730 days into the Girlvolution

Jane Hinton, with program alumna Cur'Desia 
Today, Powerful Voices welcomed a new cohort of girls into the DYVAS employment program.  One young woman showed up for work early (always a great sign!) and was sitting in our lobby when I heard a staff member ask her how she was feeling about her first day of work,
"Are you nervous or excited?"
"Both!" she replied.

I could relate.  On my first day of work, I felt so excited to be a leader at Powerful Voices, a progressive organization I could get behind both personally and professionally.  I was looking forward to connecting with the community who had built Powerful Voices into an award-winning nonprofit, where girls most affected by racism and sexism were empowered to create change in themselves and for others.  I was also nervous.  Who would I eat lunch with?  (Always a fear on my first day of work).  And how would I lead Powerful Voices out of one of our toughest financial years ever and carry out the ambitious strategic plan launched by the Board of Directors?

I like a challenge, and Powerful Voices gave me a place to grow myself, as I help girls grow in their own right. Next week, on July 18th, I will celebrate two years (730 days - and some days are longer than others) as the Executive Director of Powerful Voices.  I am proud of the work I have done with our board, staff, volunteers, donors and partners to strengthen Powerful Voices over the past two years.  We have held an unwavering focus on our mission, and seen the payoff as 500+ girls have graduated from our programs and gone on to participate as leaders in their schools, families and communities.   We have also seen a significant increase in community involvement with Powerful Voices.  2012 saw a record number of volunteers (96) give over 3,300 hours to empower girls.  In the past 6 months we've trained 100 new Adult Allies through our Girl Justice events and hosted our 4th Annual Girlvolution Conference.  We've embarked on new collaborations and sustained relationships with long-time partners, like King County Juvenile Detention.

This summer, Powerful Voices embarks on our next Strategic Planning process.  I am looking forward to hearing from our community as we envision what is next in or work to help strong girls become strong women.  

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