For the past decade, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston has provided all programs for Chinquapin girls free of charge. It has been a long, happy partnership and one that truly benefits our female students.
Right after graduating from UH with a degree in curriculum and instruction, Tanya Perez landed a plum role as a program specialist at Girls Inc. of Greater Houston. She immediately “fell in love with its mission and values” and was excited to meet the “incredibly inspiring” Chinquapin students who participated in the three groups she led: Stand Up! & Friendly PEERsuasion, Leadership, and Ladies of Chinquapin.
During the school year, the sixth-grade Girls Inc. club meets twice monthly. Stand Up! focuses on bully prevention, and Friendly PEERsuasion provides tools for resisting peer pressure.
Chinquapin’s seventh and eighth-grade girls meet weekly for their Leadership course to master foundational academic skills, practice healthy behaviors, and build positive relationships with peers and adults.
Ladies of Chinquapin high schoolers meet weekly to discuss topics based on their current needs. These meetings were mission-critical during the pandemic and shone a light on the importance of having a positive peer group.
Tanya’s first in-person meeting with Chinquapin students was at the senior celebration dinner this spring. Each senior was sponsored by a Girls Inc. board member who purchased college supplies from the girls’ wish lists. Chinquapin seniors Abigail Baptiste, Karina Morales, and Nadely Requena each earned a $500 Girls Inc. college scholarship, a new effort Girls Inc. hopes to continue for future Ladies of Chinquapin.
The common thread for all of these girls is just how ahead of the game they are. Tanya says they are “a different breed”, each with a really good head on her shoulders, who rely on Chinquapin’s support system to motivate and uplift each other.
Girls Inc.’s impact is significant and has directly connected our students to free opportunities, including:
- Girls Inc. spring break, STEM, and Be Bold camps
- Four-year Girls Inc. college scholarship (awarded to Estefania Torres (‘19) now at Bryn Mawr)
- Speech opportunities – planning for and speaking in front of large groups of adults
- Overnight college visits and women’s conferences
- Houston Rodeo Trail Ride in a covered wagon with a female trail boss
- Attending a Houston Dash game and meeting a Houston Dash star player
- Meal etiquette lesson from leading Houston etiquette class teachers
- Luncheons with successful female leaders
- College and career conferences
- Conferences with female motivational speakers and congresswomen