Women and Girls Fund Grant Helps Introduce Local Girls to Professional Career Experiences
July 26, 2017
Each year, the Women and Girls Fund of The Community Foundation hosts a Live Ballot event, where members evaluate grant proposals and make awards to promising local programs that benefit area women and girls.
Confidence and workforce skills for sustainable employment are some of the many benefits local girls acquire through programs led by Open Hand of Fredericksburg (OHF), a non-profit organization that provides paid, summer career building opportunities for area youth. OHF partners with local businesses and organizations to offer underserved youth in their Graduates Reaching An Accessible Destiny (GRAD) program, hands-on employment opportunities to develop essential skills and experience for sustainable employment. GRAD includes paid summer internships, placing girls with employers that match their professional interests and goals. The comprehensive program includes education workshops, leadership development and long term mentor relationships.
The Women & Girls Fund awarded a grant to Open Hand of Fredericksburg this year to help fund internship opportunities for local girls. We’re proud to share stories of three promising participants.
Internship: Obsidian Solutions Group
Massaponax High School
Toniesha plans to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She learned about the GRAD program through her high school. She hopes to gain business experience and learn more about working in the real world. She credits her mom for shaping her into the person she is today.
Noor Sharif (with her mom)
Internship: Moss Free Clinic
James Monroe High School
The GRAD program caught Noor’s attention because she sees it as a great opportunity to increase her knowledge and skills about the workforce. She wants to be better equipped for future endeavors and she believes the GRAD program will help her. Noor wants to attend medical school to become a doctor so her placement at the Moss Free Clinic will give her first hand experience in the medical profession. She’s grateful for the many people in her life who have influenced her but is especially grateful to her parents who have always supported her aspirations.
Kinza Shaikh (with her mom)
Internship - UMW Center for Economic Development
James Monroe High School
When Kinza’s parents immigrated to the United States to take advantage of better opportunities for their children, Kinza’s father gave up a successful career as an Anesthesiologist and both parents gave up a comfortable, familiar culture and lifestyle. Although Kinza found it hard to adjust to a new life in a new country, she knows how much her family has sacrificed and is determined to work hard for her own success. Kinza will be interning with the UMW Center for Economic Development where she’ll learn about small business, economic development and related services to help new and existing businesses succeed.
Click here to read about the Women and Girls Fund grantmaking history.