GirlGov, created by teen women for teen women, is designed to provide local girls with the opportunity to learn, first hand, about civics, government, philanthropy, community involvement, women’s history, and leadership. The program is open to all girls entering 9th to 12th grade who live in Pennsylvania. There is no fee to participate.
Applications for GirlGov 2016-2017 are now open! Please click here to apply for the year long program.
Throughout the program year, GirlGov participants learn and implement new skills by participating in a variety of activities. Since 2009, GirlGov girls have:
- Traveled to Harrisburg annually to shadow state legislators and to advocate for policy changes to improve the lives of women and girls in their own communities and across the state;
- Advocated for Sarah’s Bill (written by a GirlGov participant) to institute a Restraining Order law in PA – one of only 12 states that does not offer such protection);
- Met with and learned from local, state, and national women in political careers;
- Interned with local legislators’ district offices;
- Held bake sales to illustrate the wage gap on National Equal Pay Day; men were charged $1 per item while women were charged only 75¢;
- Organized Pittsburgh’s first International Day of the Girl Celebration in 2013;
- Attended an invitation-only mentoring luncheon at the White House;
- Introduced amazing women (and men) to the community at WGF’s annual awards gala;
- Advocated for reduced school bus emissions to school boards;
- Petitioned schools to include LGBTQ issues in teacher diversity training;
- Raised local awareness of the conflict in Syria;
- Explored nonprofit and government career options;
- Petitioned Pittsburgh City Council to approve the Paid Sick Day ordinance;
- Met and heard from accomplished women working in and with government;
- Became more involved in community civics;
- And most of all — had FUN through GirlGov!
WGF began programming for girls in 2005, serving twenty-four Allegheny County teens. While the group was small, they were certainly mighty! That first year, the girls launched their International Headline grabbing “Girlcott” of Abercrombie and Fitch for selling sexist t-shirts to teenage women, thereby launching WGF into the news spotlight and winning the girls their first advocacy victory. In 2009, the year-long GirlGov program was formalized with the help of the very girls it serves. To date GirlGov has trained nearly 500 young women from Southwest Pennsylvania to be our state’s next generation of leaders.