Newburgh Girl Power began with a mission at a local church to help pregnant teens. However, as the needs of the community changed, so did the scope of the services. In 2012, Girl Program was created to empower girls at a young age to make choices for themselves and seek out opportunities for self-fulfillment, set and achieve goals, all in an atmosphere of mutual support among peers and under the guidance of trained professionals. Beginning with a group of 12 girls ages 9-12, the program now reach over 30 participants in two age groups.

The group meets once per week after school to do participate in enrichment activities ranging from participating in service projects to learning to code and doing yoga to visiting farms in Cornell and seeing a Broadway show in New York City.

According to Dominican Sister of Hope Catherine Walsh, OP, who sits on the Board of Girl Power, her involvement has “been an experience of seeing young girls become strong young women.”

“Strong women mean strong families and strong communities,” she says. “This program is about recognizing and affirming the contribution that each girl can make to a just, compassionate world.”

On its site, Newburgh Girl Power details its mission to “provide adolescent girls of Greater Newburgh, ages 9 to 18, with a dynamic after-school youth experience, through self-exploration activities, positive mentoring and support, personal empowerment, and leadership-building skills, all provided in a linguistically and culturally appropriate and diverse atmosphere.” Girl Power utilizes the curriculum “Girls Circle,” a strength-based support group model, by integrating relational–cultural theory, resiliency practices, and skills training into a specific format designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls. Altogether, Newburgh Girl Power aspires to produce confident, active young community members by growing the leader within.

This post is part of our Hope Is series to commemorate Hope’s 23rd birthday. Follow along and see all of the posts here.