Special thanks to The Foundation for Enhancing Communities for the write-up:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold our Annual Grantee Recognition Breakfast to honor our 2019 grantees from the Fund for Women and Girls, so we’re celebrating them virtually!
Today’s featured grantee, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region!
Savvy Sisters are smart and capable. Savvy Sisters are curious and thoughtful. A Savvy Sister can pursue any career she chooses. That was the idea when Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region partnered with the Junior League of Harrisburg to introduce girls to STEM educational and career opportunities. How we chose to do that was to introduce Little Sisters in our program to women who work in STEM occupations, women who are entrepreneurs, women who are leaders in our communities. And, we took our Little Sisters with their Big Sisters into the workplace, so that they could see what these women do and where they do it. The Junior League of Harrisburg has been a wonderful resource for identifying and connecting with female industry leaders in our community. When we received our grant from the Fund for Women & Girls, we set our sights on visiting even more workplaces as well as college campuses that would inspire and enable our Little Sisters to reach their full potential. And then COVID-19 kept us all at home.
But once again, our Junior League partners came through for us. If we couldn’t leave home to visit them, they would come to us, at least virtually. To keep our Littles engaged, BBBSCR hosts a daily Facebook Live event. Members of the Junior League have been Facebook Live presenters. Mary Garton was scheduled to give our Savvy Sisters a tour of Central Penn College. When the statewide shutdown went into effect, Mary moved her presentation to one of our Facebook Live sessions. Business owner and Pilates instructor Allison Zhang hosted one of our first Savvy Sisters field trips at her Pilates studio. Our Little Sisters can’t come to her right now. So, Allison hosted a Pilates workout session on Facebook Live and talked about the challenges that come with being a business owner. And Junior League member, Jane Block, emphasized the importance of self-care and self-expression when she led a Facebook Live session that introduced Littles to the art of water painting.
The Junior League of Harrisburg [was able to] present a $1,500 scholarship to one of our graduating Little Sisters! When the coronavirus travel restrictions are finally lifted, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region will once again take our Big and Little Sisters out to experience the wide variety of career options available to them.
The program may look different from what it did prior to COVID-19; we’ve all become acquainted with face masks and hand sanitizers. But thanks to our grant from the Fund for Women & Girls, we have the resources to continue exploring STEM in the Capital Region with our Savvy Sisters.