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*Linda (middle left) pictured with her two daughters and nephew.

Linda Hicks has served on the Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis Board of Directors since 2012, and is the current Board Chair. Although her term as Chair is over at the end of 2017, Hicks still plans to support and value Girls Inc. afterwards. We asked her why she has devoted her time and energy into serving Girls Inc. with so much passion.

1. What do you feel is the importance of Girls Inc. in the community?

Girls Inc. provides young girls with the resources and mentoring needed to mature in their self-confidence. We all learn best from seeing and doing. Girls Inc. programming and the direct interaction girls have with our mature, professional, and confident Girls Inc. volunteers provides the perfect environment to directly work on important confidence building skills. Girls Inc. provides highly interactive and strong content to supplement what girls learn in school to improve self-esteem, peer to peer relationships, and overall initiative.

2. Do you have any memorable experiences from your board service to/volunteer work with Girls Inc.?

There are so many, but what stands out for me is when I was actually a volunteer teaching Girls Inc. programming to a group of elementary age girls at a local township school on our Work It Out lesson. We’d have a check-in time upon arrival for the girls to share how their week had gone and whether or not they were able to put into practice anything we taught the week before, or simply had a concern or challenge they were dealing with. Playground time was particularly stressful for them. A time meant to be fun and allow them to take a break and enjoy their friends, was filled with angst – they dreaded it! We were able to talk through situations and provide tactics to help them deal with feelings of being left out or forced to participate in something that they didn’t want to do. It was awesome to see week-by-week improvements in the playground environment!

3. Why do you give to Girls Inc.?

I give to Girls Inc. because I find the lessons we provide to be so meaningful – I see a direct connection with things I myself have dealt with being a “girl” in a male dominated engineering field and being short in stature. If only I had Girls Inc. available to me as I was growing up, I would have shed far less tears. The programming makes a difference in girls’ lives – I have seen it. I’ve shared much of the programming with my own daughters and the way they have positively handled and turned around certain situations meant to diminish their self-esteem has been so rewarding. Being strong, smart and bold is just the way we roll now!