Michelle Obama’s Girls Opportunity Alliance to Distribute $500,000 in Funding and Organizational Support to Chicago-Based Girl Serving Organizations

Former First Lady Michelle Obama- Photo source Wikimedia Commons.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama- Photo source Wikimedia Commons.

 

Michelle Obama’s Girls Opportunity Alliance to Distribute $500,000 in Funding and Organizational Support to Chicago-Based Girl Serving Organizations 

CHICAGO – Former First Lady and Founder of the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance, Michelle Obama, announced a new commitment to empower and uplift girls in Chicago. The Girls Opportunity Alliance will distribute a total of $500,000 to 14 Chicago-based girl-serving organizations, with plans to distribute additional funding later this year. In addition to funding, the Alliance will provide organizational support to more than 60 girl-serving organizations across the City of Chicago through the Girls Opportunity Alliance Network. This holistic approach will benefit thousands of adolescent girls who, like Michelle Obama, call the South and West Sides of Chicago home.  

In a new video released today, Michelle Obama expressed her excitement for the growth of the Alliance’s initiatives in Chicago. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to share that the Girls Opportunity Alliance is expanding our work right here in my favorite city,” said Michelle Obama. “We’re going to be funding 14 grassroots programs that are making a real difference in the lives of girls here in my hometown. From providing mentorship and leadership training, to empowering girls through sports and dance, to preparing them for a future career through work-study programs, these organizations are there for our girls each and every day.” 

With a vision set out by Mrs. Obama, the Girls Opportunity Alliance will provide 14 selected Chicago-based girl serving organizations with funding and support tailored to their specific needs, enabling them to enhance existing programs or develop new initiatives that address the unique challenges faced by girls in Chicago. The leaders of these and other girl-serving organizations across Chicago, will join the Girls Opportunity Alliance Network, a community of more than 4,000 leaders around the world, which facilitates the exchange of ideas, information, and resources to enhance organizational capacity and sustainability. As Network members, these Chicago-leaders will benefit from capacity building workshops, Obama Foundation programming, and advice shared by the Obamas.  

“Our goal is to provide a network of support, as well as funding to these organizations, to help them strengthen and scale their work to empower girls across Chicago,” said Tiffany Drake, Vice President at the Obama Foundation and Executive Director of the Girls Opportunity Alliance.  

The 14 Chicago-based girl-serving organizations are: Black Girls Dance, Black Girls Jump, GirlFoward, Girls Inc. of Chicago, Girls in the Game, Girls on the Run Chicago, Gyrls in the H.O.O.D Foundation, Ladies of Virtue, M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment, Polished Pebbles, Praize Productions Inc., Restored Hope, SHE Chicago, and Sista Afya Community Care. 

“We are thrilled and profoundly honored to receive the invaluable endorsement of the Girls Opportunity Alliance,” said Shatina Edwards, Founder and CEO of M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment. “This transformative contribution fuels our mission and propels M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment to new heights. With this support, we can amplify the Girls Health Matters initiative, taking it on a journey to communities where access to vital health resources is limited. The generosity of the Girls Opportunity Alliance enables us to distribute health boxes, significantly impacting the lives of girls in underserved areas throughout Chicagoland.”  

“For 15 years, Polished Pebbles has been dedicated to developing professional skills for school-aged Black and Brown girls to prepare them for career readiness in the future workplace,” said Kelly Fair, Founder and Executive Director of Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program. “The support and partnership of noteworthy organizations like The Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance is essential to offering high-impact, dynamic programs that can change the trajectory of a young girl’s life, and it builds community among girls program leaders to build capacity and expand impact. We’re honored to be among this remarkable group of recipients and look forward to continued partnership with The Obama Foundation to make a difference in the City of Chicago.” 

With the support of the Girls Opportunity Alliance, the 14 organizations will expand their programing and impact, for example: 

M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment: The organization will coordinate a pop-up mobile health unit and travel to various community sites throughout Chicago and the South Suburbs. The unit will distribute Health Boxes, and M.E.A.N. Girls will organize ten one-day events over eight months, serving up to 700 girls.  

Polished Pebbles: 20 girls will engage in a paid six-week program for 20 hours per week during the summer of 2024. They will learn workplace etiquette, time management, tips for filling out job applications, and the value of teamwork. They will also engage in hands-on workshops and job shadowing days. 

SHE Chicago: The organization will provide a hands-on leadership development experience for 15 girls at the Disney Imagination campus. Recognizing that its program participants have faced many adult-like challenges, SHE Chicago seeks to offer its girls an opportunity to learn in a place that is symbolic of childhood joy. 

The Girls Opportunity Alliance's new commitment aligns with its mission to empower adolescent girls by lifting up grassroots organizations, using public awareness to drive action, and providing high level engagement opportunities for girls. This targeted effort in Chicago builds on the Alliance’s prior engagements in the city, including engagement opportunities for girls in Chicago, focus groups with leaders who are serving girls across Chicago, and roundtable discussions between youth participants, leaders, and the Obamas. To learn more about the Girls Opportunity Alliance’s work in Chicago and to support the efforts, visit: gofundme.org/girls-opportunity-alliance/ 

  

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