Name: Brooke Elf
Programs facilitated: Work It Out, Economy Literacy
- How did you learn about Girls Inc.?
I have followed Girls Inc. for a very long on time on Facebook. I have always loved their message, and one day it just dawned on me to get involved!
- Why did you choose to volunteer with Girls Inc.?
I chose to volunteer with Girls Inc. because their impact on girls is going to change the world. I love their programs and wish with all my heart that I had something this influential when I was younger.
- What have you enjoyed most about volunteering with Girls Inc.?
I love working with the kids. It is amazing to see them blossom throughout the program. A lot of them take me by surprise by being so aware and confident at a young age- it makes me proud to be a part of their, and our, future.
- Does any facilitation memory or any one of the girls stand out to you? Explain.
I am fairly new to volunteer and have only taught two sessions, but I already have memories I will cherish forever. One girl in my first session was completely detached and let us know how much she didn’t want to be there at every opportune moment. By the end of the session she had completely come out of her shell, was engaged, had fun, and was one of our biggest contributors to the group. Another memory was during this current session. We were teaching girls about the economy and money. We asked if the notices that there are no females on any U.S. currency, to which a girl replied “There has never been a female president, but I bet I’ll be the first one.”
- Why do you think Girls Inc. programs are beneficial to girls?
There are over a millions reasons as to why Girls Inc. is influential for girls. It teaches them how to respect and love themselves, how to build healthy relationships, How to take ownership of their own self-image, how to be safe online, and most importantly nourishes their aspirations and dreams for their future.
- Have you noticed any changes in your own life since volunteering with Girls Inc.?
Since volunteering for Girls Inc. I have a deeper appreciation of myself. It is incredibly fulfilling to have such a positive impact on girls, help build their confidence, and guide them towards autonomous strong womanhood. I myself feel like a more capable female because I have to push myself to be better, so that I embody the lessons that I teach. I have learned more about myself while helping these girls learn about themselves.
- What kind of things have you learned after facilitating a Girls Inc. program?
What I learn the most after facilitating a Girls Inc. program is just how needed their programs are. In my experience, a lot of these girls are struggling with fitting in and being accepted by their peers. Girls Inc. helps them define their own expectations of themselves so that they can make their own decisions to stand up to peer pressure, as well as how to build healthy relationships with their friends but most importantly themselves. These programs are an excellent asset to girls and help them navigate these confusing times.
- Tell a tip for volunteer program facilitators about volunteering or working as a team.
The biggest tip is to communicate and plan ahead. Know your obligations and do not hesitate to reach out to your partner if you need help. It is never too early to get started, and there is nothing that you and your partner cannot work around.
- What is your current profession?
I work at Indiana Institute of Technology as a Retention Specialist. I help see students through graduation, and get students who have stopped going to school back in to class. It is a very rewarding career and has given me an opportunity to pursue my own education, I am very grateful!
- As a woman, what is it like to be in this field and what would you tell the girls in our programs about your field?
I am overjoyed to be in this field because it gives me the opportunity to talk to my girls about higher education. I have experience in this field as a professional and a student. This allows me to explain how college works, how to save money for college, and what the college experience is like. I challenge my girls to get one degree higher than mine. I am currently pursuing an MBA- so I hope to inspire a future full of female doctors!
- Please share a tip for Girls Inc. Girls.
My tip is to always push yourself to be more, replace fear with curiosity, and do not let anyone define you, tell you who you are, or what you are capable of!
Additional comments about your volunteer experience?
I love my time spent with this organization, and hope to be a dedicated member for many years to come. I am grateful to be a part of something so incredible, and change the future by helping girls be strong, smart, and bold!
Thank you, Brooke, 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 Brooke has, click here to sign up to volunteer today!