The Girls’ Leadership Workshop is a week-long summer program for 10th-12th grade girls who have leadership potential to provide them with the inspiration, motivation, and skills needed to be leaders in their communities. Recruitment is based on recommendations by coaches and counselors with a focus on Summer Academy students. The students spend the week listening to and interacting with speakers, discussing and reflecting on issues regarding gender and confidence and on ways to change the culture. The goals of the program are to increase awareness of gender issues both locally and globally, to identify areas and communities where the girls can contribute and ways to do so, to build relationships with and become inspired by peers, teachers, alumni, and community leaders, and to partner with organizations to give the girls opportunities to continue their community service and their activism.
Twenty-six students participated in the Leadership Workshop in the summer of 2017. The girls learned strategies for more effective and confident communication from Janis Becker, Director of Talent Acquisition and Development at SmartGrowth, learned about different leadership styles from Elise Bryant of the Labor Heritage Foundation, participated in a “garden clean-up” at City Blossoms Community Garden in DC, and learned more about sustainable living and care of the environment and community. The girls developed a new sense of confidence, a new group of friends and network for the upcoming school year, and strategies for spreading kindness and service to the community.
Twenty-four students participated in the workshop in the summer of 2016. They distributed Bethesda Cares’ information cards to people they identified as experiencing homelessness in the community, made connections with each other and the guest speakers, and made commitment to continue to work together during the school year as members of the Girls Leadership Club.
Twenty-two girls participated in the program in the summer of 2015, up from 14 the previous year.