Strong Women, Strong Girls

Strong Women, Strong Girls utilizes the lessons learned from strong women throughout history to encourage girls and young women to become strong women themselves.

Application Information:

To enroll your child in Strong Women Strong Girls, or to learn more about volunteering with the program, email swsg@pbha.org.

Student Director Contact Information:

Veronica Kane & Karen Malacon

swsg@pbha.org

Staff Contact Information:

Laurie Chroney

laurie@pbha.org

617-496-9127

The mission of Strong Women, Strong Girls is to utilize the lessons learned from strong women throughout history to encourage girls and young women to become strong women themselves. By building communities of women committed to supporting positive social change, Strong Women, Strong Girls works to create cycles of mutual empowerment for women and girls.

Each week, college-age mentors join a group of girls in grades three through five to learn about strong women of the past and present. Together, the groups of girls and women read biographies of strong women, engage in biography-based activities ranging from improvisation to science experiments, and journal about the day’s activities.

Mentors celebrate one another at Mentor Appreciation Night.

Mentors celebrate one another at Mentor Appreciation Night.

In addition to creating a supportive environment for young girls, the program aims to build close relationships between college mentors.

History of Strong Women, Strong Girls

Lindsay Hyde ’04 founded Strong Women, Strong Girls at PBHA during her freshman year at Harvard. Through a Stride Rite Postgraduate Fellowship, she established the program as an independent nonprofit organization that now serves girls in neighborhoods across Boston and Pittsburgh. Learn more at swsg.org.

Today, PBHA leaders of what is now the Harvard chapter of Strong Women, Strong Girls aim to not only honor Hyde’s work, but also to build upon her vision with innovative curricula, exciting field trips, and commitment to mentor development.

At its founding in 2000, SWSG engaged six mentors and 30 girls. Today, the organization’s founding chapter includes nearly 50 mentors working with more than 175 girls in Boston.

Leadership Structure

Like all PBHA programs, students lead the Harvard chapter of Strong Women, Strong Girls. The chapter is led by two Co-Directors (both of whom have mentored for at least two years), a Finance Coordinator (who manages finances, spearheads the grant-writing process, and leads other fundraising efforts), two Events Coordinators (responsible for planning both a fall field trip and Spring Service Showcase, as well as mentor-community building activities such as apple picking,) a Communications Coordinator (responsible for taking minutes and attendance at meetings, creating a mentor directory, and cultivating our social media presence and alumni directories). Four Programming Coordinators (PCs) are responsible for mentor development and maintaining close ties with mentees’ neighborhoods.

For Volunteers

We hope that you are interested in joining us!  Mentors are asked to make at least a yearlong commitment to the program. Mentoring lasts 1.5 hours once a week, and we have a weekly meeting on Sunday nights from 7:30-8:30 in the Lamont Forum room.  We also have one all-day field trip in the fall and two in the spring.

At the beginning of the school year, we will begin recruiting new mentors, which includes various information sessions for you to learn more about our work, a short application, and an informative interview. Please check back on our website for more information in September or reach out to swsg@pbha.org.

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