BRAVE Girls Leadership began as an after school program at Conard High School. The mission was and continues to be inspired by the efforts and initiative of students. The decision to found and expand BRAVE as a non-profit organization was triggered by the documentary film Girl Rising, and the powerful and positive impact the message of this film had on the mind and heart of students. Girl Rising captures the stories of nine girls from around their world and their fight for an education. The film promotes awareness of the human right to education and the impact of empowering girls to create change in the world. Becoming a witness to these stories inspired a small group of students to use their own voice to inspire their school, their families and their whole community. It was essential to capture this incredible positive energy and channel it to do something bigger, and the idea to develop a program to house this passion for positive change was born. The message about education and the power of girls around the world was fierce and compelled us to take action. This initial action has become what we now call BRAVE Girls Leadership Inc. Over the past three years our team, and more importantly, our students, have worked to contribute to a vital movement by improving and expanding our mission to girls, schools and communities everywhere.
Through our work over the last three years our mission evolved and developed into three long term goals all aimed to provide opportunities for girls everywhere; 1) to empower people and to develop their leadership skills, 2) to provide opportunities for mentorship between and among girls and women of different ages, and 3) to provide support to social justice issues and service to our local and global communities.
So far we have had great success at achieving our mission! We are looking forward to another wonderful year!
- Weekly mentoring sessions for middle school and elementary school students, planned and implemented by older students.
- Host shadowing sessions, during which younger students would shadow their older mentors at their school to learn more about high school and college experiences. Also, older students shadowed their mentees to learn more about their experiences at the middle school or high school.
- First Annual “How Big Is Your BRAVE?! Event.” This event is an artistic uprising that showcases girls talents and bravery while promoting their voice and encouraging self-empowerment. Annual event, Spring.
- Organization-wide Potluck Dinner: students from all school, and their families, come together to celebrate the International Day of the Girl and kickstart a new school year with this event.
- Halloween Party, Annual Event
- Officially incorporated as of July 1st, 2015!
- Weekly meetings for each program at each school, planned and implemented by students.
- Summer leadership training in West Hartford, CT and Levittown, NY. July 2014 and August 2015
- First Annual Summer Leadership Retreat to Washington DC, July 2015.
- Leadership Training: high school and college students worked with BRAVE leaders, guest speakers and one another on different workshops about developing leadership skills. Regular event scheduled every few months throughout the year.
- Sponsorship of International Day of the Girl at each of our school sites, Annual Event
- Field trip to UCONN for UNESCO Conference about Women’s Rights, October 2013
- Hosted six Girl Rising film screenings, attended by over 300 people, Annual Events.
- Sponsorship of International Day of the Woman: we hosted an in-school field trip film viewing of Girl Rising at Conard High School with girls in the program as well as a group of boys at Conard HS, March 2013
- Women’s Rights Day for which over 800 students at Conard High School, May 2014
- Human Rights Day: students prepared and hosted a day to celebrate human rights! Annual Event in December
- Peace Day Sponsorship: promoted and celebrated Peace Day at each of our school sites.
- Health Products Drive: students collected over 700 health products that were donated to the Bridge Family Shelter.
- Prom Dress Drive: students collected hundreds of prom dresses and accessories to be donated to girls in need across the state of Connecticut.
- “Do Something Week” Coin Drive: raised $1,900 that went towards tuition for seven girls to go to school for one year, Annual Event
- Hunger Project with Feeding Children Everywhere: July, 2014 and May, 2015
- Clothing Drive: collected over 100 articles of clothing donated to women and children in Hartford.
- Book Drive: students collected a class set of I Am Malala books to send to our pen pals in Tanzania. school in Tanzania, through the program Asante Sana for Education.
- Pen Pals: Letters to students in Tanzania who are learning English
- Book Drive: students collected over 200 used books from people in our community to donate to various places in our local community.