Empower Girls

What if you could empower yourself by knowing that your thoughts could manifest dreams into reality by simply visualizing what you want!

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Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.

I spent the last 15 years as a school counselor trying to help students overcome negativity, I then realized what if the focus was on the positive? I developed a program and taught the notion that thoughts of believing in yourself can be empower you to do ANYTHING! I realized that I was not living out my own dream. I wanted to share this with more people outside of my school, so I decided to leave my job and be the living example by empowering myself to step outside of my comfort zone.

Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French, Caucasian)



Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • New York

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]


Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]

  • New York

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]

Buffalo and all of the surrounding areas including Erie county and Western New York.

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The mission is to inspire women and girls to be confident with themselves both physically and socially/emotionally. Worldwide research indicates that women and girls are not only viewed as inferior but are treated in such a way to which amplifies depletion of self-confidence. Empower Girls addresses the issue by inspiring women and girls to live life with confidence through both physical as well as emotional activities that empower them.
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Empower Girls Buffalo is an educational program that was developed by a team of school counselors to address the ongoing concept that girls perceive themselves as not being good enough.    Empower Girls inspires both women and girls of any age to live happy, healthy lives..... with CONFIDENCE.    

This is taught through inspirational and empowering activities that address the physical, mental and social emotional bodies by embracing the positive.   This includes not only engaging in various programs but also teaching mindfulness and the concept of well-being lies within our thoughts.    It is the notion that we are what we BELIEVE!

There are 5 main components that the program teaches including: Exercise, Nutrition, Relaxation, Self-Confidence and Supporting one another.   

It is the concept that we have control over our lives through our thoughts.   It is EMPOWERING to realize that we posses all that there is to live with purpose and know that we can be and do anything.   The mission is to educate girls and women to be their best selves simply by knowing they can.

Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • No, not explicitly

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Community Development and Empowerment
  • Education

Year Founded


Project Stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Example: Walk the network through a specific example of what happens when a person or group engages with your solution.

A success story is a girl who's mother described her as depressed and was taking her to see several counselors and psychologists for help. The girl was in middle school and struggling with fitting in. After attending Empower Girls, she began to change her mindset which changed her life! She later became class president as well as valedictorian of her 8th grade class. One of the projects that she did in Empower Girls was a vision board which we teach the girls if you can visualize something, you can do it! At the center of her vision board, she drew a picture of herself standing on a podium with a 1st place trophy that she needed for dance to make nationals. I just found out she will be competing in nationals this summer!

Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have doubled our population that we impacted from last year. This included increase in the number of staff members as well as increase in the number of location sites. We plan to triple that amount by the 2016-2017 year. By doing this, it is our mission to increase the number of both girls and women that we service as well as increase the number of programs that we run and duration. Our goal is to expand our program to at least 30 sites throughout our region and impact over 3,000 girls and women. In addition, we hope to continue ongoing programming without start and end dates as we have done in the past. We are actively seeking financial sponsors and corporate endorsements to ensure that the program can be available for all women and girls throughout our community as well as the surrounding municipalities.

Organization Type

  • for-profit

Annual Budget

  • $1k - $10k

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The project will grow based on the concept that girls and women will want to improve their own lives. It is the law of attraction. When positivity is created, it creates the desire for more positivity. Positive mindset is not something that one has to "sell" but the mere addiction of wanting more peace, love and tranquility within ourselves is the driving force behind the financial stability plan.

Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?

Although other projects across the nation are designed to fulfill and address needs of humanity, the concept that we are not looking to change the outside of ourselves, but rather within ourselves. The REAL change comes within. It starts with who we are and who we BELIEVE that we are and all that we can be. It's not about a mission to improve living conditions and our surroundings, but rather improve the very own conditions in which we surround ourselves with... that is, within our own minds. Mindset is the one and only thing that we have full control over which is EMPOWERING.

Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?

Changing Mindset can change lives. What is not taught in schools is the concept of BELIEVING in YOURSELF. There is a direct impact of how our thoughts control our lives and our outcomes. It's how we view things and the concept of positivity within our thoughts that EMPOWERS us to be able to heal ourselves physically, emotionally as well as spiritually. It is the concept of trust and faith within ourselves that we can not only overcome obstacles in our lives but also have the power to determine our future. It is the mindset we have that can prove to be either toxic or ignite our lives.

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)

  • Email

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka, who was it? (the answer will not be public)

A member of the Catholic Health System who is extremely involved with wellness and well-being in the community. I was referred by Joyce Mankiewicz from the Catholic Health System of Buffalo. She suggested that I apply as she understands the passion of our organization in Empowering Women and Girls. Joyce is the President and CEO of the Catholic Health Administration here in Buffalo and supports our mission of what we are doing to inspire girls and women throughout our community.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Brittany Lothe

Loved your example. Good luck!