“We at CBS are very pleased to be able to give back to the community we serve by joining with the
LA Fund and LAUSD in this important effort. The future will belong to creative problem solvers, and
the #ArtsMatter campaign will help prepare the next generation of those unique and valuable colleagues."
GIRLS BUILD LA
Girls Build LA is a three-year program designed to reach girls in the LA County public schools. Through the Girls Build LA Challenge, LA area middle and high school girls are designing and implementing community-based solutions that can effect widespread change. Girls Build LA empowers these students to identify the challenges they face and provides them with resources and support to address them. Find out about the winning teams of our inaugural year.
The Challenge is organized across three critical impact areas: Health & Wellness, Civic Engagement & Leadership, and STEM & College Access. Regional experts and skilled coaches facilitate the problem-solving and solution-design process. The students from each participating team will build the skills necessary for effective leadership, like collaboration, communication, consensus-building, and project management.
Why Girls Build LA?
In LA County, 30% of all girls live in poverty, and in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the country, 80% of all students do. In addition to economic barriers, young women are dealing with violence in their neighborhoods, crime, gangs, even sexual exploitation. No one is better equipped to identify the underlying causes of these problems than the young women who face them every day.
The Challenges & Solutions
The 44 inaugural Girls Build LA teams each chose a different focus area, demonstrating creativity and dedication in the projects they designed. Below is a snapshot of three of the 44 projects, all of which presented on May 14th at the Girls Build LA Expo:
- At Legacy STEAM High School, the Girls Build LA team focused on STEM & College Access, building a bicycle that can charge cell phones and other electronics. The bicycle functions as a charge station, stationary exercise machine, and community builder.
- Recognizing the importance of Civic Engagement, the "Warrior Girls Build LA" team of La Puente High got trained by the LA County Registrars Recorders Office and went on to register hundreds of voters. They also spoke about the importance of voter registration on channel 34 KMEX Univision live.
- Promoting Health and Wellness in their community, the team from Ramon Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts held a mindfulness fair, coinciding with parent-teacher conferences in order to maximize student and parent attendance. The event was a huge success, and featured booths where students and parents could make their own stress balls, measure their heart rate, and buy healthy snacks, as well as an hour-long, free yoga session.
- 7,000 young women attended the screening of He Named Me Malala, the Girls Build LA program launch, watching the film, as well as a special video message from First Lady Michelle Obama, and engaging in a critical conversation around gender equity.
- 500 young women from dozens of schools attended our forum, learning from experts about critical needs in our fight for gender equity and responding to our call to action.
- More than 100 teams, over three years, will develop grassroots solutions to urgent problems with far-reaching impact, positively affecting thousands of their peers and community members.
- Students everywhere are invited to celebrate gender equity through our social media campaign using #GirlsBuildLA. Together we can raise awareness about the barriers to success that young women face, and celebrate their continued empowerment.
First Lady Michelle Obama's address to the 7,000 girls who attended the Girls Build LA launch:
Our GBLA Advisory Board, made up of local experts in policy, public service and business, provides strategic leadership and direction to ensure that our program is achieving maximum impact and serving the students that are of highest need.
If you would like to learn more about how to support the LA Fund and its important work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.