Leadership for Girls program receives funding

TUMBLER RIDGE, BC ? The Leadership for Girls program in Tumbler Ridge has been awarded a grant of $1,000 from The Minerva Foundation for Women, and $2,000 from The Hamber Foundation. These funds will be used to purchase supplies and provide training to girls between the ages of 11 and 15 as they develop leadership skills and explore social responsibility, health and nutrition, and career and life preparation. The girls can also receive training in self-defense, communication and public speaking, and job preparation certificates in Food Safe, first aid, babysitting and customer service.

The program was started in fall 2002 by Tumbler Ridge youth counsellor, Mimi Greengrass. At that time, it was an informal after-school program for girls aged 9 to 15. Because the response was enthusiastic and participation was much higher than expected, the program was expanded in 2003 to include more tangible leadership skills and a community service practicum.

?The group setting is a safe environment for the girls to learn appropriate information about the realities of being female in today?s society,? said Greengrass. ?Our goal is to give them the opportunity to develop their full potential, and this funding will help us achieve that goal.?

Carolyn Golightly, continuing education coordinator at the Tumbler Ridge campus of Northern Lights College, was able to help the program secure funding through the Northern Lights College Foundation. The Minerva Foundation for Women, whose motto is Creating Opportunities for BC Women, responded to the proposal with their donation in May 2004. The Hamber Foundation ? Bettering the lives of British Columbians ? made their donation in November.

Information about the Leadership for Girls program is available by calling Tumbler Ridge Counselling Services at 250-242-5505.