GIRL MADE offers a variety of sports programming including Track, Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer and Badminton. Our goal in offering such a diverse array of sports options is twofold. We would like to shine a light on the many talents our girls already possess. These sports have been selected based on the talents and desires of our students and can/will expand as those interests change. Additionally, we want our girls to have the option of thoroughly learning different sports before they are presented with the opportunity to try out for teams. This enables them to build up their confidence in the many skill areas. We support this through the use of skills training exercises, events, and developmental leagues.
Our programming is offered to schools free of charge through support from our generous donors and community partnerships. It has become apparent that many schools simply don’t have the funding to divert to athletic programming. This shouldn’t be to the detriment of students. The majority of our sports programming throughout the school year is offered in an after school format. We have chosen to tailor our programming specifically to girls because grade school sports programming is largely marketed towards boys. We currently offer a basketball league and we are working to expand to offering leagues in all of our sport offerings.
During the summer, we offer one of the top girl’s basketball tournaments in NYC. We allow teams from all over the tri-state area to compete and showcase their skills. In the end, we offer championships and trophies of varying types.
Our summer tournaments allow us the unique opportunity to be a Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) site. Working as an SYEP site enables us to pay our students while teaching them valuable employment skills and keeping them immersed in the athletics they know and love.
They are held to employment level standards and offered training that allows them to be successful
in the next step of their journeys.
In addition to our SYEP work, we work hard to be able to employ those students who graduate from our programs. These are often college students, but employment is not exclusive to those who are in attendance at higher education institutions. This empowers our students to give back to the very communities from which they’ve come. Additionally, it offers a pathway that younger program participants can envision for themselves.
We provide a large portion of our mentorship support via informal opportunities. Students are able to develop socioemotional skills without the rigidity of a sit down program. We have found that the lessons are valued more in this format, and it lessens the pressure on our girls. As a result, we train our staff to support them in this manner.
Our academic support offerings are tailored to the school environment we are working in at the time. Some schools offer homework help and that level of support is redundant for our students, so we approach it from a different angle. Other schools operate differently, and require that we support our students in this manner. However, in all schools no matter the level, we work to ensure that our students are succeeding academically. We have girls who come to us from a variety of different backgrounds. These include those who are on probation, first
generation students, and even students with IEPs. We take pride in our ability to meet these students where they are and support them through their challenges.
In addition to supporting their current academic endeavors, we work to guide our students through the school selection process. This is especially important in NYC where schools have different applications and exams that not all of our participants’ families are familiar with. Our team works to help students make the most informed choices.
Having a team of staff who have come from the very communities we work with, we are well versed on the challenges they face. As a result, we work hard to lessen these barriers to success. One of the ways we do so is by offering a back to school supplies drive. We work with our schools to choose a day in the first week of school. We provide a station where all students can come and receive whatever supplies they may need. As our donors and community partnerships grow, we hope to be able to offer this support on an ongoing basis as the needs arise.
Additionally, we provide a coat drive around the start of the winter season. We work with another local 501c3 to ensure that no one in our local community goes without an adequate coat through the cold northeast winters. This includes girls, boys, and even the families of our students.
Our community partnerships allow us to sustain programming. We are always looking for ways to partner with local organizations who share a similar vision for a mutually beneficial relationship.