<h1>Blog & News</h1>
July 10, 2014

G.L.A.M. Rocks!

by Julie Koegel

Women and minorities are often underrepresented in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), so I was glad to learn about G.L.A.M. (Guidance, Life skills, And Mentoring) summer camp for girls and young women ages 9 to 18. 

This week I visited the G.L.A.M. summer camp at IUPUI. Twenty girls who are new to G.L.A.M. have spent the last five weeks in their STEM summer enrichment program. G.L.A.M. partnered with professors who helped the girls brush up on their math skills (with daily math lessons and games), learn how laws are made (the girls got to see the Law School’s mock courtroom – how cool is that!), learn about the urban garden, and experience technology (including social media, development of computers, becoming an IT professional and online academic websites they can use for school). G.L.A.M. Rocks!

I was impressed the girls spent five weeks on a college campus and had access to its rich academic resources. The girls took an admissions tour, saw the dorms and have been able to swim at the IU Natatorium.

I also loved learning how the girls created and presented an anti-bullying and domestic violence prevention workshop, which was videotaped by IUPUI. They chose to do their community service project with The Julian Center and packed bags with school supplies for children living there.

Executive Director Shanel Poole created G.L.A.M.’s curriculum when she was a student at Indiana State University (ISU). The curriculum was validated by ISU staff. ISU was so supportive the university awarded Shanel a grant to help get the organization started.

G.L.A.M. empowers at-risk girls ages 9-18. Thirty girls participate in an intensive two-year program that meets every other Saturday and focuses on:

  • Self Esteem development
  • Academic and leadership development
  • Professional and college preparation
  • Peer mentoring

My big “wow” while learning about G.L.A.M. was learning that 100% of the girls who aged out of the program are attending college. There are now 14 girls in college and they stay in touch with G.L.A.M. staff. Shanel is an inspiration to these girls – she dropped out of school at 14, was homeless at 17, got her GED at 20, and graduated valedictorian of her college class. She has a real passion for helping these girls. Her plans for the future include adding more girls to the two-year program

Last year Women's Fund invested in helping at-risk girls access life skills and mentoring through a $20,000 grant to G.L.A.M.

Click here if you would like to learn more about G.L.A.M's work.

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