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Girls Initiatives at the YWCA NYC reflect our core belief that empowered girls become empowered women. Designed to inform, engage and inspire girls in New York City 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 FREE and open to ALL high-school aged (14-18) girls, self-identified girls, and gender non-conforming youth in New York City. There is no academic requirement to enroll. 

Our Programs

Leadership Programs

Our Leadership Programs offer young people a dynamic and innovative approach to developing their leadership skills. Our signature programs Amplifying Multiple Perspectives and Step in and Stop it! Bystander Intervention Training equip our self-identified girls and gender non-conforming youth with the skills they need to make an impact in their communities.

STEAAM Programs

Our STEAAM Programs offer our youth a challenging STEM experience, regardless of their prior involvement in the field. Participants come together in our signature program Geek Girls and learn from the best about STEAAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Activism, and Math), within the context of social identity and community.

Featured-Image-Application-Step-In-and-Stop-It-Fall-Spring-2022-Program

Step in & Stop it

This program arms 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. Participants should be ready to empower their voice with other young activists from around NYC. This a paid opportunity for young activists.

Geek Girls 2022

STEM is in everything despite your sex and gender roles. Stereotypes like “women only belong in the house” overshadow the validity of their experiences and how it relates to STEM. Cleaning is understanding bioparticle science, cooking is chemistry, and crafting as engineering and design. These are skills anyone would need to survive and navigate small and big problems in the 21st century. Stereotypes as the one just shared overshadows the truth in how women have changed our world by being its first programmers and human computers, discovering the world’s best inventions that we still use today. We do not give enough credit to the gender roles society has boxed women’s experience within and their relationship to STEM. This Spring program continues with the Femme STEM Mystique series exploring taboo topics of womenhood and their connections to social justice and STEM.

College Knowledge & Career Readiness

Our College Knowledge & Career Readiness Programs offer opportunities for our youth to engage in explicit conversations around college at all grade levels. Youth will also be exposed to a variety of careers, experiential learning, and coaching and mentorship opportunities.

Partnership Opportunities

Our Girls Initiatives leadership programs Amplifying Multiple Perspectives and Step in and Stop it! Bystander Intervention Training include internship opportunities for our young people. With YOUR help, our girls will receive the practice they need to thrive in their chosen fields!

Signature Event

Our annual symposium is scheduled every spring, but has been postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New virtual date TBA. Email us at girlsinitiatives@ywcanyc.org to join our newsletter.

POTENTIAL to POWER™ Girls Symposium

Convenes 350 girls and women leaders from diverse backgrounds to dialogue on gender equity for 21st Century Girls. The symposium unites intergenerational and multiracial voices to promote understanding, dialogue and social action on critical issues facing girls in New York City. Our goal is to see an increase in attention, public policy, public discourse and funding on gender equity in New York City and across the nation.

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

I joined the YW because i’m a firm believer that everybody is created equally. At the YW, there’s no judgement. This was the only place where I felt I can express what i felt.”
-Zariah

The YW is inspiring.
-Michelle

I do think the YW makes the world a better place.
-Gracie

Questions or Comments?

Contact us or visit Girls Initiatives at:
YWCA NYC Family Resource Center
500 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019
(Between 10th and 11th Avenues)
212.937.8700

Thank You To Our Girls Initiatives Sponsors!

Your help makes our work possible. To become a sponsor, please contact our Development team at development@ywcanyc.org.