Girls benefit from meeting ‘wonderful women’

Children need encouragement to let them know they can accomplish tasks and meet goals in life. That starts with parents, but also includes relatives, neighbors, teachers and others who fill a mentor role.

For young girls, it’s helpful to meet adult women who have achieved a measure of success so they can learn how that was accomplished, and have confidence that they, too, can be successful.

That’s why the second annual Great Girls Wonderful Women luncheon hosted Oct. 24 by Foundation for Youth and Faurecia at FFY was a valuable experience.

More than 250 people participated — up from just over 100 last year — in the fundraiser that provides scholarships for girls who can’t afford registration fees to FFY programming.

Each table had a seat for an adult woman mentor, and seats for girls who participate in the Girls on the Run or Smart Girls programs, or Big Brothers Big Sisters. That provided an opportunity for the women to share their stories and offer advice, and for the girls to ask questions.

The girls also heard keynote speaker Tracy Embree, a corporate vice president at Cummins Inc. and FFY board member, share her story of challenges and how she overcame them to achieve success.

Some of the messages the girls received encouraged them to:

  • Be brave and develop a mindset of courage
  • Reach out to others, listen and get help if needed
  • Speak up about your abilities and strengths
  • Have a vision for the future and develop a plan for realizing it

The luncheon provided a valuable experience to local girls, showing them real-life examples of successful women who faced similar challenges the girls did when they were younger.

This event is quickly gaining in impact it has on girls, and is likely to help produce more success stories in the future.