How We Evolve To Help Girls Each Year

My 5-year old son Patrick started kindergarten last month. It felt like a big deal, and it was. As parents, we were excited for him but also nervous. It was all new — a new school, new teachers, a longer school day, a new drop-off system. We definitely wouldn’t have been surprised if there were some hiccups during the transition.

Well, we were wrong. On the first day, my husband drove him to school and Patrick got out of the car and walked right in — confident and happy. For him, the change was exciting, not scary. We both marveled at his confidence and the ease of the transition.

Patrick on his first day of kindergarten
“Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.”

I can’t remember when I first heard this quote but I love it and I’ve repeated it many times. Change can be scary and intimidating. It can make you feel like a deer in headlights. But it can also be exciting. Change brings opportunity. It leads you to new ideas and new, innovative ways of doing things. At Girls in the Game we choose to focus on the latter. We know that the needs of girls are constantly evolving and in order to best serve girls we need to constantly evolve as well.

We have a new logo! Have you seen it? It’s fantastic, and the most obvious symbol of change at Girls in the Game, but as we start a new school year there are many more changes underway. We’re expanding our reach through our teen programs to reach more girls at more high schools. We’re changing our middle school curriculum to ensure girls stay involved with us through those crucial, and often tough middle school years. And we have more alumnae coaching with us than ever before.

These are all new, and great things for Girls in the Game.

But what hasn’t changed is our commitment to ensuring that all girls have the opportunities they deserve to grow into confident, strong leaders.

We know that while the needs of girls may be always evolving, our responsibility to stand up for girls remains constant.

Just like Patrick, girls across Chicago, Baltimore and Dallas headed back to school recently. Some of them are nervous. Some of them are excited. A lot of them are both. We can’t predict all of the challenges girls will face during this school year, but we do know what we can do to help them face those challenges.

Through our programs we’ll teach them about teamwork and diversity. We’ll work on peaceful conflict resolution and staying safe. We’ll show them why it’s important to support each other rather than tear each other down. We’ll remind them that it feels good to be physically active and take care of their bodies. We’ll show them all of the ways that it’s awesome to be a girl.

Slowly, we’ll build their confidence. They’ll start to see themselves as leaders and will know what it means to be a better friend to others. They’ll demonstrate the grit they need to handle tough situations. They’ll start to believe in themselves and their teammates, and know they can make a difference in the world around them.

So next time change seems scary, think of it as progress instead. After all, leaders weren’t built by going backwards.

Meghan Morgan is the Executive Director at Girls in the Game.