Inspiring and Empowering Middle School Girls

Global Giving Report

October and November were busy months for the 4GIRLS Organization with several events, including two marquee events – the Anaheim, CA Annual Workshop and the Long Beach, CA Annual Gala. On October 13th and 14th, the 4GIRLS Anaheim chapter held its annual workshop and it was the largest one yet with 80 middle school girls in attendance! The theme was “Courageous” and the keynote speaker, Sky Gaven, exemplified the theme well. Sky is a Latin-American entrepreneur and award-winning filmmaker who has been making courageous and bold moves throughout her relatively short career. In addition to filmmaking, Sky has experienced success in the music industry, launched a one-of-a-kind creative agency and helped to kick start some successful YouTube stars. Her passion and energy resonated with the girls and her drive and entrepreneurial spirit were great to witness. In addition to the keynote, the girls had the opportunity to experience and learn from a variety of “courageous” subject matter experts including Tara Van Deusen, 6th degree black belt and the president of the Power of One Martial Arts and The Power of One World Leadership (http://www.po1kids.org/index.html). Exposing girls to strong powerful role models that can inspire and empower them – like Sky and Tara – is one of the key tenets of the 4GIRLS Organization, our annual workshops and our ongoing quarterly Empowerment Events.

And, speaking of Empowerment Events, the 4GIRLS Long Beach Chapter held one in October which was facilitated by Kellie Walters, PhD, and co-founder of Smart Fit Girls – a program that teaches adolescent girls how to love their bodies by embracing their own strength (http://smartfitgirls.org). Kellie taught the girls the basics of nutrition, anatomy and resistance training. And then they participated in a workout with weights and a fun “Twister” nutrition game. It was an informative and fun afternoon and the girls were able to take home elastic exercise bands so that they could immediately put their learnings into practice! The Orange County chapter, led by Angie Gomez and Kerith Dilley conducted a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Empowerment Event in November. The girls enjoyed an afternoon of hands-on STEM based activities. The activities included the opportunity to build volcanos and learn about why and how they erupt and also to construct towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows – as tall as they could make them – while ensuring they remained structurally sound. The exercises encouraged the girls to use critical thinking skills and to work collaboratively to accomplish their tasks.

And, finally, also working collaboratively (and tirelessly!), the 4GIRLS Gala Committee planned and delivered the best 4GIRLS Annual Gala to date. The Gala is the primary vehicle for raising the funds that are needed to support all of the programs and activities that are offered to the girls at no cost. On November 3rd, the Long Beach Yacht Club was the site of a nautical night to be remembered – an amazing evening of food, entertainment and fun! The most memorable moment of the evening was the authentic and heartfelt speech delivered by former 4GIRLS workshop participant and now a 10th grade Junior Mentor, Aneth. Her moving speech garnered a standing ovation and clearly illustrated the positive impact that 4GIRLS is having in the communities it serves. Aneth shared, “…being a teenager is difficult, we are always worrying about our presentation around others, following in a pack was safer… 4GIRLS helped me to identify and strengthen my character… manage my own insecurities and that changed my life in school and everywhere around me. Being a participant then becoming a junior mentor was inspiring for me. There is a powerful surge of satisfaction when you help impact someone. Joining 4GIRLS has taught me tons. I have learned that helping people gives me a force of willpower to push my shy and timid ways to the side. My goals have changed, not only to be a doctor but to follow in my adult mentor’s steps, volunteer, help, serve in any way I can to any girl I can reach”. Bravo, Aneth!

As 2018 comes to a close, we look back with pride at all of the things that we were able to accomplish and all of the young women and girls that we were able to inspire and empower. And, we have already begun to look ahead to 2019 and have started our planning for the coming year. The next big event on the agenda is the Long Beach Annual workshop, which is taking place on March 23rd and 24th. We had to secure a new venue for the upcoming event because we have outgrown our old space – a great problem to have! We eagerly await the new group of girls that will be attending the 2019 workshop and look forward to seeing their 4GIRLS evolution.

Thank you for your continued support and generosity!

Sincerely,
The 4GIRLS Board of Directors


A CONVERSATION WITH GERDA SEIFER, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR

Please join the 4GIRLS Organization for a memorable morning with Gerda Seifer, one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors.

Seifer was 12 years old when the Germans bombed the Polish city of Przemysl – the city where she was born and raised. That event marked the beginning of the harrowing experience Seifer and her family endured for the next few years at the hands of the Nazis. For the last several decades, Seifer, a Long Beach resident, has been sharing her story of survival – “Mine is just one story out of millions,” she has said. “We all have different experiences, but they all end the same way – you either survive or you die.”

The 4GIRLS Organization is humbled and grateful that she will be sharing her story with us and we hope that you can join us for this special event.

Please register by October 27th to reserve your spot. Thank you.

Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (PDT)
First Congregational Church of Long Beach
241 Cedar Ave
Long Beach, CA 90802

Attend Event


Tea Party Fun

You and your favorite female can join us for Tea – and benefit 4GIRLS Orange County. Fun arts and crafts from 11-noon. Tea and lunch is served at noon. Tickets are $25/each or $35/adult-child pair. Learn how 4GIRLS has transformed the lives of middle school girls. Bid on fun silent auction items. Questions? Email: kerithdilley@gmail.com

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4GIRLS OC Tea for Two Fundraiser
Saturday, May 6, 11am-2pm
Ebell Club of Anaheim
226 N. Helena Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92805


International Women’s Day 2017

The theme this year for International Women’s Day is, “Be Bold For Change”. Looking up the word “bold”, the internet came back with: adjective: (of a person, action or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

I started thinking about people whom I admire for taking “risks” and being “confident and courageous” and on a global scale, I thought of Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace prize recipient. Anyone who knows her story will agree that she epitomizes the word bold. But I also admire so many people who are not known on a global scale and would not be recognized by any member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. One person, in particular, that comes to mind is Angie Gomez. Angie is a person I met while at a community outreach event promoting the 4GIRLS Organization. After we met, she decided to support the program by being a mentor and transporting middle school girls from Anaheim to the 4GIRLS workshop in Long Beach. After participating a couple of years in the program, Angie asked me, “When are you going to start this program in Anaheim?” Classes in ‘Diplomacy 101’ kicked in and I asked her, “When are you going to start the program in Anaheim?” Fortunately, Angie boldly accepted the challenge and launched 4GIRLS Orange County this past August!

Eight years ago, I took a bold step and shared an idea that I had with my friends about creating an empowerment workshop for middle school girls. I didn’t know what the workshop would look like exactly, but I knew that I was interested in creating a program where girls could identify themselves as inherently valuable, powerful and beautiful. If it were not for the women who listened and embraced my ‘bold’ thinking back in 2010 and encouraged me to take a risk – the 4GIRLS Organization would not be in existence and we would not have had the opportunity to inspire and empower hundreds of girls to be bold and to make positive changes in their lives.

What I now know is whether you want to implement significant change on a personal level, for your community or for the environment, some degree of boldness will be required. Being bold may seem daunting, but like anything that is worthwhile, one has to practice, practice and practice to become better at it. The Spanish philosopher, Baltasar Gracian wrote, “Put a grain of boldness into everything you do.” Let us start with today – let’s put a grain of boldness in everything that we do and let us see the change that is manifested.

Sincerely,

Claudia Copley
4GIRLS Founder & CEO


Graduating from Google: Lessons in Leadership

4GIRLS Organization is proud to partner with author Linda El Awar on the launch of her first book, Graduating from Google: Lessons in Leadership.

Linda El Awar is a former Google employee who has published a piece of narrative non-fiction that describes her time with the company. Linda hopes to inspire others along their own personal leadership journey through her book, and she has been impressed with our efforts to aide middle school girls.

As a result, 50% of all proceeds from her book will be donated to our organization!

The story appeals to a broad audience, anyone from a young college grad finding him or herself to a Fortune 500 CEO trying to establish culture.

In Linda’s own words, “I understand how awkward and frustrating the middle school years can be on both an academic and personal level. That’s why I want to help middle school ladies embrace this time as a positive opportunity to experience new things and develop confidence for life.”

We are honored to have others such as Linda share our message and support 4GIRLS! If you know of others who love to read, please let them know of this entertaining and educational story. And if you love the story as much as we do, we encourage you to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes & Noble.