We provided 10 laptops to Sisters in Strength Youth Organizers as they prepared to start college.
This is the number of Sisters in Strength youth organizers and alumni who return to the program.
Estimated girls & women affected
This is the number of Sisters in Strength youth organizers, alumni, their peers, and family who support them through the program.
Estimated community members affected
Because of your generous donation, through the Post-Secondary Assistance Fund, Girls for Gender Equity provided fully equipped laptop computers to determined young women, upon their graduation from high school. Through our annual college shower, we gifted Sisters in Strength youth organizers with laptops, school supplies, and clothes. We also awarded college support by covering books, applications, and additional college expenses to alumni and graduate students from our organization.
“Progress is opportunity. Dreams were made.” - Ngozi, 15.
“Girls for Gender Equity brought life into me. It made me overcome a lot of things.” -Tanzina, 18.
“As an African American woman I was tired of hearing what was impossible or not…Girls for Gender Equity really allowed me to open up my voice to speak about my personal experience with gender violence. It gave me a lifelong family and community of support.” - N’Keya Peters, 22. “Girls for Gender Equity made me the woman I am today.” - Nathania Fields, 16.
Risks and challenges
Funding remains an issue in the current fiscally challenged climate, but we have just completed a multi-year fundraising plan and hope to expand our development staff to be able to continue to meet the critical needs of our participants. The majority of our Sisters struggle with family issues, poverty, homelessness. They live in marginalized communities and attend underserved schools without guidance counselors to provide consistency and support. Thus, their belief in themselves and their abilities to affect change in their own lives is eroded. In an atmosphere of supportive safety, we build community and develop their belief in themselves to not only transform their own lives but effect positive change in their schools and communities.
What we’ve learned
We learned that participants need and deserve support beyond high school and their first year of college. We are committed to supporting them throughout their educational stages as young people. 100% of alumnae expressed a desire to give back to Girls for Gender Equity and their communities by leading community service projects, mentoring our current youth organizers, and providing college readiness workshops and college tours at their respective schools.
The new Sisters in Strength cohort are in their first year of the two year program - they will continue to strengthen their commitment as leaders in movement building against gender-based violence. The first year will focus 50% on leadership in community organizing and 25% equal parts academic education and developing sisterhood.
Your generosity made it possible for us to purchase laptop computers for Sisters in Strength high school youth leaders that graduated from the two year cohort in June 2014 and are attending college in September. The support also allowed us to help struggling high school and college participants in need of books, application fees, and supply coverage.
Amount spent so far
Leveling the Field for Sisters to Succeed
“Facilitating (college readiness) workshops for SIS participants is an amazing task. To conduct the workshops, one needs great leadership skills. You have to know the topic really well and know how to execute it in a clear and concise way to the girls. You also have to very patient. So far, facilitating these workshops has helped me become a better speaker. I’ve learned to be honest when I am not 100% sure about something.” Fahmida, SIS alumni and CARA workshop facilitator.
Sisters in Strength is a 2-year leadership training and community organizing program for young women of color in high school aged 16 - 19; please see www.catapult.org/project/sisters-in-strength-ending-gender-based-violence and www.catapult.org/project/college-prep-young-women projects on the Catapult website for full descriptions of project activities and progress. Fifteen Sisters receive education, training, mentoring and college prep services, as well as 1-on-1 peer-to-peer support and counseling. As a result of these services, 100% of the current cohort of Sisters say they plan to apply to college and are more confident and knowledgeable about the process. From financial struggles that past Sisters have experienced as first-generation college students, we plan to purchase laptop computers for current Sisters graduating from high school in 2014 to provide them with the necessary tools with which to successfully graduate with a degree and achieve their goals.
Risks and challenges
Funding remains an issue in the current fiscally challenged climate, but we have just completed a multi-year fundraising plan and hope to expand our development staff to be able to continue to meet the critical needs of our participants. The majority of our Sisters struggle with family issues, poverty, homelessness; live in marginalized communities; attend underserved schools and don’t have role models to provide consistency and support. Thus, their belief in themselves and their abilities to effect change in their own lives is eroded. In an atmosphere of supportive safety, Sisters build community and develop the belief in themselves to not only transform their own lives but effect positive change in their schools and communities.
The current Sisters in Strength cohort are in their second year of the 2-year program; they will continue to strengthen their commitment as leaders in movement building against gender-based violence. The second year will focus 50% on leadership in community organizing and 25% equal parts academic education and developing sisterhood. During Year 2 of the program, Sisters will develop and implement their community organizing project around sexual and street harassment prevention.
The generosity of Catapult donors will make it possible for us to purchase laptop computers for those Sisters in Strength high school youth leaders graduating from the 2-year cohort in June, 2014 and attending college in September. Thank you so much on behalf of our Sisters for providing this crucial support!
College is incredibly expensive with many necessary expenses beyond tuition. Help provide laptops to young women pursuing higher education.
Why we care: While 90% of our Sisters in Strength gain entrance to college, many experience financial barriers that threaten their successful completion
How we’re solving this: The Post-Secondary Assistance Fund provides laptops for 10 Sisters in Strength Youth Organizers as they move on to college and other life pursuits.
When Ashley showed up for her first computer class at New York University, she was dismayed to find there were no desktop computers. As one of the only students in class with no laptop, nor the funds to purchase one, Ashley was at a distinct disadvantage that threatened not only her chance to succeed, but her confidence in the very abilities that helped her get accepted to NYU. Without the tools necessary for successful completion, Ashley was forced to take a hiatus and is working hard to get back to school and earn her four-year degree.
Many of the young women in our Sisters in Strength* leadership training program overcome barriers such as family issues, poverty and homelessness to gain acceptance to college. But even for those awarded scholarships to their “dream” schools, unanticipated expenses, like those of a laptop computer, can prove jarring and facilitate a downward spiral.
Help us give these determined young women an equal chance. Through the Post-Secondary Assistance Fund, we will provide them with fully equipped laptop computers upon graduating from high school.
*More information on the Sisters in Strength program can be found here.