Building future women leaders

2016-04-19 06:00
  Great Girls participants of last year, following a day with Chic Mama’s, a non-profit organisation that raises funds through fashion and who kitted each girl out in their own tailored interview outfit. The girls are given these outfits to keep and use in future interviews or appointments.

Great Girls participants of last year, following a day with Chic Mama’s, a non-profit organisation that raises funds through fashion and who kitted each girl out in their own tailored interview outfit. The girls are given these outfits to keep and use in future interviews or appointments.

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A local non-profit organisation is giving girls the opportunity to become great through preparing them for their futures.

Great Girls, a project run by a diverse group of women, aims to bridge the gap between high-school education and full-time employment for disadvantaged girls.

The project works with girls in Grade 11 and 12, equipping them with the skills to either find meaningful full-time employment or to pursue further studies when leaving high school.

Participants are coached on elements that range from interview technique and CV writing to budgeting, eloquence, confidence-building and assertiveness.

Since their start in 2014 with 20 girls at two schools, Great Girls has grown to accommodate three times that amount of girls. Great Girls’ founder Kristina Miller says they have been able to expand to increase three more schools.

“We currently have more than 60 girls on the programme and more than 16 team members and mentors.”

The organisation works with girls at Lavender Hill High, Steenberg High and Sibelius High, and has worked with girls from False Bay College.

At the end of the programme, each girl receives a personally styled interview outfit, completed CV, copy of the bursary register to aid furthering their studies, basic knowledge of the labour law, coaching in interview techniques, lessons in workplace etiquette and coaching in communications and confidence building. Finding mentors remains a challenge, Miller says, and those who are mentors have limitations on the time they are able to offer.

The programme is already boasting success stories, ranging from girls applying and being accepted onto bursary programmes and excelling in tertiary education institutes, to seeing some major networking of the girls with their peers. But the real rewards come from changing each girl’s life, says Miller. “Many of our girls come into the programme telling us how they have been told they won’t amount to much in life and to settle for less. We believe every girl is capable of being great and we help to unlock that potential.”

V Great Girls will run their new participants programme from July.. Visit www.greatgirls.co.za

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