Last month, a group of 14 local teens from Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, had the opportunity to take a weeklong visit to the nation’s capital. The girls met with the officers of local representatives and senators, including Congresswoman Lois Capps and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and to discuss youth mentoring grants, STEM legislation, immigration, and more.
Girls Inc. is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire girls to be strong, smart and independent, which in this case meant stepping outside their comfort zones for this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Washington D.C. For many of the girls, this was their first time on a plane, in a hotel, and out of the state.
“Meeting with Congresswoman Lois Capps has been one of my favorite moments of the trip so far,” says Girls Inc. member Yulisa Rosales. “She made me feel like I have a say in the world and have a chance to do something in life.”
The girls also took time to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Air & Space Museum. They were also given the opportunity to explore the campus of George Washington University, providing them with a broader context for exploring their future possibilities.
“We are here to pave the way for other girls,” says Girls Inc. member Maria Zamora. “Through our actions, we can show girls that they can accomplish anything and only through active participation in the democratic process can we make change.”
The girls, soon to be juniors in high school, are members of the organization’s Eureka! program, a five-year, college-bound program that allows girls to explore different career paths and fields. Eureka! also includes fitness, nutrition, and personal development activities that promote health, strength, and self-confidence.
For more information about Girls Inc. of Carpinteria or the Eureka! program, or to make a donation, please visit the website or call 805/684-6364.