Girls Inc. of Orange County received $20,000 for the organization’s externship program that serves at-risk, 10th-12th grade girls. This program inspires girls to be smart, strong and bold as well as empowers them with skills and a pathway into today’s workforce.

Description of how the funds will be used: The Externship program will serve 110 at-risk and underserved 10th-12th grade girls. As many as 90% of participants will be first generation college students without the example of higher education and the professional workforce. At least 80% come from very low-income families.

Description of Project/Program, what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address: The Externship Program inspires girls to be smart, strong and bold as well as empowers them with skills and a pathway into today’s workforce. Externships has grown from 5 to 110 girls in just 5 years.

The program offers 160 hours of workforce readiness and on-the-job training:
• Interpersonal communication
• Financial literacy
• Labor Laws
• Social media
• Mock Interviews
• Resume building
There are 5 development days, one day each month for 6 to 8 hours. This includes:
• Career panels
• College campus tours
• Team building activities
The program includes an intensive training week held on a local college campus. The activities include:
• Workshops
• Guest Speakers
• Visits to a courthouse to shadow a working judge
• Trip to Macy’s for workshops and shopping for professional attire

This training builds up to a 4-week on-the-job experience. Girls will work at Boeing, Ingram Micro, Edwards Lifesciences, etc.

Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards-
High Impact & Life Transforming:
“You can’t be what you can’t see” (M. Edelman) The Externship program gives valuable workforce readiness training for the girls, including life skills like resiliency and confidence, to persevere when they face challenges and the ability to build healthy relationships along the way.
Valaria said, “my mom worked long hours at difficult jobs to give me a brighter future… she was a custodian picking up food and trash from jail cells. I was offered the chance to try something new. The externship program gave me the opportunity to work at Allergan. I gained skills I hadn’t been exposed to and have a choice in determining my future, something my mom didn’t have. By ensuring this for myself, I inspire my mom to envision a brighter future for herself, too.”

Valaria is now in college, anticipating success in a career of her choice. Hundreds of girls like her in OC are counting on us.

Education:
The externship program provides 160 hours of education, workforce readiness and life skills, as well as the Myers-Briggs test. Myers-Briggs provides a self-assessment feedback tool that most people don’t get until they join the workforce. Companies use this test to better understand their employees.

Girls will learn about a variety of careers available to them and the education needed to pursue these careers.

Sustainability:
Each host site (Allergan, BJ’s Restaurants, etc.) provides $1,000 of funding. $600 to participants and $400 for program support. This provides a base for ongoing funding.
• 100% of the board contributes financially.
• Girls Inc. secures over 35 grants annually.

Community Building:
The host sites as well as local universities and community volunteers, all collaborate to support this program. The host sites compliment the preparedness and skill sets that Girls Inc. participants bring to their companies.

Innovative:
No other program provides an 11th grade girl the opportunity to make a presentation to Boeing engineers across the nation or learn about coding video games at Blizzard. The program focuses on careers that are non-traditional for women.

Girls Inc. sets a high standard of accountability that stays with the girls for a lifetime. Attendance is mandatory and participants are only allowed to miss one day to stay in the program. This sets the girls up for success as they head into the world.

Measurable:
The program is measured with pre and post surveys of participants.
• 85% will demonstrate career awareness
• 85% will develop and strengthen professional competencies
• 85% will gain valuable job skills

Organization’s Mission Statement: Girls Inc. of OC inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Vision: Empowered girls in an Equitable Society.

Link to the website: www.girlsinc-oc.org/