So what exactly is "The Center for Girls"?
The Center is a new partnership of grades 5 through 12 that is focused on setting our girls on their way to be global leaders. The Center for Girls includes programming designed to build strong leadership, EQ [emotional intelligence] and independent decision-making skills, all backed by a wellness mindset. The Center is also a resource for parents to work in partnership with all of us here to support their daughters' unique development. The Center is a physical space, too, but it's so much more. In many ways, The Center represents the heart and soul of the Forest Ridge community.
What was the inspiration for founding The Center for Girls?
Our starting point was a sense of possibility and individuality. By creating different opportunities for different girls to identify and develop their own strengths, they'll begin to form a strong sense of their identity in the community and the world at large. Navigating today's world, from global challenges to elements that impact the girls' daily lives, are our stage. Helping our girls develop the skills, courage and confidence to advocate for social change, to tackle challenges and find solutions that seem beyond their reach is core to our work. Each girl will do this in her own unique way. We want to help her find her way and move forward. Through The Center for Girls, Forest Ridge is delivering on its commitment to our students, their families and the community and world at large where they will one day work, live and lead.
Who will use The Center for Girls? Students? Alumnae? Parents?
The Center's stakeholders are the entire Forest Ridge community—students and alumnae, parents and families, teachers and school administrators. Our programing will serve all those touch points. Connecting and supporting our surrounding community is also part of our mission. We plan to do this through an ongoing speaker series and exciting thematic events. The Center’s space on campus is designed as a collaborative place—a hub—for gathering teams and ideas. Of course, our reach extends well beyond these physical walls.
How do you anticipate The Center for Girls evolving in the months and years ahead?
That's s great question. Our mandate is to accelerate and deepen the work across campus in leadership,
social-emotional learning, wellness and parent education. "Presence” is our inaugural program platform. Its focus is helping girls develop their authentic voice and leadership style. The program integrates social-emotional learning and pubic presentation skills with girls learning to manage both internal and external pressures, ultimately gaining the confidence to step into the arena, whatever their chosen arena may be. Through technology and strategic partnerships, The Center for Girls will expand beyond our hill into the Bellevue community to reach girls across the globe. Listening to those girls we serve will be a key element in program development. At the same time, staying current and connected to thought leaders, new research and trends is part of the mix. We want to ensure what we’re delivering and what’s in development remains timely and relevant.
What is it that you really want people to know about The Center for Girls?
The work of The Center is integral to what we do as Sacred Heart educators: developing female leaders. We have been doing this work for 110 years and The Center formalizes it as a concentrated force for even greater impact. Navigating today’s social, political and cultural issues is more complex and challenging than ever. Our responsibility is to help our young women stay focused and find their way. The Center for Girls is dedicated to helping each girl discover her gifts talents and internal compass—to prepare her to leverage those strengths to make a positive impact on the world.
How can interested people learn more about The Center for Girls?
The very best way to learn more about The Center is to stop by and see the girls and our work in action by attending a parent education event or a speaker series presentation. We look forward to providing an increasing range of ways for all of our stakeholders to engage with us. We’re very, very excited.