by Alejandra Hernandez, Program Coordinator, Houston, TX
Girls Empowerment Network’s Pathfinder Leadership Summit is a personal and professional development program aimed at giving rising 9th-12th grade girls and gender expansive youth a head start on their road to independence, college and career readiness. This summer, participants met in-person at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy in Houston for a week long summer program. A 2nd Cup, Houston’s non-profit coffee shop working to end human trafficking, hosted Pathfinder on the last day as we celebrated and closed another successful chapter with a graduation ceremony.
Pathfinder Leadership Summit brings life skills and empowerment to rising girls in Houston
Navigating the societal challenges of womanhood in a generation that has experienced the ongoing lasting effects of a pandemic, has compounded on how girls of all demographics already receive mixed messages from the world around them. The girls kicked off Pathfinder with increased self-awareness and learned more about each other in an icebreaker activity from our curriculum’s Identity and Diversity module. Additionally, our Stress Management module taught them valuable coping skills and other transferrable self-regulating tools they can apply anywhere that they go.
This year’s dynamic group of leaders stepped into their futures and learned how to plan for the life they desire. The girls practiced collaboration in simulated activities such as “Building Your Budget” facilitated by The Women’s Resource. Participants were put to the test by critically thinking and engaging in creative solutions as they weighed out real-life housing, transportation, and spending decisions.
“The Women’s Resource was founded on the belief that a woman who controls her finances controls her destiny.”
Houston leaders meet with youth one-on-one in inspiring power chats
Power Chat sessions are unique and personable pod-style experiences for participants to gain insight on diverse career roles from relatable adult role models in the community. Communication skills from the girls transpired across the room with inquisitive thoughts mirrored with inspirational words of wisdom from women entrepreneurs and professionals. These small group discussions translated into igniting the power within as they planted seeds into their own career and entrepreneurship aspirations!