Founded in 1992, Women Helping Girls is a program of the Greater Rochester Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (GRAB/AAUW). A group of Rochester City School District Administrators who were members of GRAB/AAUW began a project designed to encourage urban girls to make reasoned choices and to feel confident about their future.
The originators of Women Helping Girls were Bettie Fitzpatrick Lindley, Coordinator of English, Reading and ESOL, East High School, 1991-96; Dorothy Pecoraro, Principal on Assignment as Director of School to Work Transition, RCSD, 1992-96; Beverly Vaughan, House Administrator of Law magnet, John Marshall High School, 1988-96; and Anne Miller, Coordinating Administrator of Special Education, Edison Technical and Occupational Education Center, 1987-96.
Although WHG originally focused on 5th grade girls in the Rochester City School District, in 1997, WHG decided to improve and strengthen its program by beginning with 6th grade girls at one middle school, and WHG selected the Dr. Freddie Thomas Learning Center to be the middle school.
In 2003, and again in 2005, the RCSD reorganized, necessitating further changes for WHG. As part of WHG's continuing effort to provide the best possible service, the program is currently based at Wilson Magnet High School. Girls are invited to attend WHG in 6th - 9th grades at Wilson Foundation Academy, and continue participating from 10th grade through graduation at the Wilson Commencement Academy. WHG explores opening strong partnerships with the Rochester City School District, women's organizations, area colleges and youth-serving organizations in Monroe County, NY.
Both paid and volunteer coordinators, guided by the WHG Program Committee, continue to carry out the Women Helping Girls vision and expand the scope of program services. WHG currently operates a mentoring and a community-based program. In addition, WHG offers a College Bound initiative, providing one-to-one support in navigating the college search, selection, and application processes. WHG is the only program of its kind that stays connected to girls from 6th grade to graduation from high school.
Women Helping Girls is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported solely through donations and grants.
The AAUW mission is "Advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research." We at Women Helping Girls are proud to be part of this 120-year-old organization.