Reflecting on 2023 and Looking Forward to 2024
By April Caldwell, Chief Program Officer, Girls Inc. of New York City
As 2023 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey we’ve shared. As a black woman, born and raised in the South Bronx, surrounded by strong, smart, and bold women, I’ve always believed in the transformative power of education. My grandmothers, fearless trailblazers in their own right, instilled in me the values that I carry into my work every day.
In our students, I see echoes of my own journey. They are a constant reminder of why our work is vital. Representation is more than just an ideal; it’s a responsibility I embrace wholeheartedly. I am here not just as a leader but as someone who understands their struggles, dreams, and the resilient spirit that defines our community.
This year has been transformative. Beyond academic excellence, we've focused on mental health. We’ve enabled girls to identify, articulate, and seek support for their mental well-being, underscoring the importance of holistic development. Our “Her Future” financial literacy program has been a cornerstone, preparing girls with crucial skills for financial independence.
Witnessing girls embrace possibilities and turn aspirations into realities is humbling and inspiring. These remarkable young women, with their unique strengths and aspirations, will redefine leadership. They are not just our future; they are our present, actively shaping a more equitable and just world.
As we step into 2024, our goal to serve 50,000 girls over the next five years is a beacon of our commitment. Your support during this season of giving is essential. It will help us expand our impact and ensure that every girl has an opportunity to succeed. Together, we are not just dreaming of a brighter future; we are actively building it, one empowered young woman at a time.
Thank you for your commitment to the girls and young women we serve. Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a prosperous new year!