A Leadership, Empowerment, and Service Learning Program for Jewish Young Women

Generously supported by the Hadassah Foundation, Girls Give Back engages teen girls in fun, positive leadership and team-building activities and gives girls the opportunity to explore the community through hands-on service learning and advocacy projects. Girls Give Back promotes Jewish values and the importance of Tikkun Olam while developing social-mindedness, critical thinking, healthy self-esteem, and empathy in high school girls.

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Program Overview
Girls Give Back Highlights
Girls Give Back Action Areas
Girls Give Back in the News

Program Overview

Girls Give Back empowers the next generation of female leaders to create meaningful change in the world around them. Teens learn about issues that impact women and girls, and develop leadership skills by planning service projects. Girls Give Back delivers high-impact programming that is sensitive to teen time constraints.

Girls Give Back with Susan Davis

“Girls Give Back is the most amazing program I have ever participated in! This program teaches valuable leadership skills, instills a strong sense of confidence, and educates teens about issues that women face all over the world! The friends I have made and the things we have accomplished are truly remarkable.”
Girls Give Back Participant

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Girls Give Back Highlights

In the past year, Girls Give Back teens:

  • Volunteered more than 1,800 600 hours, earning the President’s Gold Silver Volunteer Service Award.
  • Organized a middle-school girls empowerment program, Girls Unite!, for Jewish tweens in grades 6-8.
  • Participated in Feminism 101 workshop presented by the UCSD Women’s Center.
  • Participated in a workshop on healthy relationships, trauma informed care, and active bystander resources presented by the SDSU Resource Women’s Center.
  • Participated in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) comprehensive training “Ending the Silence.” 
  • Partnered with Jewish Family Service Patient Advocacy program for an interactive workshop.
  • Contributed to online blog EqualTalk founded by Girls Give Back Participants. 

Girls Give Back Action Areas

In order to create lasting change on the issue of gender equity, Girls Give Back teens identified several priority action items:

  • Empowerment of young girls – GGB created a mentorship and empowerment program for middle school teens in grades 6-8 called Girls Unite! This middle school program is teen-designed and teen-facilitated
  • Mental Health -  Prominent mental health agencies provide several in depth service learning programs for GGB Teens to better understand mental illness and identify warning signs for themselves and their peer group. The trainings also broke down harmful stereotypes and stigmas that directly affect women from receiving the support they may need.
  • Media Literacy - Teens contributed to GGB Blog, EqualTalk, as well as started the hashtag #FeministFriday where they highlighted a feminist figure, either current or historic, to celebrate the accomplishments on women around the world.

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Girls Give Back In the News

Watch the Gala Tribute Video honoring Barbary Bry and Girls Give Back>>

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 From August 2013–January 2014, art created by Girls Give Back was displayed at the San Diego International Airport in Terminal 2 (pre-security). Created in partnership with Art Reach San Diego, the Girls Give Back project focused on femininity in Western culture and the struggle for women to find their place between traditional and modern ideas of what it means to be a woman. Click the links below to view all four clips that aired on KUSI.

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

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"Change Fueled by Girl Power." Click here to read the summer feature on Girls Give Back by Karla Peterson that appeared in San Diego’s Union Tribune. Michelle Jacobson and Jody Miller were featured in this story about how rewarding and life changing Girls Give Back is.

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Girls Give Back teens made a guest appearance on UT-TV PrimeTime to discuss some of their current projects. The young women in Girls Give Back have been busy this summer creating a mural for the San Diego Airport, spending a week learning about homelessness and poverty in San Diego, and designing a mentorship program for middle school girls. Hear from Emma and Jody how this incredible program of Jewish Family Service has empowered them to be community leaders!

The statements made and views expressed herein are solely those of the author(s) or Grantee, as the case may be.

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(858) 637-3020
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(858) 637-3210

(General Information)
(858) 637-3000

Turk Family Center
8804 Balboa Ave.
San Diego, CA 92123

All communication is strictly confidential.

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Hadassah Foundation

The Hadassah Foundation has provided generous support for the creation and implementation of Girls Give Back.

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“I greatly enjoyed spending time with the girls and sharing with them. It was wonderful to hear the young ladies speak with such optimism and passion. They are definitely going places!”
Community Partner, Foundation for Women