Girls’ Initiatives

This photo is a close up of two teen women sitting at a desk and smiling into the camera with their heads against each others.

Girls Initiatives at the YWCA NYC reflect our core belief that empowered girls become empowered women. Designed to inform, engage, and inspire young people to become self- advocates, our goal is to ensure that every girl gains the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue the education, career, and life options of their choice.

Girls Initiatives programs are open to all high-school aged (14-18) self-identified girls, and gender non-conforming youth in New York City. There is no academic requirement to enroll and no enrollment costs.

Geek Girls

Our Geek Girls are on a mission to eliminate the gender gap in technology. This introductory computer science program allows participants to learn through hands-on real-world projects on creative coding, physical computation, electrical engineering, and graphic design through a feminist lens. Regardless of their prior involvement in the field, participants learn about STEAAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Activism, and Math) within the context of social identity and community. Participants also develop leadership skills and explore topics such as identity, activism, and much more. This is a hybrid program which includes both virtual and in-person sessions. In-person sessions are held at our Family Resource Center located at 500 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019.

Join our upcoming spring cohort. Apply Today! 

Featured-Image-Application-Step-In-and-Stop-It-Fall-Spring-2022-ProgramStep In and Stop It: A Bystander Intervention Program

At the YWCA-NYC, our opportunities for leadership, activism, and personal growth help to create change agents for a society poised to take on the work of eliminating racism and inequity. This program equips young people with the tools to be the change NYC needs today by standing up and speaking out for what’s right. After intensive training on bystander intervention, participants share what they know by facilitating workshops across the city on what it means to be an upstander. This is a paid opportunity for young activists to become advocates of social change in their communities. 

Enrollment Coming Soon!

Voices Alive! Theatre for Expression and Social Change

This Spring, we are offering a groundbreaking new program called Voices Alive! Theatre for Expression and Social Change. This theatre arts and performance class will be held once a week on Thursdays at 4 PM, beginning April 13th. Workshops and talks will be conducted by guest speakers, as students explore the work of community-based artists and educators who address social change by transforming and creating new theatre techniques. Students will choose which track they want to focus on (performance, directing, stage management, costume design, set design, makeup and hair design, dramaturgy, etc.) These tracks will then enable the students to create their own portfolios throughout the semester. The program culminates with the presentation of a showcase written, produced, and performed by the students.

In-person sessions are held at our Family Resource Center located at 500 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019.

Join our upcoming spring cohort. Apply Today! 

Girls Symposium: A Force for the Future

The YWCA of the City of New York (YWCA NYC) works to eliminate racism, empower women, and stand up for social justice by providing leadership and advocacy training for young women in culturally diverse communities. Our Women’s History Month Girls Symposium is truly a “Force for the Future”.

The main event will take place in-person on Friday, March 31, 2023 and virtually on Saturday, April 1, 2023. Together, attendees will engage in dialogue around the theme of “A Force for the Future,” which aims to drive conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusivity across all facets of life.

Please visit for more information!