Girls Incorporated of Northern Alberta is a non-profit organization has been operating in the Wood Buffalo region for more than a quarter of a century and our mandate is to inspire all girls to be Strong, Smart & BoldSM. We provide girls 8 to 18 years old with the knowledge and skills needed to break free from gender stereotypes, create social change, be proud of who they are and be confident in their own skin.
Our gender-based programming promotes positive self-esteem in girls, encourages positive life choices, teaches girls to resist peer pressure and how to deal with situations of bullying and violence and explore science and engineering as career options. The programs are implemented as part of the daily school curriculum, after school and on weekends throughout the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and surrounding aboriginal communities.
Our programs are free of charge because we do not want any financial barriers to stop any girl from being able to participate. Our sponsors make a huge difference in thousands of girls’ lives and this year we plan to expand our programming to reach more girls within the region. Funds raised would help purchase resources (notebooks, markers, etc.) for programs as well as help cover travel/fuel costs to reach the surrounding aboriginal communities.
Our most popular programs we run:
- Friendly PEERsuasion: Develops skills to resist pressure to use harmful substances, such as drugs & alcohol. Girls learn healthy ways to manage stress and to deflect peer, media, and other pressures that contribute to substance use.
- Media Smarts: Girls today are bombarded by media images. This program teaches girls the skills they need to think critically about what the media is really telling them; builds girls’ analytical and creative skills. Girls investigate the use of slogans, logos, merchandising, and target marketing in media; consider the realness of reality TV; practice creating strong, smart, and bold characters, TV show treatments, and media campaigns; and tackle issues of concern such as beauty, diversity, & stereotypes in media.
- Project Bold: Learn skills and strategies to lead safe lives in home, in peer and romantic relationships, in their communities, and online. Learn specific self-defense techniques and how to seek out and talk to caring adults about gender-based and personal violence, including bullying.
- Operation SMART: Develops girls’ enthusiasm for and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Through hands-on activities, girls explore, ask questions, persist, and solve problems. By interacting with women and men pursuing STEM careers, girls come to view these careers as realistic options for themselves.
- Mentoring: Offers a safe place for girls to engage with mentors and freely discuss issues they face each week, helps develop healthy relationships, inspires girls to find their voices and build confidence. Studies show that 98% of mentored youth stay in school, avoid teen pregnancy and gangs. Youth who had a mentor are 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.