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The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio Strategic Grantmaking Initiative. One Girl June 2009 . Organizational History.
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The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is a public foundation that promotes social change by growing philanthropy and empowering women and girls to reach their potential. We serve Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties. For the past seven years, we have used an inclusive, consensus-driven model to determine which programs we fund. As a result, more than $800,000 has been given to 90 programs that address the root causes of issues facing women and girls in our community.
In September 2004, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio in partnership with The Columbus Foundation published the first gender-specific research study for Central Ohio, COUNT ON HER!. One of the recommendations of COUNT ON HER! described an opportunity to further explore the gender-specific information about girls.
In February 2009, The Women’s Fund released One Girl: The Status of Girls in Central Ohio, a report about how girls are faring in our community.
In addition to the “numbers and narrative” information, to complete the portrait of girls in central Ohio, The Women’s Fund held 13 “Listening Conversations” with over 500 community members including, social services providers, parents, educators, decision makers, and funders in all seven counties.
Using an appreciative and strengths-based model of inquiry, we asked adults questions concerning the experiences of girls in each community. Then we asked the experts – Girls themselves - what it is that motivates them, what resources have been most helpful, and what they need to catapult to success.
Counties heard: Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Pickaway, Madison, and Union
Total Number of Community Reached: 622
Total Number of Girls reached: 57
Total Number of Adults Reached: 453
Number of Adults reached through survey:112
Number of Attendees at each convening:
Resiliency through Resources
Self Esteem and Confidence Building
Establishing healthy relationships with parents and peers
Rural Counties: Licking, Pickaway, Madison, Union
Urban & Suburban Counties: Franklin & Delaware
What do you think are the most salient issues for girls in your community?
15 years old - 3
16 years old - 5
17 years old - 5
18 years old - 2
19 years old – 1
Total number of girls who completed the survey: 52
Focus on adult/child relationships
Adult women mentoring high school, middle school and elementary school girls
An emergency mentorship task force would function as a safety net of support for at-risk girls
Provide an incentive-based child development parenting program that would reach parents in their homes and engage the parents to be more connected to their daughter’s social and academic development
When asked about peer mentoring, adults agreed that peers are more powerful influences than adults
Adults want mentoring programs that provide empowerment and enriching opportunities.
Focus on peer to peer influence
Of the 52 girls who completed the survey, 65.4% of girls indicated that they would prefer high school girls mentoring middle school girls.
Girls want mentorship from someone closer to their age who preferably has a similar background
Girls want adults around and they want to have access to older peers as well
Girls do not want assigned mentors or “special assigned” groups such as a specific group for girls dealing with parental divorce
Girls have expressed the need for a more comprehensive mentoring experience with opportunities to participate in activities where they can bond with older girls and girls within their same peer group.