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Program Design

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At Girls First, we provide a safe and stable environment where students practice respect for self and others, exercise appropriate interactions with peers and adults, discover new skills and talents, and develop tools that will allow them to achieve greater success in school and beyond.

At the core of all of our programs are creative explorations led by caring mentors, experienced teaching artists, and local community partners.

Our programs are designed to help girls:


1. feel safe and secure while building positive relationships with their peers and our volunteers and staff


2. explore new academic and creative skills


3. practice social and emotional skills such as communication, problem solving, and empathy, so that they may better use those skills in their everyday lives


4. increase their resiliency, so that they can bounce back from adversity more quickly


5. celebrate their commitment to the growth that will lead to future success and becoming leaders in their community


Girls First is committed to helping breakdown and overcome barriers to successful learning and growth. A recent NPR story underscored the value of our approach, reporting that mentoring programs like ours “have been shown to support children through difficulties in their lives [because] positive childhood experiences and relationships are known to buffer against the stress of trauma and strengthen resilience."


Mounting research suggests resilience may be the key to determining a child’s long-term success and happiness. So being able to ask for help, working through a disagreement with a friend, or sticking with subtraction even when it’s hard, all contribute equally to achievement. Girls First's unique programming, with a focus on collaboration, perseverance and mentoring, is designed to encourage personal growth in an environment where students feel safe, and we regularly see improvement over the course of a school year in students' belief in their ability to master tasks, overcome challenges, and manage their emotions successfully.

Learn more about our Afterschool, Summer Camp, and Outreach programming.

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