Girls University Selected by GlobalGiving As Red Backpack Fund Recipient, Receives $5,000 Grant From The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation To Combat COVID-19 Crisis

Girls University Selected by GlobalGiving As Red Backpack Fund Recipient, Receives $5,000 Grant From The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation To Combat COVID-19 Crisis

August 17, 2020 — GlobalGiving announced today that Girls University has been selected to receive a $5,000 COVID-19 relief and recovery grant from The Red Backpack Fund, an opportunity for small businesses and nonprofits made possible by The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation.

“My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic. Twenty years ago, I started Spanx with $5,000 in savings, and I see this as a time to pay it forward. Small business is the backbone of our culture. I know what it’s like to be a small business owner, and I want to provide some relief to these entrepreneurs during this time,” said Spanx Founder Sara Blakely.

The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund.

Thousands of business owners and nonprofit founders from across the United States and its territories applied to receive a grant from The Red Backpack Fund to combat economic hardship caused by COVID-19. Girls University was selected for the grant based on its outstanding application, its urgent need for COVID-19 relief, and its demonstrated capacity to overcome COVID-19 setbacks.

GlobalGiving, a 501(c)(3) organization with nearly two decades of grantmaking experience, will award grants to at least 1,000 women entrepreneurs from now through September 2020 through The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving has assembled a 100% women-led team to lead the grantee selection process. The team includes grant specialists, social workers, female entrepreneurs, analysts, and monitoring and evaluation experts.

“We’re proud to announce the grantees of The Red Backpack Fund. They have successfully undergone GlobalGiving’s rigorous vetting process, and we believe this grant will help them continue to thrive, despite the shifting economic circumstances brought on by this crisis,” said GlobalGiving CEO Alix Guerrier. “The world needs more women-led organizations who are a key force in overcoming COVID-19 and establishing a better normal.”

Learn more about The Red Backpack Fund at www.globalgiving.org/redbackpackfund.

About Girls University
Girls University is designed to motivate, inspire and educate girls in K – 12th grades regardless of race, background and social status.  We look to motivate girls to become the next scientist, engineer and technologist.  The organization’s hours are 7:00am – 6:00pm, Monday through Friday.  For more information on Girls University, please visit www.girls-university.com or contact our National Director of Programs and Brand, Ashli Smart  843.468.4710.

About The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation
Since its inception in 2006, the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has donated millions to charities around the world, focusing on charities that empower underserved women and girls. In 2013, Sara Blakely became the first self-made, female billionaire to sign the Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, promising to give at least half her wealth to charity. In 2020, Sara and the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation launched the Red Backpack Fund in partnership with GlobalGiving. Back by Sara Blakely, the $5 million fund supports the recovery and revitalization of female-owned businesses in the U.S. impacted by the coronavirus crisis. While many of the world’s resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed: Women. The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation is on a mission to support women and help them SOAR through education, entrepreneurship and the arts. Learn more at www.spanxfoundation.com.

About GlobalGiving
GlobalGiving is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that makes it safe and easy to support important causes around the world. When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic strikes, GlobalGiving quickly delivers funds to vetted organizations that are best-suited to lead immediate and long-term relief and recovery. As part of its mission to accelerate community-led change, GlobalGiving provides tools, training, and support to help nonprofits, donors, and companies increase their impact and make the world a better place. Learn more at www.globalgiving.org.

Media Contact:
Ashli Smart, Girls University
ashli@girls-university.com

Press Release: WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Ashli Smart
843.468.4710 c
ashli@girls-university.com

LOCAL GIRLS ORGANIZATION CELEBRATES WOMEN THROUGH MUSIC, RECOGNITION, AND FELLOWSHIP DURING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

 “SHINE ON: A CELEBRATION OF WOMEN”                                          

“To empower a woman is to empower her children, her family, and her community. The smartest investment we can make is in women. Women must have the freedom and the possibility to decide who they are.” Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Florence, SC – January 4, 2019- Girls University, the Pee Dee’s only all-girls leadership, and STEM educational organization celebrates women history month. This inaugural event takes place Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 at the Florence Little Theatre starting at 7:00 p.m.  We invite you to join us for this inaugural event.

March is dedicated to highlighting the contributions of women in history and to empower the next generation of women.   Empowerment opportunities are needed here to enrich the lives of women living and working in the Pee Dee.” As a result of this need, Girls University, in association with Whitney Davis Vocal Studio, is hosting “SHINE ON” A Celebration of Women.

SHINE ON celebrates and highlights three successful women through music, recognition, and fellowship creating an experience that encourages women to “shine on” in our community.   During the event, there will also be a special presentation from Girls University scholars.

With Shine On: A Celebration of Women, not only are we celebrating the performers and honorees onstage, but we are also celebrating the girls that this event is benefiting.    I hope you join us by supporting Shine On: A Celebration of Women and becoming a corporate sponsor of this event,” said Whitney Davis – Shine On Committee Director.  Proceeds from this event will directly benefit Girls University, which inspires young girls to recognize their inner strengths and to define their lives on their own terms.

To purchase tickets, visit www.girls-university.com/shineon or stop by our Florence location at 1249 Celebration Blvd, Florence SC 29501. General admission tickets are $20 each and VIP admission tickets are $35. VIP tickets include premium seating and a gift bag with discounts and gifts from local businesses.

About Girls University

Girls University is designed to motivate, inspire and educate girls regardless of race, background and social status about STEM.  We look to motivate girls to become the next scientist, engineer, and technologist. For more information on Girls University, please visit www.girls-university.com or contact our Director of Programs and Brand, Ashli Smart, 843.468.4710.

Press Release: New Director of STEM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Florence, SC – Girls University is pleased to announce a new Director of STEM and Specialty Programs, Christina Ellerbe at Girls University. Christina has been with Girls University since 2017.

Ellerbe will work with Girls University Scholars and Staff to help create and facilitate a fun, hands-on learning environment through the use of  STEM Curriculum and other specialty clubs: Girls Tech, Etiquette, Arts & Crafts and Master Chef.

After working with OM Ships International and holding a Public Relations Coordinator position with Keep Florence Beautiful, Christina – Joy’s passion for tinkering and empowering by use of knowledge pointed her in the direction early childhood education. Christina – Joy has worked as a Learning Support Specialist and STEM Enrichment Coordinator for Tiny Techz, a compelling STEM company built on facilitating critical thinking and STEM classes. Due to Christina – Joy’s playful nature it’s a surprise that she holds a BA in Religion, Philosophy, & Political Science.

If you are interested in joining a specialty program, please send us a note at coordinator@girls-university.com. Or join us for our Club Fair on September 7 at 6:30 pm.

Girls University has an amazing group of women, visit our website to learn more about other staff members.

About Girls University

Girls University is design to motivate, inspire and educate girls regardless of race, background and social status about STEM.  We look to motivate girls to become the next scientist, engineer and technologist.  For more information on Girls University, please visit http://www.girls-university.com or contact our National Director of Programs and Brand, Ashli Smart, 843.468.4710.

Press Release: New Site Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Florence, SC – Girls University is pleased to announce a new Site Director, Melanie Collins at Girls University. Collins is a native of Coward, SC, Melanie has lived in Florence since 1999.

As a wife and mother of two, Melanie is passionate about using her abilities of leadership and organization in serving others. With an Associate’s Degree in Public Service from Florence Darlington Technical College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Francis Marion University, Melanie has a variety of life experiences including volunteer service in the community and being a homeschool mother.

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Melanie Collins – Site Director

“This experience provides me a unique perspective in managing the Florence site to fulfilling the mission of Girl’s University, ” Collins commented. In addition, Melanie enjoys spending time with her family, serving in her local church, and reading.

Girls University has an amazing group of women, visit our website to learn more about other staff members.

About Girls University

Girls University is design to motivate, inspire and educate girls regardless of race, background and social status about STEM.  We look to motivate girls to become the next scientist, engineer and technologist.  For more information on Girls University, please visit http://www.girls-university.com or contact our National Director of Programs and Brand, Ashli Smart, 843.468.4710.

Girls of the Month

We had two Girls Tech “Girls of the Month”! Jaelyn and Jayda warm up to people are participating slowly. However, they learn to overcome that on their own initiative after being encouraged by their team. Now both of them actively engage in projects while they grow and learn to never “Stand in the corner.” Along with the black panther handshakes, the girls know that phrase well. It simply means that opportunities pass the people hiding in the corner.

Congrats to Jaelyn and Jayda!

These are just a few scenes from a mini play the girls put on. For the Women’s History, this group chose to reenact the Rosa Parks scene. Equipped with a camera and a little direction, they were able to catch a few black and white photos to make their scenes more realistic. At Girls University, we take research to a whole new level! No book reports here. XD
(Maddy B’s mom is watching to see if this is posted on social media, she loved it).

The Intern Perspective

Girls University is an amazing facility for young females.  This facility motivates young females to become great career women while building them academically in grade school. The facility prepares the young girls at early ages to decide what career paths they want to choose which eliminates the confusion once they reach high school and enter college.

Girls University motives the young females to believe in themselves .  The facility teaches the young girls they are beautiful no matter what they look like, what others say or the color of their skin; they are all equal. the young girls are taught to respect each other as females and they are team.  Most importantly this facility teaches them how to act and behave like a LADY!

The facility has wonderful employees to help lead each young girl along the way. Each employee has a wonderful attitude and great ambition to play a major part in teach and every young girl’s life. Each employee has a one on one with each girl and they know the good things and the bad things, the likes and dislikes of each young girl.

Not only did this facility motivate the young girls. It motivated me as an intern. Some of the basic things that were being taught to these young girls reassured me as young woman who may sometimes doubt herself or the choices I make that could affect my future. Interning at this site was a ‘bonus deal” and the best choice I could have made. I also learned a lot about myself as well. The things most of these girls learned will also stick with me as I also continue to pave my way into the world as a great career woman!

-Regina P, Intern 2017

GTech Girl of the Month

Happy Engineers’ Week… let’s celebrate by recognizing one of our upcoming STEM ladies…..

Trinity Thomas is GTech Girl of the Month! Trinity showed excitement, bravery, and willingness to do something daring! She (with help) wielded a circular saw during a field trip to the Techno Mancers workshop!

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GTech strives to highlight and celebrate when a kid takes initiative, tries new things, and engages her surroundings. Way to go Trinity!

There are plenty more to come! Next stop… Badges! Students will have the ability to earn badges upon completion of a field or experience! The best is yet to come!

Interested in joining our Girls Tech Club? Read more here.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Nights

LOCAL AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM FOR GIRLS PARTNERS WITH LOCAL AGENCIES TO INTRODUCE UNDERSERVED ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS IN THE PEE DEE TO ENGINEERING DURING NATIONAL ENGINEERING WEEK

“GIRLS UNIVERSITY: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Nights”
MOTIVATE. INSPIRE. EDUCATE.

“Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math.”

— President Barack Obama, September 16, 2010

Florence, SC – January 17, 2018- Girls University, the Pee Dee’s only gender STEM afterschool program launches initiative to connect undeserved elementary and middle school girls to Engineering.

Women are a highly unrepresented in Engineering within the United States. They continue to remain a minority as STEM careers in the United States continue to increase. In 2015, women made up less than one-quarter (24%) of those employed in STEM occupations in the United States. Those numbers reflect a substantial gender gap in engineering and computer occupations especially for women of color. Asian, Black and Latinas women made up slightly less than 10% of working scientists and engineers. In 2016, women in the United States represented on 4.2% of architecture and engineering occupations.

Understanding these numbers are national, we have to create ways on a local level to expose Girls to STEM at an early age. It’s important for Girls University to partner and collaborate with agencies; Hartsville Chamber of Commerce, Darlington Chamber of Commerce, Darlington County Institute of Technology, South Carolina Department of Commerce (Florence Regional Office) and Hartsville YMCA to connect girls to STEM with free engineering workshops during Engineering Week, February 18-24.

Darlington 
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22
K5- 5TH @ 5:00 PM
6TH – 12TH @ 6:00 PM
DARLINGTON COUNTY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, 160 Pinedale Dr, Darlington, SC 29532

Florence
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23
6:30 PM
GRADES K5-6TH
Girls University, 1249 CELEBRATION BLVD, FLORENCE SC 29501

Hartsville
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23
6:00 PM
GRADES K5-6TH
HARTSVILLE YMCA, 111 E Carolina Ave, Hartsville, SC 29550

These workshops are designed to motivate, inspire and educate girls in the Pee Dee about the endless opportunities associated to STEM.

 

About Girls University
Girls University is design to motivate, inspire and educate girls regardless of race, background and social status about STEM. We look to motivate girls to become the next scientist, engineer and technologist. For more information on Girls University, please visit http://www.girls-university.com or contact our Regional Director, Ashli Smart, 843.468.4710.

 

Summer Camps

girls-university-summer-camps

Welcome to Summer Camp 2017!

Girls University camps are centered around improving the well-being of girls. We believe in each girl’s individuality and intentionally focus on three key areas:
CREATIVITY,  EDUCATION,  PASSION

We work to create a safe, interactive and hands on environment that allows girls freedom to:
– Learn and master skills that nurture their passions, talents and potential.
– Bond with new friends and positive staff role models to create lasting memories.
– Know they belong so they feel welcome and free to express who they are.

WHAT DO WE OFFER? We offer a number of camps throughout the summer for girls! We have something for every girl, all summer long! You can attend one week or more, all summer.

Locations: Florence SC and Hartsville SC (Coker College)

Day Camps  – 8:00 am – 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm with full day option available (drop off starts at 7:30 am and 12:30 pm) lunch available in Florence only.

Twilight Camps – 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (drop off starts at 6:00 pm)

 Download registration packet and bring it with you — Parent Enrollment Packet 2016-2017- Summer

Ready to register?
Registering for summer camp at Girls U is easy! Select an option below to complete the online registration process or simply reach out to a Girls U staff member anytime during operating hours or stop by 1249 Celebration Blvd, Florence, SC 29501 – (843) 407-7937!

To register for girls 5k-6th grade day camps: (Florence)
Eventbrite - Summer Camps for Girls Grades 5K - 6TH

TO REGISTER FOR HARTSVILLE COKER COLLEGE CAMPS:
Eventbrite - Summer Camps for HARTSVILLE SC

For questions about the registration process please contact Ashli Smart at
ashli@girls-university.com | (843) 468-4710

GIRLS UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES PRESCHOOL STEAM ACADEMY

“Mini Miss STEAM Academy”
Motivate. Inspire. Educate. TM 

Florence, SC – January 23, 2017- Afterschool program launches Florence’s first gender-based day academy to introduce pre-schoolers to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) “Girls University”.

Girls University was established to motivate, inspire and educate girls in the Pee Dee.  Identifying the need to provide girls with programming combine with specialized tools, allows for Girls University to create a model of success.  Understanding the shortage of women entering STEAM fields and the numerous career opportunities we decided to launch Girls U Mini Miss STEAM Academy.

Girls University are great supporters of the STEM movement and are always encouraging girls hoping they break out of those stereotypes and dive into fields that have not been historically filled by women. We know it’s not always easy, but we agree with exposure and support to solve the problem and offer more diverse offerings for students at a younger age in order to get all students hooked on science, tech, engineering and math as soon as possible in their education careers.

Girls University will host their grand opening for Mini Miss STEAM Day Academy on February 7th, 2017 at their location located at 1249 Celebration Blvd, 29501 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

About Mini Miss STEAM Academy

Mini Miss STEAM Academy is design to expose scholars ages 3k to 4k science, technology, engineering, arts and math to hands on activities offer twice a week.  We look to motivate girls to become the next video game or app developer, chemist or innovator.  The organization will open its doors with their first weekly sessions in February. For more information on Girls University, please visit http://www.girls-university.com or contact our National Program Director, Ashli Smart  843.468.4710.