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YWCA of New York City Girls Initiatives ywcanyc.org


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Girls Initiatives Overview

The Girls Initiatives at the YW reflect our core belief that empowered girls become empowered women. Designed to inform, engage and inspire girls in New York City to become self- advocates, the goal of our Girls Initiatives is to ensure that every girl gains the skills, knowledge and confidence to pursue the education, career and life options of their choice.

The Girls Initiatives are FREE programs open to ALL high-school aged (14-18) self-identified girl and gender non-conforming youth in New York City with NO ACADEMIC REQUIREMENT. Programs will be held at the YWCA -Girls Initiatives located at 500 West 56th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.

YW Leadership Programs

YW AMP Leadership©

The YWCA of the City of New York Amplifying Multiple Perspectives (AMP) Leadership© Program offers young people aged 14-18 from diverse backgrounds a dynamic and innovative approach to developing their leadership skills. Through an examination of social identity, girls will have the opportunity to advance gender equity and racial justice, becoming agents of change in their community and expanding their social justice network.

The program offers self-identified girls and gender non-conforming youth with the opportunity to develop and define their individual leadership and collective capacity. Participants will develop their critical thinking and leadership skills, self-awareness and build networks to fight for gender justice.

Application to be AMP leadership available here click here.

Step In and Stop It! Bystander Intervention Training

This program arms young people with the tools to be the change NYC needs today by standing up and speaking out for what’s right. After intensive training on bystander intervention, participants will share what they know through facilitating workshops across the city on what it means to be an upstander. Participants should be ready to empower their voice with other young activists from around NYC. This a paid opportunity for young activists.

To apply, click here.

Youth Philanthropy
IGNITE! Giving Youth Fellowship with the New York Women’s Foundation

With the IGNITE! Giving Youth Fellowship, participants have the opportunity to flex their leadership skills and help advance girls in New York City through an in-depth look at the philanthropy world. Through leadership development workshops and retreats, participants will gain an understanding of non-profits and social change, while also gaining access to mentors and expanding their network. This is a paid Fellowship opportunity and will involve an interview process for selection. Apply here.


Our programs offer self-identified high school girls and gender non-conforming youth a challenging STEM experience, regardless of their prior involvement in the field. Participants will come together and learn from the best about STEAAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Activism, and Math), within the context of social identity and community. Exposure to professionals in the field will build their networks and inspire future possibilities. Our STEAAM programs:

YW Geek Girls©

This weekly program includes hands-on workshops and training, networking with women experts and leaders, field trips, guest speakers and more! Geek Girls will have the opportunity to work with one another and apply scientific approaches and techniques toward solving a social issue. To apply, click here.

Maker Space

Come create in our new maker space! Use the 3D printer, laser cutter, recycled electronics, or traditional art supplies to build creative projects.

Program Times: Open EVERYDAY after school until 7:00pm.

If you would like to reserve a time for you and your friends, or a group of classmates to come and use the maker space, email Senior Director of Girls Initiatives, Promiti Islam, at pislam@ywcanyc.org to reserve the space!


This citywide design competition for self-identified girls and gender non-conforming youth from 14-18 will engage youth with an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. The theme is designing a School of the Future. Participants will have access to the YWCA Maker Space resources, including a 3D Printer and Laser Cutter to create a model of their design. To enter, you must form a team of at least 5 participants and a faculty advisor.

Program Times: TBD

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, email pislam@ywcanyc.org.

Geek Girls© Meet Up

This biannual rally is intended to create a space for youth with an interest in STEM to engage others from across the city and meet women in STEM to exchange ideas. The focus of the meet ups can be technical, social and or advocacy in nature.

College and Career Readiness

Throughout the year, the YW offers opportunities for our youth to engage in explicit conversations around college at all grade levels, addressing three major themes: identifying college selection criteria, identifying characteristics of a college-ready student, and determining college-student match. Youth will also be exposed to a variety of careers and professional women, engaging in experiential learning to deepen knowledge through practice as well as ongoing mentorship opportunities and coaching in a career interest.

Signature Event: 

POTENTIAL to POWER Girls Symposium Convenes 200 girls and women leaders from diverse backgrounds to dialogue on gender equity for 21st Century Girls. The symposium unites intergenerational and multiracial voices to promote understanding, dialogue and social action on critical issues facing girls in New York City. The YWCA seeks to amplify girls’ voices among women advocates, generate a comprehensive New York City Girls agenda and create a network of influential women and organizations to advance policy and opportunities for the next generation of women in school, career and life. As a result of this symposium, we hope to see an increase in attention, public discourse and funding on gender equity in New York City and across the nation.

YW Beyond the Symposium©:

This assembly will feature girls in dialogue with influential women from a variety of sectors. Designed to further conversations started at the annual Potential to Power© Girls Symposium, the open-forum will feature honest conversations about gender equity in the city and nation.

YWCA – Girls Initiatives
500 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019

Questions or comments about our Girls Initiatives? Click here!

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