Girls on the Rise Program
The Girls on the Rise Program is a multifaceted empowerment program for girls in Ward 8 and their families.
Operating at the Mary Virginia Merrick Center in Southeast, D.C. the program provides a safe, enriching after-school program for girls ages 8-18.
The majority of the girls who attend the program reside with their mothers in this very underserved area of the city. The girls rarely miss a day and come eager and ready to fully participate in the program. Program activities offer the Girls on the Rise an opportunity to discover who they are as young ladies - their dreams, desires, capabilities, skills, and talents. Over the course of the year, the girls are able to improve their life skills and self-esteem in a fun, safe and nurturing environment. The Girls on the Rise receive academic support from local high students from Bishop McNamara High School and participate in structured recreational activities such as Girls on the Run and Girls on Track. In addition, the parents and families of the girls receive comprehensive support services such as:
- case management
- crisis counseling
- job coaching
- parenting groups and training
- referrals to outside agencies
The program provides Wellness Workshops for the families as well as special community event days.
The Girls on the Rise Summer Camp is a day camp for at risk girls at the Merrick Center in Ward 8. The camp serves approximately 60 girls ranging in age from 7 to 14 years old. The camp serves many of the same girls from the After School Program. Throughout the six week session, the girls work through weekly themes such as Self Discovery, Positive Body Image, Making Choices, Understanding Emotions and Self-Identity. They participate in activities such as team building, Zumba, self-defense, healthy eating, creative writing, arts and crafts, yoga and field trips.