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Girls Initiatives at the YW-NYC 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.

Girls Initiatives programs are FREE and open to ALL high-school aged (14-18) girls, self-identified girls, and gender non-conforming youth in New York City. There is No Academic Requirement to enroll. 

YW-NYC 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 girls, self-identified girls, and gender non-conforming youth the opportunity to develop and define their individual leadership and collective capacity. Participants develop their critical thinking and leadership skills, self-awareness and build networks to fight for gender justice. 
AMP Leadership Application>

Meet Our AMP Leaders: Social Change Agent Internship (SCA)
Connect with our powerful Social Change Agents (SCA) and equip them with the practical experience, career readiness, and specialized skills vital to their future academic and employment pursuits! Our SCA internship provides the opportunity for AMP Leadership participants to activate their leadership ability by interning at community organizations to learn about, and participate in, social justice within the professional realm.
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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 share what they know by 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.  
Step In and Stop It Application>

Meet Our Step In & Stop It Facilitators: Schedule a Bystander Intervention Training!
This free training helps teach participants of all ages how to intervene and take responsibility in situations that involve violence or harmful behaviors. Our youth-led Bystander Intervention training empowers participants to:
– Develop an awareness of bias-motivated violence against female-identified and gender non-conforming individuals, and communities of color
– Identify effective skills and strategies to de-escalate conflict and support targeted persons
Schedule a Training >

ARTivism Boot Camp
Offered during mid-Winter recess or Spring break, this 3-day intensive uses art to explore identity, social awareness, and activism! Participants will be engaged in interactive workshops that creatively examine social change through artistic expression, music, games, field trips and more!
ARTivism Application > 

Summer Intensives
Summer programming takes place for 1-2 weeks in July, engaging participants in experiments, activities, guest speakers, project coaching, and more! Each summer we enjoy fun in the sun as we activate our inner activist, attending weekly field trips and festive events across the city.  Past Summer themes include:
– STEAAM & Social Justice
– Feminist Seminar Series
– Amplifying Multiple Perspectives (A.M.P)


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 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 builds their networks and inspire future possibilities.

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 have the opportunity to work with one another and apply scientific approaches and techniques toward solving a social issue.
Geek Girls Application >

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.  Open Tuesday – Thursday after school until 7:00pm by appointment. Interested visitors will be dedicating their time in the Maker Space to complete projects, enter design competitions, create social media content, and other structured independent work. Email Vanne-Paige Padgett at vpadgett@ywcanyc.org for group reservations. 

College and Career Readiness

Throughout the year, the YW-NYC 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.

College Knowledge Camp
Offered during mid-Winter recess or Spring break, this week-long intensive engages 9th-11th graders in various activities, events, and field trips that allow students to make proud and responsible decisions in their academic careers! Learn vital tools and skills that can improve your high school journey to be a strong first step toward the college and employment experiences you desire.
College Knowledge Camp Application >

Signature Event 

POTENTIAL to POWER Girls Symposium 
Convenes 300 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 YW-NYC 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.
SAVE THE DATE: This event, originally scheduled for May 18, 2020, is postponed.  New date TBA. 

Contact us or visit Girls Initiatives at:
YW-NYC Family Resource Center
500 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019
(Between 10th and 11th Avenues)

Questions or comments about our Girls Initiatives? Email us at girlsinitiatives@ywcanyc.org