Pittsburgh Linden K-5 had a chapter of SWSG for the first time this spring!  The school welcomed SWSG and the CMU mentors with open arms and was thrilled to see a high interest amongst the girls.  As a parent of a SWSG I was curious to see how much she and her peers had taken away from the experience.

What better way to find out than to ask them!

When I arrived at school for the interview, it was a sweet moment to see how excited the girls were with an opportunity to have their reflections shared with the world.  I asked them to work together to come up with answers to a few questions.
 What do you think it means to be a strong girl or strong woman?

  • Strong girls are proud of who they are.
  • They have courage and do their own thing without backing down.
  • They show their strengths.

 Who is your favorite strong woman?

  • Coretta Scott King because she was a civil rights leader.
  • Ruby Bridges. She was the first African-American girl to attend an all white school.  She had a lot of strength because the town gave her a hard time and she persevered through it.  
  • I liked all of them.  
  • I really like Elizabeth Blackwell. She was the first woman doctor and proved that women can be doctors too.  
  • My mentor Emily is my favorite strong woman.

 Do you feel like a stronger girl after participating in SWSG 

  • Yes. We learned how to believe in ourselves and others.  Learning about our community and helping others makes me feel stronger, more confident, and helpful.

 Why do you think this group should be for ‘girls only’? 

  • Boys [may not] understand or think it’s as important as girls do; learning how to be strong. 

 Most of the girls stated that they joined the group because their moms told them to. They all said they were happy they joined SWSG and plan to return next year.  Some of their favorite experiences include the energy of the field trips, meeting girls from other SWSG groups, relay races, presenting to the school about their ‘future selves’, and journaling
During Women’s History month, Linden girls presented on women of the past and present.  The SWSG group presented themselves as “The Strong Women of the Future.”  They each took a turn standing up in front of all their peers and staff and said: “My name is… and I will be a strong woman of the future by….”
It was inspiring to witness their confidence and hear their dreams.  Do you know a young Strong Girl?  Have you asked her how she will be a Strong Woman?  I encourage you to ask her. Let her inspire you.

Tara McElfresh is SWSG’s Administrative Intern in our Pittsburgh office. She was introduced to SWSG while searching for programs to bring to her daughter’s public school that empowered young women.