a project of the New York City Council’s STARS Citywide Girls Initiative
Wednesday, April 4 — RSVP here! — #STARSnycgirls — Follow us on Facebook
(NEW YORK, February 20, 2018) On April 4, 2018, the STARS Citywide Girls Initiative, a nonprofit collaborative funded by the New York City Council, will host its fourth annual Girls Leadership Summit at the High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan. The event invites middle school and high school girls from the city’s five boroughs and will offer a full day of speakers and seminars in career awareness, college access and leadership development run by nine of the city’s leading nonprofits. The theme of this year’s event, in response to current events, is “YOU: The Change Agent.”
The STARS Citywide Girls Initiative helps girls and young women of color overcome barriers to success, grow emotionally, academically and physically stronger, and develop as leaders in their communities. In its first year the Initiative created over 1,400 new after-school and summer program slots for girls and young women across NYC, allowing the non-profits to serve more girls and serve them better. In the Initiative’s second and third years over 4,000 girls were served throughout all 51 City Council districts.
The nine partners-Girls Write Now, Groundswell, Lower Eastside Girls Club, PowerPlay NYC, Row New York, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, The Armory Foundation, Figure Skating in Harlem and Girls for Gender Equity-all leaders in the out-of-school time space, will create 4,500 or more new program slots for girls in all five boroughs by June 2018. With support and funding from the New York City Council, the STARS Citywide Girls Initiative will develop the life and leadership skills of NYC girls through after-school and summer sports, academic enhancement, STEM, college prep and the arts. In 2017 STARS CGI expanded to address girls’ needs in the immigrant youth community and addressed topics like violence in relationships, health, trauma and social activism. In 2018 STARS CGI seeks to provide a platform for youth voice and tools for youth to develop as activists to affect positive change throughout their self-identified community.
The Summit marks the culminating event for the STARS Initiative in 2018. 500 young women attended the 2015 and 2016 Summits, 600 attended in 2017 and this year we hope to see more than 650 attend and participate in workshops featuring interactive learning activities combining leadership, advocacy, activism, and identity. Members of the NY City Council are scheduled to speak along with leaders in the business and nonprofit community. Students should come away with increased knowledge of steps they can take to step into leadership positions, organize and make positive change in their neighborhoods and communities, increased motivation to do well in school to maximize their opportunities and new, and robust networks of strong and supportive girls and young women. The students will draft a set of recommendations for a young women’s leadership agenda to present to the City Council.
“For the fourth year in a row, the STARS Citywide Girls Initiative partners are thrilled to be hosting our annual – FREE! – Summit with the goal of empowering, inspiring, and connecting girls from across NYC.” said Vivian Santora, President & CEO of PowerPlay NYC. “We believe NYC’s young women are a valuable source of talent and leadership and in order to thrive, they need safe spaces to be active, think creatively, and talk about issues that affect them. Given the recent and heartbreaking event in Florida, coupled with the #METOO and TIMESUP! movements, I honestly cannot imagine a more relevant time for our leaders of tomorrow to convene and be heard.”