Why do girls need the EGA program?
Adolescence is the time when children pull away from parents to start forming their own identities. It is also a time when children need core values, trusting relationships, and strong guidance more than ever, to ensure that they make good life choices and stand strong in who they are and what they believe in. Adolescent girls need adult women in their lives, in addition to their mothers. Women who will show them the truth about themselves when they can not see it; women who will teach them to take time for themselves, to listen carefully to their own desires and needs; women who will affirm, support and listen to them, gently encouraging them to identify and express their feelings; women who will dispel the cultural myths, and instead open them to what it truly means to be a woman.
To whom is the EGA program geared?
People often falsely believe that mentoring programs are only for high risk adolescents. It is EGA’s belief that EVERY adolescent girl is in need of our program – no matter her socioeconomic, racial or cultural background. In fact, often girls who come from families that appear on the outside to have it all together are some of the very girls at greatest risk of losing their identity to the pressures of parental, peer or school expectations. They are driven to succeed at the sacrifice of self – identity.
How does the EGA program positively influence the girls’ lives?
Our program gives adolescent girls the tools they need to identify when their perceptions of who they are and all they have to offer the world have gone off kilter, and the steps they need to rebalance themselves physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Empowered Girls hold their heads high believing in who they are. For more, read the testimonials under EGA Program Impact.
For what age group is the EGA program designed?
Adolescent girls, from the age of 13 through 18.
Is the EGA program affiliated with any particular religion?
No. EGA has no affiliation or religious teachings. We support each girl’s individual spiritual traditions and journey.
Is EGA diverse culturally, racially, and socio-economically?
We go to great lengths to have each weekend be a blend of girls from diverse backgrounds culturally, racially and socio-economically. It is not uncommon to see girls come together on an Empowered Girl Weekend who come from upper class suburban neighborhoods, inner city neighborhoods. They are a mix of Caucasian, Latino, African American, rich, poor, schooled, home schooled, girls at risk and girls who seem to have it all.
How long has EGA been in existence and how many girls have gone through the program?
EGA was founded in 2007 and began holding weekends in 2008. We have held nine Empowered Girl Training Weekends, and at this time, nearly 150 girls have gone through the program.
Who do I contact for more information specific to my area?
Click on the Map of EGA regions in the Contact Us section.
I want to bring EGA to my area. What do I need to do to make that happen?
Before working with EGA to bring the program to your area, we will ask that you staff a weekend to gain the context and awareness you will need to oversee bringing the program to your community. If after staffing, you still want to bring the program to your area, EGA will then walk you thru the steps. We recommend giving yourself at least a year to prepare to hold a weekend in your community.
What will be expected of EGA Mentors?
We ask that women considering mentoring for EGA attend our two day Mentor Training. The first day is an experiential healing day looking at your own teen years. The second day covers the How-To of mentoring. After attending the Mentor training, women who have decided they would like to mentor send in an application with references. If all looks good from the application, women will be invited to apply to staff the EGA weekend. As an EGA mentor you are expected to attend the EGA Weekend. To staff a weekend, you will be expected to fill out an application to staff, back ground checks are then done on all staff. There is a staff fee of $100 which covers your lodging, food, insurance and background check (again, please let us know if you are in need of financial assistance). One to two weeks after the weekend we hold a Welcoming Celebration for Girls which we expect all mentors to attend. Once the weekend is over we ask that mentors commit to attend our monthly circles as well as connect weekly with the girl or girls you are mentoring via phone, text, Facebook of face to face for the duration of at least one year. If mentor/mentee relationships are working well they may extend for a lifetime. At any point if either a mentor or mentee identifies that their relationship is not a fit, for whatever reason, they are encouraged to communicate this with EGA and seek out another pairing.
What is the time commitment?
We ask that mentors commit to their mentor/mentee relationship for at least one year, at which time we will reevaluate the effectiveness of the relationship. If it is working well – you may choose to remain in your relationship for as long as it is working for the two of you. If it is not a good match, we expect you to communicate this to EGA so we can seek out another pairing. During the year you will attend a two day mentor training, the EGA Weekend, a follow up welcome celebration 1-2 weeks after the weekend, monthly EGA circles and some sort of connection weekly. Weekly connections can be as simple as a phone call or text or a fun face to face outing.
Is there training for mentors?
Yes. We offer two day training. The first day is a workshop entitled Reclaim your Teenage Power. It is an experiential day designed to unveil what your life was like as a teenager and provide some healing for those years. The fee for this workshop is $150. We highly recommend that anyone who is considering mentoring take this workshop as well as women who may simply want to gain clarity and skills to more effectively parent or interact with other teens in their lives. You do need to commit to mentoring to attend this workshop. The second day covers How-To questions of mentoring and topics like how and why teenage girls think they way they do, and how you might handle certain scenarios that a teenager present to you.
How are mentors selected and paired with teens?
After a mentor has attended the mentor training and applied to mentor, her references will be checked. If all is solid there, she will be asked to apply to staff and fill out a mentor questionnaire which will have her describe who she is as a person and the kinds of things she likes, where she lives and what things might be important to her about being paired with a teen. The girls also fill out similar questionnaires. Then the mentor coordinator for that particular weekend draws up tentative pairings of mentors with girls. As the weekend experience unfolds more information will be revealed about who the girls and whether our pairings seems like a good fit or not. Adjustments may be made to pairings during the weekend.
Do mentors attend the EGA Weekend?
Yes. Our mentors attend the EGA Weekend.
Empowered Girl Weekend
What is the cost to attend the weekend?
The fee to attend an Empowered Girl Weekend is $500. In actuality the cost to have one girl participate in our program costs Empowered Girl Alliance $1,000. We offset this expense through individual donations, grant writing, corporate sponsorship and fund raising.
Why does it cost so much?
Site fees, Insurance, background checks and leader fees are just a few of the top expenses related to the weekend.
Is there any financial aid available?
Yes. We have a scholarship fund available for each Weekend. Please let us know if you will need financial assistance when you register for the Weekend. We want the Weekend to be available to all girls, and we do not want to turn anyone away due to lack of funds.
What kind of training does the EGA Weekend leadership team have?
The EGA Weekend has a weekend leader, two team leaders and four skilled facilitators on staff. To hold a leadership role for EGA, women have attended EGA weekends and have shadowed in their roles prior to leading weekends independently. The facilitators are well-trained, highly skilled at what they do, and come from all over the country to offer their services.
How many girls attend a weekend?
A minimum of 8 and a maximum of 20.
How many staff attend a weekend?
For every girl attending we have two staff members, so in general we have 25-45 adult staff.
Where is the weekend held?
Currently we have three regions offering EGA weekends. On the East Coast, weekend are held in Upstate NY near Rochester. On the West Coast, weekends are held outside of San Diego, CA. In our South Central region, weekends are held outside of Houston, TX. The sites for weekends are typically at rural camp facilities.
Are you able to accommodate special needs?
Yes! We will work closely with families to meet whatever learning, physical or medical challenges your teen has.
How do I know the EGA program is right for my daughter?
Every teen is different and is in different places developmentally. EGA is designed for EVERY girl ages 13-18, however if you as a parent are still wondering if this program is right for your daughter or at what age she should attend, we recommend that you contact the EGA Center director in your region to talk in greater detail about what will happen on the weekend to help you decide.
What happens on the weekend?
Participants will explore all aspects of themselves – body, mind, heart and spirit – in a variety of ways including story telling, sharing, movement, games, challenges and art. We’ll share in detail what happens on a weekend with parents who feel they need to know, however, we will not share the specifics of the agenda with the girls since it would dilute the effectiveness of the processes. Integrated into team & skill building as well as small group discussions, girls have opportunities for personal sharing. They often open up and share the details of their lives to find acceptance, witnessing, and support. At the end they are celebrated for their successes and affirmed for who they are. Girls leave the weekend holding a greater sense of who they are and who they hope to become as adult women.
Empowered Girl Circles
What are Empowered Girl Circles?
Each region holds monthly circles in a centralized location to where the majority of the Empowered Girls live. EGA circles provide a safe place for Empowered Girls to return to regularly in order to receive ongoing support, guidance, and share the details of their lives with their EGA peers and mentors.
Who can attend the EGA Circles?
Girls & Mentors who have already done an Empowered Girl Weekend.
How often do the EGA Circles meet?
Monthly for 2-3 hours.
Who leads the circles?
Each region has an EGA Circle Coordinator who oversees the site and schedule of circles. It is also the Circle Coordinator’s job to arrange for 1-2 adult Mentors to lead each circle.