Five young women talked about their dreams and their involvement in the SMART Girls program, and a group of voting members from the Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls peppered the students with questions.

“I want to be an FBI agent.”

Member Karen Wells noted that the girls we met were “positive, well-rounded, and impressive.”  Maryann Whitman, who also attended, observed that the site visit “gave me a vivid picture of how this program assists young women in making better choices in their daily lives.  Meeting several of these young ladies, listening to them discuss their accomplishments, their life plans, and their confidence in past achievements, leaves little doubt that they are ‘success stories’ already.  You do not have to use much imagination to visualize how different their lives would be without this guiding force provided to them every day, every week.”


“I’m going to be a psychologist.  I already give good advice to all my friends.”


The Club’s staff told us more about how this program connects to other opportunities at the Boys & Girls Club, and the girls themselves talked about feeling welcomed and safe.  One mentioned that she felt she could ask any question, on any subject, and both the staff and her fellow participants would answer seriously and honestly.  Many reported entering the program at the urging of girls who were already participating.  At the conclusion of the visit, we were treated to an impromptu violin performance of a song composed on the spot.

Voting members have an annual opportunity to participate in a site visit like this one.  Join us next time to see our grants in action!