Name: Evanna Singh
Programs Facilitated: Work It Out: Being a Good Friend, Media Lit: Media and Me, Media Lit: Media Smarts, & Redefining Beauty: Body Image
1. How did you learn about Girls Inc.?
I first learned about Girls Inc. while volunteering for outreach programs hosted by Indiana University.
2. Why did you choose to volunteer with Girls Inc.?
My dissertation research focuses on the physical and mental well-being of girls in Guyana, South America, so I was excited to find an organization which addresses those issues in right here in my own community. Volunteering with Girls Inc. allows me to channel my academic pursuits and interests in a practical and socially-responsible manner.
3. What have you enjoyed most about volunteering with Girls Inc.?
My favorite parts about volunteering with Girls Inc. are getting to know a new set of girls each session and helping them learn skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, that they will be able to apply for the rest of their lives.
4. Does any facilitation memory or any one of the girls stand out to you? Explain.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the program is seeing how well the girls apply the information we teach them to situations in their own lives. For example, even though our Work It Out program does not explicitly cover note passing, the girls were able to make the connection between the topics we did cover (gossiping and bullying) and ask for help on how they should deal with the problem of note passing in their class because it was being used to spread mean and hurtful rumors.
5. Why do you think Girls Inc. programs are beneficial to girls?
I strongly believe the Girls Inc. programs are beneficial to girls. They are learning how to stand up for themselves and each other. They are learning that promoting and recognizing the value of another person does not detract from your own self-worth. They are learning how their value as a person lies in their character and actions and not in their outwards appearance. They are learning how to critically evaluate the messages they are bombarded with through all types of media. They are learning skills that I wish someone had taught me at such a young age.
6. Have you noticed any changes in your own life since volunteering with Girls Inc.?
Being with those eager girls makes me want to find new ways to be a better person and find new ways to give back to my community. As much as we volunteers are a supposed to inspire the girls to be “strong, smart, and bold”, the girls are honestly inspiring me to do the same.
7. What kind of things have you learned after facilitating a Girls Inc. program?
Volunteering has reminded me how bright and malleable young kids can be. They are learning so much information from far more sources than ever before. Programs like Girls Inc. are a great way of guiding them in the right direction.
8. Tell a tip for volunteer program facilitators about volunteering or working as a team.
As a volunteer, you need to remain calm, focused, and flexible. Each program, school, and set of girls are going to bring their own surprises, so you have to be able to deal with small and large changes while remembering that the focus of the program is to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
9. What is your current profession?
I am currently finishing up my PhD in Anthropology.
10. 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?
The gender demographics have shifted in the past few decades so now there are more women than men enrolled in anthropology graduate programs and graduating with advanced degrees in anthropology. As with any graduate program, it is academically rigorous, but being surrounded by like-minded individuals can help ease the burden. For me, I find that anthropology is the perfect lens through which we can view and evaluate our modern way of life because it provides a holistic perspective by accounting for biology, culture, and our evolutionary past.
11. Please share a tip for Girls Inc. Girls.
Never stop striving to be the best version of yourself!
Thank you, Evanna, 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 Evanna has, click here to sign up to volunteer today!