Girls Inc. of the Valley received a generous $145,000 grant from the Amelia Peabody Foundation. This grant will enable Girls Inc. of the Valley to further develop their virtual programming, help them prepare for the time when in-person programs may resume, continue their Learning Pod collaboration with the Holyoke Public Schools, and ultimately bring staff together in one building fostering even greater creative and collaborative synergies.
The Foundation awarded $25,000 to Girls Inc.’s general program and $120,000 to their comprehensive campaign, Her Future, Our Future. This commitment will help Girls Inc. to establish a new permanent home and provide the space, resources and opportunities needed to enable more girls to participate in the transformative Girls Inc. experience. The grant will support both program planning and implementation; funds will be used for staffing, expanded outreach, and program supplies. Additionally, the grant will facilitate bringing all Girls Inc. staff together under one roof to create greater collaborative and economic efficiencies.
“We truly value and appreciate the continued support of The Amelia Peabody Foundation,” said Suzanne Parker, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of the Valley. “We thank them for this tremendous generosity toward operations and our campaign, which will be made over the next two years.”
Girls Inc. of the Valley serves girls ages 5-18 in Hampden County, the Western Mass county hardest hit by Covid-19. With more than 68% having family incomes below $30,000 and 55% living in single parent households, their girls were already vulnerable, and have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic’s economic and health challenges. In the midst of this uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the need for girl-focused positive youth development programming is stronger than ever. For girls who were already dealing with adverse childhood experiences like poverty and racism, the social and economic stressors during this pandemic are even greater. The girls they serve need extra support during these challenging times.
Girls Inc. of the Valley aims to inspire all girls to see themselves as leaders with the skills and capabilities to improve and influence their local communities. The goals of their Staying Connected with Girls Project are to:
- Successfully engage girls during this period of extreme isolation, providing fun and skill building activities paired with mentoring support from our trained staff
- Maximize growth opportunities that virtual programming provides to reach a broader cross-section of girls and gain new volunteers from near and far
- Position Girls Inc. of the Valley to be ready to seamlessly transition back to in person programming when appropriate.
“The Amelia Peabody Foundation’s support will be instrumental as we expand and enhance Girls Inc. of the Valley’s center and school-based programs in Holyoke, Springfield, Chicopee, and beyond, and give 1,000+ girls per year the chance they deserve,” said Suzanne Parker, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of the Valley.
The impact of the campaign on the girls they serve will be substantial and long lasting. Girls Inc. of the Valley is committed to giving teens from low income communities access to the technology, training and mentorship they need to succeed in the tech-reliant jobs of the future. Collaborations like this one, with The Amelia Peabody Foundation, will help both parties accomplish their missions and support numerous girls in the community to be successful.