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What is Hardy Girls Healthy Women?
Hardy Girls Healthy Women is a national, research-based non-profit organization educating adults in strength-based approaches to working with girls and empowering girls with knowledge, critical thinking skills, and a platform to drive social change. Our vision is to ensure that all girls and women experience equality, independence, and safety in their everyday lives.
What do you do?
We provide strength-based programming for girls from 2nd-12th grade and educational resources and experiences for adults who work with girls. Hardy Girls’ Training Institute builds capacities for individuals, organizations, schools, and communities to support girls by offering on-line and in-person training and curricula. Our resources are being used to strengthen the infrastructure of schools and communities in 38 states and 5 countries.
What makes you different from any other girl-oriented organization?
We take an environmental or community approach to working with girls. We believe it’s not girls who need changing, it’s the culture in which they live and grow. Unlike so many girl-serving organizations, we do not focus on individual problems or behaviors, such as low self-esteem, eating disorders, or aggression. We see these as symptoms of a toxic environment or landscape. Our solution is to work with adults to transform girls’ environments by giving girls the resources, tools, and platforms they need, and joining with girls to bring about change that will make a difference in their lives, in their communities and in their world.
How do I get involved?
Check out our various programs and consider joining one or starting one in your area.
Parents, check out (or ask us how to start) Adventure Girls programming (2nd-6th grade) or a Girls Coalition Group (5th-8th grade) in your area. If you’re in high school, consider our leadership opportunity with the Girls Advisory Board (GAB) or check out our media savvy PBG (Powered By Girl Website (www.poweredbygirl.org) and Facebook page). If you’re in the central Maine area, don’t miss our Girls Rock Weekend, a three day celebration of the amazing things girls can do to make the world a better place for all. Parents, educators, and other adults may also register for a workshop, training, or webinar through our Training Institute.
Do you offer scholarships?
Yes. We provide low- cost, quality programming regardless of a girl’s ability to pay.
Approximately 75% of the girls who participate in Hardy Girls’ programming are on scholarship.
How long has the organization been around?
Hardy Girls Healthy Women was created in 2000 by Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown, Karen Heck, and Lynn Cole. We started with an annual conference, and have been growing ever since.
Will you start a Hardy Girls in my area?
Our goal has never been to franchise our version of Hardy Girls but to offer those interested in our approach and programming what they need to do similar work in their area. This work is too big for us to do alone, so we have created on-line and on-site trainings designed to ground you in our strength-based theory and practice so that you can develop local programming that will meet the needs of girls in your area.
What about the boys?
Boys can play an integral role in revolutionizing the way we think about creating healthy environments for girls. Our purpose is not meant to exclude boys but to provide ample space for girls to grow and thrive. We are closely partnered with Boys to Men, a nonprofit located in Portland, Maine and encourage you to visit their website.
What are you doing about eating disorders, cutting and other self-harming behaviors?
We do not directly address self-harming behaviors. Instead, we work with girls to give them more control in their lives by giving them the tools and skills they need to recognize and address unfairness, critique what the culture is selling them and transform their worlds, in coalition with other girls, through social action. A girl needs both kinds of support and we sister with organizations who do address these issues.
Where does your funding come from?
Our funding comes from individual donors, large and small, local businesses and corporations, and from private foundations. We rely heavily on volunteer and in-kind support; most donations directly benefit girls, often in the form of program scholarships.
Are you federally funded?
We are a non-governmental organization (NGO), and as such, take no federal funds.
How do I support your work?
There are three easy ways to donate to Hardy Girls:
1) Electronically by clicking the “Donate” link on our website
2) Sending donations to our address: PO Box 821, Waterville, ME 04903
3) Calling our office and pledging your support and method of payment
What is the purpose of your programming?
To give girls the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and platform to drive social change and transform the cultural landscape in order to cultivate a healthier world for all. We focus on giving girls more power and control by helping them know, develop, and take full advantage of their strengths, and by connecting them with other girls and also with adults who will listen and support them as they do the hard work of questioning authority and challenging the status quo.
What ages do you serve?
Our programming serves girls in 2nd through 12th grade, while our Training Institute is geared toward adults who work with girls.
I know this girl...what can she do with HGHW?
If she is in Maine, she can participate in a number of Hardy Girls’ programs around the state. Hardy Girls’ programming is increasing around the country as well, so please contact us and we’ll direct you to a program near you or help you initiate a program in your area.
If she’s not, consider getting her involved in our online program, Powered by Girl. If you are a girl over 14 and like to blog about the media; we’d love to include your voice!
How do you get girls involved?
We work with them to develop programs to ensure that what we offer, they want! We network with girl-centered and girl-serving organizations throughout the country to engage all girls in our PBG campaign. We also do outreach in all areas of Maine to promote our direct-service programs.
How can girls who don’t live close to you participate?
No matter where a teen girl lives, if she has access to a computer, she can join us on our ever-expanding digital community of girls on the PBG website. Click here for more details.
How do I sign-up for the eNews or register for programs, trainings or conferences?
To sign-up for our eNews and newsletters please go to our Contact Us page and enter your information. There are also links to our various programs in the "Register for an Event" area. Current offerings through our Training Institute can be reviewed in that area of our website. If you encounter any difficulties, please call our office (207.861.8131) and we will be happy to take your registration over the phone.
Do you do anything with the Girl Scouts? How are you different?
In the past, Girl Scouts troops have joined us at Adventure Girls events in order to earn a badge related to a specific activity. Both organizations honor girls and work to create safe environments for them to thrive but we differ in our approach. Girl Scouts is dedicated to helping “girls build character and skills for success in the real world.” Hardy Girls works on the premise that it’s not the girls that need changing, but the environment in which they grow. We help them develop the skills to deconstruct the messages the culture is giving them about “ideal” girls and, in coalition with other girls, change those messages to more fully reflect who they are.
What is SPARK?
SPARK is a girl-fueled activist movement initiated by Hardy Girls Healthy Women, Women’s Media Center, Hunter College, Ms. Foundation, ISIS, and TrueChild. It stands for Sexualization Protest: Action, Rebellion, Knowledge. The kickoff event, the SPARK Summit, took place on October 22, 2010 at Hunter College in New York City. The Summit is an exciting day-long event with the purpose of igniting a movement for girls' right to be express themselves as full human beings and to be taken seriously. Participants have the opportunity to speak out, push back on the sexualization of girls, learn, and have fun with one another! Participants range from teen girls, girl-serving organizations, activists, media professionals, researchers, funders, thought leaders and allies. SPARK now collaborates with hundreds of girls 13-22 and more than 60 national organizations to reject the commodified, sexualized images of girls in media and support the development of girls' healthy sexuality and self-esteem.
What is Powered By Girl (PBG)?
PBG is an online and on the ground media literacy and media resistance movement that capitalizes on teen girls' love of satire and humor, their desire to be seen and heard, and their passion for social media. The campaign is designed to connect girls with one another, and with the information, tools, and resources they need to analyze, talk back, and create their own version of media as a way to raise awareness about the unrealistic representations of girls and women in pop culture. PBG is brought to you by Hardy Girls Healthy Women and a coalition of powerful sister organizations and their allies. Do you know a teen girl media critic (ages 14-18)? Learn more about how to take action with Powered By Girl!
What is Ugly Duckings?
Ugly Ducklings is a cutting edge multi-media program designed to educate and inspire people to take action against bias-based bullying and harassment of gay and lesbian youth. Ugly Ducklings consists of an educational documentary film and community action kit for families, schools, and communities to help address this issue. This documentary highlights homophobia, bullying, and harassment: the real experiences that lead young people to mask their sexual identities, feelings, and questions. The accompanying Community Action Kit is a resource for youth, educators, parents, and communities to use to create safe, supportive enviroonments for all youth to thrive.
Trainings & Workshops
What trainings do you offer?
We offer a range of trainings, both in person and interactive workshops on-line. Please check out the offerings at the Training Institute section of the website.
Who can attend?
Any adult working directly with girls who has an interest in strength-based programming, supporting healthy development, or working with girls to create social change. We have welcomed a wide-range of participants including: parents, teachers, school counselors, AmeriCorps volunteers, doctors, researchers, camp counselors, leaders of nonprofit organizations, etc. If you are curious about the training and its relevance to your work, please contact us.
Do you do speaking engagements?
We are happy to schedule speaking engagements for camps, schools and other organizations around the country. Please email us at email@example.com and include the following information:
Location of proposed speaking engagement
Number of attendees/participants
Age of attendees/participants
We can then consult with you about our fees and answer any questions you may have.
How many volunteers do you have?
The number of volunteers we have each year varies by community interest and the events with which we need assistance. We normally have 2-3 college interns who help us in the office on a weekly basis. Other volunteers, who sign-up for specific events, make up the majority of our current volunteer list of about twenty-five members.
How do I volunteer?
Click here to fill out the volunteer application form. You will be asked about your skills and volunteer interests (i.e. would you like to volunteer on a long-term basis or for short-term projects?). Once we review your application, we will be in touch with you about our current volunteer opportunities.
Can dads be involved?
A father or father figure is an important part of a girl’s healthy development and someone who can influence her environment in any number of positive ways. We strongly encourage fathers and other men supporting girls to attend our trainings. We also encourage fathers to join their daughters at our programs and events.