Girls Give Back


A Leadership, Empowerment, and
Service Learning Program for Young Women

Program Overview

Girls Give Back empowers high school girls, grades 9-12, to create meaningful change in the world around them. Teens will learn about issues that impact women and girls, meet with local leaders and develop leadership skills by planning and implementing service projects. Participants will choose to serve on one of the following committees: Advocacy/Volunteering, Community Outreach, or Mentorship to create projects they are interested in. Girls Give Back promotes social-mindedness, critical thinking, healthy self-esteem, and empathy in the next generation of female leaders. 

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Girls Give Back Highlights
Girls Give Back Action Areas
Girls Give Back in the News

Girls Give Back Highlights 2017-18

In the past year, Girls Give Back teens:

  • Collectively earned the President’s Bronze Service Award.
  • Organized and implemented a middle-school empowerment program, Girls Unite!, for 16 tweens in grades 6-8.
  • Hosted a movie and dinner night with Dreams for Change, where we fed over 30 homeless adults and children, watched a movie, made crafts, and played games.
  • Planned and facilitated a beach clean-up at Fiesta Island for Good Deeds Day where volunteers collected over 80 pounds of trash!
  • Held a donation drive for women’s sanitary products where we collected 889 individual tampons, and 317 individual pads that were all donated to women in need.
  • Collaborated with Coastal Roots farms to learn about Women in Agriculture and help with planting around the farm.
  • Participated in workshops on media and body image, domestic abuse and LGBTQ+ issues.
  • Visited with Seacrest residents for an informal women’s Seder during Passover. 
  • Continued online blog EqualTalk, founded by Girls Give Back participants, as well as our Facebook and Instagram pages. 

Girls Give Back Action Areas

In order to create lasting change on the issue of gender equity, Girls Give Back teens identified several priority action items:

  • Empowerment of young girls – GGB created a mentorship and empowerment program for middle school teens in grades 6-8 called Girls Unite! This middle school program is teen-designed and teen-facilitated
  • Mental Health -  Prominent mental health agencies provide several in depth service learning programs for GGB Teens to better understand mental illness and identify warning signs for themselves and their peer group. The trainings also broke down harmful stereotypes and stigmas that directly affect women from receiving the support they may need.
  • Media Literacy - Teens contributed to GGB Blog, EqualTalk, as well as started the hashtag #FeministFriday where they highlighted a feminist figure, either current or historic, to celebrate the accomplishments on women around the world.

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Girls Sound Off on What They Learned

“To be confident in myself as a leader.”

“To follow through with my goals.”

“How to make tangible change in the world.” 

“I have learned to take initiative and become more of a leader than I was before.” 

“The most valuable thing I have learned from GGB is how to facilitate successful programming for a large and diverse group of people.””  

My Favorite Part of GGB

“Making connections with like-minded girls. It is fun to share ideas with people who share your same values!”

“Being educated on issues involving women/gender/race inequalities – it really opened my eyes.”

“I really enjoyed all the volunteer opportunities. I felt like I was doing something helpful, and spending time with the other girls was really fun.”

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Girls Give Back In the News

Watch the Gala Tribute Video honoring Barbary Bry and Girls Give Back>>

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 From August 2013–January 2014, art created by Girls Give Back was displayed at the San Diego International Airport in Terminal 2 (pre-security). Created in partnership with Art Reach San Diego, the Girls Give Back project focused on femininity in Western culture and the struggle for women to find their place between traditional and modern ideas of what it means to be a woman. Click the links below to view all four clips that aired on KUSI.

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

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"Change Fueled by Girl Power." Click here to read the summer feature on Girls Give Back by Karla Peterson that appeared in San Diego’s Union Tribune. Michelle Jacobson and Jody Miller were featured in this story about how rewarding and life changing Girls Give Back is.

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Girls Give Back teens made a guest appearance on UT-TV PrimeTime to discuss some of their current projects. The young women in Girls Give Back have been busy this summer creating a mural for the San Diego Airport, spending a week learning about homelessness and poverty in San Diego, and designing a mentorship program for middle school girls. Hear from Emma and Jody how this incredible program of Jewish Family Service has empowered them to be community leaders!

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Stay Connected with JFS

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(858) 637-3042
Send an email>>

(858) 637-3210

(General Information)
(858) 637-3000

Turk Family Center
8804 Balboa Ave.
San Diego, CA 92123

All communication is strictly confidential.

San Diego Gas & Electric

Hadassah Foundation

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“I greatly enjoyed spending time with the girls and sharing with them. It was wonderful to hear the young ladies speak with such optimism and passion. They are definitely going places!”
Community Partner, Foundation for Women