JA Girl$ Brings Opportunities to Young Women

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JA Girl$ began in 2006 and has since become an award-winning program, weaving itself into the North Florida community for the opportunities it affords girls and young women.

The program partners with youth organizations, linking them to trained female volunteers. For example, JA Girl$ recently partnered with PACE Center for Girls, an agency that helps at-risk teens, to bring Junior Achievement lessons to its 12 to 17 year old young women.

Women volunteering with JA Girl$ are trained before entering the classroom like all JA volunteers. Uniquely, JA Girl$ training involves strategies for working with girls including:

• Girls need to feel safe.
• Girls need positive female role models.
• Relationships are central in the lives of girls.
• Girls excel in language, auditory skills, fine motor skills and attention to detail.
• Girls need time to talk.
• Trauma drives behavior.
• Girls tend to have higher standards and evaluate their performance more critically.

“The strategies for working with girls create fertile ground for girls to fully understand what JA teaches, ‘financial literacy, workplace readiness and entrepreneurship,” said Elizabeth Paulson, JA Girl$ Program Director.

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JA Girl$ is alive in the community, partnering with agencies and programs that support girls. One such program is Generation WOW, presented by Orender Unlimited at the University of North Florida on Nov. 6.

The program consists of speakers and panels designed to empower young women and includes a mentoring component. Nearly three hundred girls from 37 high schools participated alongside 70 professional women serving as mentors.

Gen WOW mentoring is designed to help teen girls reach a new level of positive possibilities in their goals and career choices. The women attending received the same strategies as JA Girl$ volunteers, learning tips for working with girls and maintaining awareness that “Girls are smart, talented, empathetic, perceptive, intuitive, compassionate, and passionate.”

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JA Girl$’ Elizabeth Paulson, far left, served as one of the panelists at Generation WOW, an event to inspire young women.

Paulson says, “Gen WOW ties to the JA Girl$ mission in that strong female role models are presented to girls providing hope for their future career aspirations.”

JA Girl$ was awarded the International MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award for outstanding innovation.

JA Girl$ volunteer opportunities are available! Contact Elizabeth Paulson at 904-398-9944 ext. 225 or elizabeth@jajax.com

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