varied careers and encourage them to set their own educational and career goals.
My favorite part about Lunch Bunch is the diversity of our volunteer pool. There are younger volunteers who were encouraged to play sports (often co-ed) as children and grew up knowing women in positions of authority. There are middle aged volunteers who have specific examples of discrimination that they faced as a young woman in the workplace, what it was like to marry someone at a young age, or how they pursued a graduate degree after having children. There are volunteers in their late 60s who did not have access to the same athletic, educational, and social opportunities as boys when they were in elementary and middle school. They remind our girls how lucky they are for what’s available to them and encourage them to pursue every opportunity imaginable.
That’s what I love about Lunch Bunch programs: a retired school teacher sitting next to an IUPUI student. Both women came to Girls Inc. because they know that there’s still a lot that we have to do for the women’s equality movement. They take an hour out of their week to talk about higher education, STEM careers, networking, and taking risks. With each Lunch Bunch, I am inspired by a volunteer who has paved her own path. She may have made an impact by pioneering a male dominated field or she may have been the first one in her family to go to college. Regardless, our volunteers are all history makers in their own right.
This women’s history month, I encourage you to volunteer for a Lunch Bunch. When you share your story, our girls open their eyes to new possibilities. Hopefully you will even empower tomorrow’s champion for women and girls during your hour!