Greetings 4GIRLS Friends,
We hope that this message finds you all healthy and safe.
During the past several months, 4GIRLS has been hard at work designing and delivering our program in a new virtual format. The culmination of this effort was the first 4GIRLS Virtual Workshop ever, which was held on November 7, 2020. By all accounts, the event was impactful and accomplished our goal of inspiring and empowering the middle-school girls in attendance. The feedback received from the girls included “This is the best workshop I have ever done”, “I am ready for new ideas to come my way”, and, “Thank you so much for today!!! I haven’t felt this happy and powerful ever until today.” WOW.
The theme of our Virtual Workshop was “Bold”, and one clear embodiment of the word was our keynote speaker, Brenda Villa, the most decorated female water polo player ever. She is a four-time Olympic medalist and four-time World Champion! Brenda, a child of Mexican immigrants, began playing water polo at age 8, and, in high school had to play on the boys’ water polo team because there was no girls’ team. She was the first student from her school to go to Stanford University, where she was awarded the 2002 Peter J. Cutino Award as the top female college water polo player. Through her keynote message, Brenda demonstrated to the girls what it means to have grit and tenacity and how important it is to follow your dreams. She is now helping other kids follow their dreams through the Brenda Villa Foundation (https://www.bvfdn.org/our-story), which strives to give access to aquatic sports to youth in under-resourced communities. Brenda shared, “Anything that you are the first in, make sure that you are not the last.” Excellent words of wisdom. Brenda!
Some other important topics covered during the workshop included mindfulness to teach the girls how to be present in the moment, breathwork to show the girls breathing techniques to control the mind, which in turn controls the body, and a segment on mental health. The topic of mental health is always important and especially so during these challenging times in which we are living. Symptoms of anxiety and depression have increased, in some cases significantly, during the pandemic and youth are not immune. In fact, we learned during the 4GIRLS workshop discussion, that mental health issues are on the rise in youth and that girls have a higher incidence of depression than do boys. Important tips, tools, and resources for coping with anxiety and depression were shared with the girls. In addition, segments on journaling, accomplishing goals, sparking joy, and self-affirmations also provided the girls with methods to shift any negative thoughts or self-talk. Some of the powerful affirmations shared by the girls included, “I am unstoppable”, “I am a trail blazer”, “I am good enough”, “I am worthy”, and, “I am ready to be me.” The middle school girls that attend our 4GIRLS Workshops never cease to amaze us!
The 4GIRLS leadership team and extended team of volunteers feel energized by our first Virtual Workshop and look forward to continuing to leverage a virtual platform to help drive our mission of inspiring and empowering middle school girls. We are also very excited that our board continues to grow with new and diverse talent, including the latest addition, Caryl Strong, Managing Director at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Caryl brings extensive experience in accounting to the organization and will be closely aligned with our CFO. Welcome to the team, Caryl!
In closing, we wish our 4GIRLS community joy and peace as we embark upon the holiday season.
The 4GIRLS Board of Directors
Dear 4GIRLS Community,
4GIRLS is excited to share that we have been selected to participate in the Long Beach Gives campaign, the city’s annual day of online giving. The 24-hour online fundraiser takes place on September 24, 2020. This opportunity means a lot to our organization, as this year, due to COVID-19, 4GIRLS will not be holding our annual fundraising gala. The Long Beach Gives campaign will be the primary source of funding for our 2021 programs, so please mark the date and help support our organization if you are able.
Though we haven’t been able to hold any in-person events, for several months, our Virtual Connections Committee and Social Media Committee have been very busy at work delivering virtual empowerment events and social media campaigns designed to keep the girls engaged, inspired and empowered! And, one of the best outcomes of this new way of delivering our program has been the leadership skills that our Junior Mentors (who are high-school aged) are honing as they develop and lead many of these activities.
4GIRLS will continue to innovate with how we deliver our program and we will continue to expand our reach virtually so that we can inspire and empower even more middle-school girls. As most, if not all of you know, we are a 100% volunteer organization and everything that we do is provided at no cost to the girls. Please help us to continue doing the good work into 2021 and beyond by contributing to the Long Beach Gives campaign on September 24, 2020. For more information about supporting 4GIRLS through Long Beach.
Gives please visit https://donate.longbeachgives.org/4girls-organization. Early donations will be available starting September 17th, 2020.
Thank you all for all that you do to support this program! We wish you continued health and safety.
The 4GIRLS Organization
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.
After serving girls in Long Beach, CA and the surrounding communities for the past 5 years, 4GIRLS is proud to announce that in 2016 we will be expanding our program! Middle school girls in Santa Ana and Anaheim will now have the opportunity to participate in the 4GIRLS program in Orange County. Due to this exciting growth of our organization and because 4GIRLS will be hosting two workshops in 2016 rather than one, we are in need of your help.
Unlike previous years, we will not be holding our annual fundraising gala in the spring and instead will be holding it in the winter of 2016. As such, we have looked at alternatives for raising the necessary funds to cover all of the expenses associated with our program (you may recall that all 4GIRLS participants attend our workshop and ongoing empowerment activities at no cost to them). We have decided to pursue the GlobalGiving program as the primary means to fund most, if not all, of our 2016 activities.
GlobalGiving is a global crowd funding site that will allow our organization to connect with donors and companies worldwide. In order for us to be granted a platform with GlobalGiving we need to raise enough funds during their upcoming “open challenge” to demonstrate to their organization that we have community support before they give us access to global support.
Our timeline to raise our goal with GlobalGiving is from Dec 1st – 31st. Please consider donating (no contribution is too small) by visiting the following link:
Your generosity will make a difference to our organization and to the hundreds of middle school girls that we hope to inspire and empower in 2016 with our mission that they are inherently valuable, beautiful and powerful.
The 4GIRLS Board of Directors
4GIRLS is now officially registered and accredited by Global Giving, a global crowd funding organization, providing additional fund raising avenues and corporate donation matching opportunities.