Over 200 Women Gather in Boston for Spring Training
Posted by Mikki Pugh Feb 2, 2014 Boston, Boston College, Children, college, college mentors, confidence, Dorchester, empowerment, Epiphany School, Gender Equality, Girls, Harvard, Leadership, Meditation, mentors, Northeastern University, Professional Mentors, professional women, reflection, Service, Simmons College, Training, Tufts, UMass, undergraduate women
Spring is a time for reflection and transformation. Looking back on the quiet landscape of winter, we eagerly anticipate the earth’s rebirth. Although February hardly constitutes Spring in Boston, each year around this time, Strong Women, Strong Girls excitedly embarks on the Spring semester, celebrating our many successes from the Fall, and building excitement for a strong culmination to the year.
This year’s Spring Training was no exception. On February 1st, nearly 200 new and returning Strong Women, Strong Girls mentors—both undergraduate and professional women—gathered at the Epiphany School in Dorchester, MA to kick off a strong second half of the program year. The day began with a moment of pause, where participants were encouraged to reflect on what it means to be present as a strong woman in today’s world. Setting an intention for the day, they set off, entering workshops ranging from “Professional Development Matters” for returning undergraduate women, to “Walking the Walk: How to Model Confidence for Girls”, to “Reflection and Best Practice Sharing” for Professional Mentors.
To create a successful Strong Women, Strong Girls training takes many hours of planning and preparation, and laudable amounts of support from our partners. First and foremost, we were thrilled to host this year’s event, for the first time ever, at one of our partner sites. The Epiphany School is one of Boston’s premier institutions serving at-risk youth in grades 5-8; their empowerment-based philosophy, so similar to SWSG’s, is to “Never Give up on a Child.” Hosting training in their beautiful facility, with support from their excellent staff, was an honor and a privilege.
We couldn’t provide such high-quality training for hundreds of women without the incredible work of our training facilitators. This year proved particularly special, as we had a record number of alumnae and mentors (both undergraduate and professional women) facilitating workshops, from “Building a Strong Foundation” for new mentors to “Tying it all Together: Empowering Girls Through Service.”
As we gathered to end the day in typical fashion—with the SWSG cheer—it was clear why we were all here together on a cold “spring” day in February: to create an environment where women are praised and empowered for the entirety of who they are. To challenge societal norms that dictate the way women and girls dress, behave, speak, and interact with one another. To question assumptions about women based on race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Reflecting on the ways each one of us contributes to these social pressures, we set our intention together to promote a positive environment for women and girls, one relationship at a time.
Mikki Pugh is a Program Manager with SWSG in Boston. She oversees our chapters at Tufts University, Harvard University, and Boston College.