Every winter, when unexpected storms paralyze entire cities with only few inches of snow, Pittsburghers let out a laugh. If there is one thing that Pittsburghers are always prepared for—it’s the weather. I often say “nothing spreads faster than a weather rumor in Pittsburgh” because it’s inherently unpredictable. Yinzers keep a pair of shorts & gloves in the same drawer. If we only worked when it was sunny outside we would work an average of 160 days a year.
So I really shouldn’t have been amazed that over 160 dedicated SWSG mentors and volunteers braved frigid temperatures and unrelenting snow for a full day of volunteer training, right? But I was and still am. And I am also grateful—because when we began our program with a keynote from Megs Yunn of Beverley’s Birthdays, I looked around and knew that I was in a room full of dedicated, passionate women & men. People, who are so invested in furthering the mission of Strong Women, Strong Girls, that they bravely left their warm beds to join us for a day of learning and reflection.
On Saturday, January 25th, 2014 I can safely say that SWSG Pittsburgh executed our most successful day of volunteer training yet!  Mentors and volunteers attended workshops like Creating a Strong Foundation, Diverse Girls, and Strong Chapter Dynamics.  Attendees also participated in an informative panel discussion on The State of the Girl.
Furthermore, our College Mentors learned about our spring service curriculum and how to market the skills they learn from SWSG to future employers. Our Professional Mentors learned best practices for engaging with undergraduate women. Event Volunteers helped us ensure that everyone was fed and where they needed to be. And our workshop facilitators and panelists effortlessly delivered valuable information and take-aways to their audiences.
Thanks to generous donations from Brueggers Bagels, Einstein’s, and Chipotle we were able to feed everyone delicious brain fuel. Carnegie Mellon graciously allowed us to use their great space, and our CMU Campus Coach, Jessica Klein ensured we were able to host a seamless event.
We were also supported by our community partners, such as the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA, the Girl Scouts, PROGRESS, and The Girls Coalition to name a few. Funders, like the Buhl Foundation, the Highmark Foundation, UMPC, and the Grable Foundation allowed us to supply our attendees with the materials they needed for a successful day. And lastly, Lovesac donated the most comfortable chair in the world—a Moviesac– for our raffle prize.
SWSG Pittsburgh is committed to continuing our work eradicating the ambition gap for girls in low-income communities. Successful trainings, like the one on January 25th, ensure that our volunteer force is prepared to serve our girls. We would like to thank all of the participants for such a great day!

Jenny Schaeffer is a Program Manager for SWSG Pittsburgh. Under this role she manages our chapters at Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University and Point Park University.