Girls Inc. of Carpinteria has received a $75,000 grant from the Audacious Foundation to support enrichment programming for girls focused on physical education, health and wellness. The funds will be utilized to implement ‘Strong’ programming for 120 girls ages 5 to 13 (as part of the organization’s core Strong, Smart and Bold goals), while increasing the time dedicated to health and wellness.
In addition to the new curriculum, the funding will support a dedicated full-time position – a Strong Program coordinator – to work with members on physical health through sports enrichment, such as basketball, volleyball, dancing, self-defense and more. For this role, Girls Inc. has hired Erica Williams, a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA).
“Supporting the physical, emotional and mental health of our girls is one of our top priorities – and is even more critical during these current times when youth do not have their regular routines,” said Jamie Collins, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “We are grateful to the Audacious Foundation for recognizing the value of our Strong programming for girls during their transformative years, and we look forward to implementing this new curriculum with our newest team member, Erica, to ensure girls receive daily health and wellness support.”
As the Strong Program coordinator, Williams will develop and lead a balanced program of physical education, skill development, health and wellness designed to inspire healthy lifestyles and confidence. The program will reach girls in both the campus-based and outreach setting, including workshops and mini camps (as public health allows).
Williams joins Girls Inc. from HM Systems, where she provided direct and consultative services to students in pre-K through high school. Prior to this role, she worked as a primary educator for Before After School Enrichment in Oceanside, California, and was responsible for developing and implementing creative educational activities for students. Williams holds a B.A. in public health and sociology from Austin College.
With the Audacious Foundation grant, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria will be able to dedicate 800 hours to health and wellness programming.