Girls Inc. of Carpinteria

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria members got a taste of college life this summer at Santa Barbara City College.

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria members converged on the Santa Barbara City College campus for two weeks this summer as part of the new Fresh Futures Summer Camp, a program designed to provide incoming fourth through seventh grade girls (ages nine to 13) with support through the transition to teenage life.

In partnership between Girls Inc., the STEM Transfer Program at SBCC and the Inner Warrior Project (IWP), the summer camp aimed to bring a well-rounded, targeted curriculum that engaged the “whole girl” and dares her to dream big. The initiative is designed to provide girls with an impactful, comprehensive experience and to serve as a catalyst for growth across enrichment programs.

“We recognized a gap in service between this particular age group, most often because girls are gaining more independence and may not require after-school care or day camps,” said Jessica Wetzel, program director at Girls Inc. “Our goal with the Fresh Futures Initiative is to truly engage all girls for a sustained period of time on a continuum of programming that addresses their needs at every stage.”

SBCC’s STEM Transfer Program assists Hispanic and/or low income students by creating a streamlined educational plan that ensures transfer to a four-year institution in a STEM area. Throughout the two-week program, the girls participated in math and physics labs with current SBCC students and professors and took tours of different departments on campus.

“The girls had the opportunity to see themselves in college and that will have a positive impact on their futures,” said Adolfo Corral, STEM transfer program coordinator at SBCC.

Assertiveness and self-defense training offered by the IWP helped the girls learn to better express themselves and to build confidence in a college setting. The IWP was created as a movement to help create a safe community where boundaries are voiced and respected, and to empower individuals to protect themselves through education in martial arts, yoga and health.

The Fresh Futures Initiative is slated to continue into the school year, with after-hours programming and weekend workshops. For more information about Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, call (805) 684-6364 or visit girlsinc-carp.org/.

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