Want to be Big and Strong just like Clifford? That’s what Strong Women, Strong Girls’ South Florida  set out to do last year when they competed in Scholastics “The BE BIG In Your Community Contest.” Strong Women, Strong Girls ended up a 2010 First Prize winner and we used the funds to double our size in the Miami-Dade community. When we submitted the application in mid-2010, our goal was to engage 35 college mentors to serve as volunteers for 350 girls. With support from Scholastic’s “Be BIG” community grant and Hands On Miami, SWSG was able to expand to engage 50 mentors and serve 350 girls throughout the Miami-Dade community!
The Be Big grant helped SWSG to engage more mentors to better provide for the girls that are currently involved in programming. By employing these young women who serve as mentors in the communities in which they live, SWSG is building connections between young people who attend school in the Miami community and the residents of the community, supporting talent retention efforts, and inspiring a culture of service that will carry forward for a lifetime. Since receiving funding from the Be Big contest, the organization has been able to implement and continue to expand on three goals: leadership opportunities for the mentors, create a group of professional women as SWSG advisors, and ensure the sustainability of the program by engaging parents and families of the girls in their path towards future success. In doing so, the ideas that SWSG and Be Big promote can continue in the household and within the community.
SWSG would like to thank Scholastic and the BE BIG in Your Community Contest grant and Hands On Miami for helping SWSG expand programming in South Florida!