Girls Advocacy and Leadership Series (GALS)
Started in 2010, the Girls Advocacy and Leadership Series (GALS) is an after-school program that combines WCI’s program themes to empower teenage girls with the skills and knowledge to be confident leaders in their communities. We help girls realize their own personal power and encourage them to set high expectations for themselves.
Over the course of 18 weeks, program participants at our partner schools gain life skills, learn from local women leaders, and create advocacy campaigns to address community issues.
GALS hosts a variety of expert guest speakers from organizations such as Women Against Abuse, Republic Bank, Ms. Magazine, Photo Start, and the City of Philadelphia Commission for Women to inspire our participants and encourage networking opportunities.
Topics of GALS workshops include:
In small groups, participants identify issues in their communities that they want to address, and then create a plan with action steps to make change. Recent topics that participants have chosen include LGBTQ+ rights, the deportation crisis, animal abuse, women’s equality, educational justice, and mental health.
Adapting to COVID-19
We believe that we need to move forward together, with a shared resilience and determination to persist in the face of adversity.
Now, in the era of COVID-19, as many school districts are virtual and we are experiencing a lack of regular social connection, we reflect on how we can continue to build confidence and skills in a virtual environment.
During these challenging times, WCI is committed to helping every girl envision her successful future. In the fall, we concluded our first virtual eight-week GALS series with an incredible lineup of speakers, facilitating workshops on topics from college planning and resilience to yoga and photography.
Now, we are in the midst of our virtual GALS: Game-Changers program! This 21-week series teaches participants how to be digital advocates, and features women guest speakers from historically-male dominated fields.
"[GALS] helped me open up to find out who I really was." — 2020 participant
Since the start of GALS in 2010, participants have consistently improved their skills and confidence.
Empathy, self-confidence, and goal-setting have been the most effective changes among the participants.
GALS has successfully provided young girls with opportunities to empower and lead through the provision of relevant resources, opportunities to engage and collaborate on projects, and speak about local and international issues.
GALS Working Group
Our GALS Working Group is made up of GALS alumnae who serve as advisors to strategize with us around program opportunities and implementation. Within each of our discussions, we collaborate to advance opportunities for youth to be involved in leadership development and skill-building with WCI. If you are a GALS alumna interested in joining the GALS Working Group, please contact Sofia Tamimi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us build a diverse, skilled, and health-informed workforce of young women leaders.
Together, we can provide opportunities for young women to gain skills, confidence, and connections so that they are prepared to achieve their dreams.