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ONE EMPOWERGIRLZ STORY...Carla is a 17 year old senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and part of the YWCA NCA Empowergirlz Youth Development program. Before she started the program, she was very reserved and struggled to express herself, especially in group settings. She found it challenging to communicate with her peers, and believed her opinion didn’t matter. With her mother’s encouragement, she joined the program, and found a positive environment in which to flourish.

“The environment here is very friendly and fun. I love how the program provides a safe space for all of us girls
to say what we feel without worrying about being discriminated or judged, which is one of the many reasons I really enjoy coming here on Saturdays,” shares Carla. “During each session we are allowed to have “girls talk” midway through our day. It is very fulfilling to hear what the other girls are going through daily because I can relate. Also our mentors provide us helpful advice during this time that relates to our personal life, including preparing for college.

Over the last two years, the YWCA has seen Carla break out of her shell, and discover a world of possibilities and is thinking about her future. She is an active member of the debate te
am, and has become interested in STEM – she recently helped to take apart a hard drive, and rebuild it; she loves computers, and plans to go to college to and have a career in IT. Carla adds, “I hope to be a mentor to someone, someday, so I can help a young girl open her eyes to her abilities, in the same way Empowergirlz has done that for me.”


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