Boys & Girls Club receives $24,500 grant for Girls U program

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Contributed Photo  The Women's Fund of East Tennessee recently presented a grant of $24,500 to the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County. The grant will be used for the Girls U program at the Club.

Contributed Photo
The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee recently presented a grant of $24,500 to the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County. The grant will be used for the Girls U program at the Club.

For the second consecutive year, the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee has provided the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County funding for Girls U, a program to foster the development of young women ages 9 to 18. This year, the foundation increased funding to $24,500 in an effort to deepen the program’s impact and continue the program throughout the school year.
“We piloted this program because we knew our young women needed certain life skills in order to reach their full potential,’ said Ginny Wright, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club. “Whether it was learning about career opportunities, gaining social confidence, or having leadership experiences, we wanted them to have the chance to become that well-rounded, successful adult.”
The Girls U curriculum incorporates a wide range of lessons from financial literacy to college planning, but Wright notes that one of the most important pieces is the utilization of weekly guest speakers.
“Our girls get to meet a wide range of community leaders,” Wright said. “Women who are doctors, veterans, and engineers, and with each speaker, they are seeing a different way success can look in their own futures.”
Members of the Women’s Fund Board and Executive Director Terry Morgan, visited the Club last week to present the grant.
“It gives us great pleasure to stand with this Boys & Girls Club,” said Judy Ingala, chair of the Research and Grants Committee at the Women’s Fund. “They are making impressive efforts to transform these young lives and give them every opportunity to gain the life skills that will lead them to self-sufficiency and independence.” Ingala asked each young woman to introduce themselves, telling the group how they as individuals were important and how each had a unique place in this world.
The Women’s Fund mission is to be a catalyst to transform the lives of low-income women and girls in East Tennessee. Their vision is that every woman be self-sustaining. Over the last four years, the Women’s Fund has made 23 grants totaling over $300,000 to 16 organizations in their service area.
This is the second grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County from the Women’s Fund. This year the Girls U funding will allow the Club to expand the originally summer-based program into the school year and to incorporate a new collaborative element with mothers and daughters.
“We believe in this program and know it can deepen its impact by including the family unit and other community agencies to help break the cycle of intergenerational transmissions of risky health behaviors,” Ingala said.
Girls U focuses on the following education, health and life skills: obtaining a high school diploma; understanding the need for post-secondary education or technical and vocational skills; gaining job search, interview and employment skills; preventing addiction,; gaining financial literacy; obtaining basic social skills and knowledge about healthy social interaction; and forming mentoring relationships. Designed as an all-girls program, Girls U increases impact through gender-specific programming.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Club or supporting its youth development programs should call 423-543-2946 or visit

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