Speaker Sisterhood, a network of public speaking clubs for women, has partnered with Girls, Inc of Holyoke, an organization that aims to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, to create the first public speaking club of its kind for girls.
This pilot program will gauge whether this type of training will help girls aged 9-12 increase their comfort and confidence when speaking to groups, both small and large.
“The girls are starting the process of maturing while still being just kids sometimes. At this age, girls are learning about stereotyped gender roles in the media, and they’re also connecting body image with self-esteem (even though they may not realize it) — and they tend to become self-conscious. For these reasons (and many more) we are so excited for the group to participate in Speaker Sisterhood. It is vital that girls learn to support other girls, to be positive and accepting, and to know that they are amazing, important people who will change the world someday soon!”
said Kimberley Colwell, Girls, Inc, director of elementary school programs.
“As soon as we started this program for women, participants kept telling us they wished they’d had this training when they were younger. After speaking with Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls, Inc of Holyoke, it was clear that this organization was the best place to start a pilot program”
said Speaker Sisterhood CEO and founder, Angela Lussier.
The program kicked off June 27th and includes a two-hour meeting held every other week until August 22nd at the Nick Cosmos Way location in Holyoke. Thirteen girls, age nine to 12, are participating in the pilot program.
“The Speaker Sisterhood club offers the girls a chance to be vulnerable in a safe space. At the first meeting, the girls brought up very personal topics, and they are so proud to support one another as they their work on their speeches”
said Johanna Acevedo, Girls, Inc site coordinator.
Girls, Inc serves girls age 5–18 from the greater-Holyoke and Chicopee areas, which extends to Westfield, South Hadley, and Springfield, MA. It offers programs after school and during the summer, at little or no cost to families.
Speaker Sisterhood, a Holyoke-based business, launched in August 2016. It features a network of 30 public speaking clubs with an international membership — both community-based and online — for women and girls .