Name: Holly Shipley
Programs Facilitated: Lunch Bunch, Media Lit, and Redefining Beauty
Q: How did you learn about Girls Inc.?
A: My former coworker, Gwen. We ended up facilitating a program together this past spring.
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with Girls Inc.?
A: I see the need to empower girls and women.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about volunteering with Girls Inc.?
A: There’s something refreshing about getting a chance to be a resource to younger girls. I spend every work day with clients and trying to prove myself, so taking a step away from work and focusing my attention on empowering younger women and girls feels more like play than work.
Though we follow lesson plans, it feels natural to me because I can relate to everything the programs teach, which leads to a level of authenticity that the girls notice and enjoy.
Q: Does any facilitation memory or any one of the girls stand out to you?
A: I was teaching about role models, specifically women role models, and let the girls speak on who they look up to. I found that they do need guidance on who is honestly a good woman role model.
I often see girls wanting more than their parents or guardians give them, so a female guardian is hardly ever a role model to them until they take a step back and think about how their mother, aunt, grandma, or other female caretaker is self-sufficient, strong, and takes care of herself and others.
Q: Why do you think Girls Inc. programs are beneficial to girls?
A: I’ve had girls in my programs who are outspoken but doubt themselves, and I’ve had girls who will never raise their hands to participate and hate being called on, but all of these girls need a safe, small place filled with encouragement where they can practice and learn to be confident.
Q: Have you noticed any changes in your own life since volunteering with Girls Inc.?
A: I started volunteering between jobs, which was an uneasy time. When I leave every session of Girls Inc., I feel more confident and bold, that any uncertainty is overcome with vision and encouragement.
Q: What kind of things have you learned after facilitating a Girls Inc. program?
A: I learn so much while facilitating, but I once cried when reviewing and preparing for a lesson that taught about taking care of our bodies both physically and mentally. I needed that reminder on that particular day to take a step back and do what is needed for me to be mentally and physically healthy.
Q: Tell a tip for volunteer program facilitators about volunteering or working as a team.
A: Be bold. The girls really look up to us. Even if they put up a wall at first, they tend to open up and really begin to listen to us and trust us. Be prepared. The girls can see if you’re not prepared and they get more out of the program when you are more engaged and ready.
Q: Tell a tip for Girls Inc. Girls.
A: You are responsible for you. The actions you make and the words you speak shape who you are and guide your future. Take control of your body and your mind, and use it for positive thoughts and actions. You can never have too much fun, and you can never help too many people.
Q: Any additional comments about your volunteer experience?
A: Everyone working for Girls Inc. is extremely supportive and responsive. They truly make it an easy way to volunteer and support women and girls in our community.
Thank you, Holly, for your commitment to inspiring Indianapolis girls to be strong, smart, and bold! If you would like to make an impact in the lives of girls like Holly has, click here to sign up to volunteer today!