FFY event for girls positive example to set for youth

Girls on the Run and Smart Girls are two important programs that Foundation For Youth provides. They teach girls about healthy attitudes and lifestyles, empowerment and responsibility.

Smart Girls, for ages 8 to 17, does that with group activities, field trips and adult mentoring. Girls on the Run, for 8 to 13, uses running — including a 5K at the conclusion — to help teach the lessons.

FFY took the programs a step further Sept. 23 with its inaugural Great Girls & Wonderful Women fundraising lunch. The event was an opportunity for girls in the two programs to see and hear from adult women in various careers, and learn lessons that can be helpful to them.

Garb2Art entrepreneur Dawn Andrews told the girls about refusing to give up and having strong goals that motivate you to overcome obstacles. Army Sgt. 1st Class Shamiska Reese from Camp Atterbury told the girls that the character building and self-discipline they were learning through their programs are valuable skills in the military.

Having positive example of women to learn from was beneficial for the 460 girls in attendance at Great Girls & Wonderful Women.

Another benefit was that it raised money — about $13,000 — to cover cost of entry fees for Girls on the Run and Smart Girls for families that cannot afford it. That’s an important way to expand outreach to girls and teach them valuable life skills.

Great Girls & Wonderful Women was a idea with positive benefits, and it would be worthwhile for FFY to offer it again in the future.