ABOUT GIRLS INC. OF ULSTER AND DUTCHESS COUNTIES

Girls Inc. of Ulster and Dutchess Counties is a program of YWCA Ulster County. We provide Advocacy, Services, & Education for Women, Children & Families. Girls Inc. of Ulster and Dutchess Counties was founded in 2007 as an affiliate of the nationally recognized Girls Incorporated®, a nonprofit organization serving only girls, with roots dating to 1894. Since 2007, the YWCA and Girls Inc. have expanded opportunities for girls in our community and inspired them to be Strong, Smart, and Bold!

Girls Incorporated is at the heart of girls’ lives and at the forefront of the girls’ rights movement. The organization is the leading expert on the issues facing girls because girls’ voices and diverse perspectives have always been the foundation of the organization’s work. Today our acclaimed programming, original research, and compelling public education and advocacy campaigns continue to put girls front and center.

WHERE CAN YOU FIND GIRLS INC.?

Girls Inc. programming is offered at schools, community centers and youth facilities. Our research-based programs have been welcomed at the Kingston City School District, Highland Central School District and Wallkill Central School District. Programs can be offered during the school day, after school, or as one-time events, and can be tailored to the specific needs of your girls.

YWCA ULSTER COUNTY

209 Clinton Ave., Kingston, NY 12401
Phone: 845-338-6844
Fax: 845-338-0620
Email: YWCAulster@HVC.RR.Com
YWCA Ulster County is a United Way agency.

Andrea Park
Executive Director
apark@ywcaulstercounty.org
845-338-6844 ext. 106

LEADERSHIP

Maria Jansdotter Farr

Director at Girls Inc. Ulster and Dutchess Counties
maria@girlsinculsterdutchess.org
845-338-6844

Maria moved to the US in 1995 from Sweden. She has worked in a number of programs that empower youths. She is committed to supporting young girls in finding their own voices. Maria has created and taught programs in art and writing in New York City and Hudson Valley since 1997.

She is a freelance writer and artist with a Masters in Women’s Studies and Writing.

Andrea Park

YWCA Ulster County Executive Director
apark@ywcaulstercounty.org
845-338-6844 ext. 106

Andrea has been the Executive Director of the YWCA for the past 12 years. She began her work with the YWCA in 1995 as a volunteer with board’s Nominating Committee and became an employee in 1997 as the Director of Special Projects. Andrea has lived and worked in Ulster County for nearly 25 years. She has a M.ED from the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

The YWCA Ulster County has been providing education, services and advocacy for women, children and families since 1923. The YWCA is proud to be a provider of Girls Inc. programming.

Siira Rieschl

Program Facilitator at Girls Inc. Ulster and Dutchess Counties
845-338-6844

Siira is passionate about empowering girls and leveling the playing field through promoting science literacy and environmental awareness. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, she’s fallen in love with the Hudson Valley and lived here for the past seven years. She has a BA in Psychology from Bard College, where her thesis addressed the gender and race gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. After graduating, she’s continued to live and work in the Hudson Valley as a science educator. Siira is continuing to examine the current state of critical thinking and environmental awareness. She’s honing her method of promoting science literacy at Masters of Environmental Education program at Bard College Center for Environmental Policy. She loves working with Girls Inc because the girls inspire her and most importantly make her laugh!

YWCA Board of Directors

Che Sharp, President
Allison Quinn, Vice President
Suzanne Reavy, Secretary
Rosemary Taylor, Treasurer
Andréa Dassie
Susan Diamond
Lynn Donnaruma

Girls Inc. Advisory Committee

Andrea Park
Maria Jansdotter Farr
Catherine Coleman
Andréa Dassie
Nicole Gill
Terri Hall
Katy Kondrat
Naimah Muhammad
Donna Tomesch

Founder

After working with youth for ten years, in March of 2007, Mary Farel contacted the YWCA Ulster County to see if they were interested in becoming a Girls Inc. affiliate. Mary’s desire to bring a gender specific program to the area was fueled by a need she recognized for girls to have a safe space to cultivate their voices while learning leadership and advocacy skills. Mary met with Andrea Park, the YWCA’s Executive Director who was very excited at the prospect of bringing the National research-based Girls Inc. program to the region. In September of 2007, the first Girls Inc. program was piloted at the Edson Elementary School in Kingston, NY to a group of 10 girls as an 8-week after school program. As of 2018, Girls Inc. of Ulster and Dutchess Counties implements 15 school year long programs at eight different schools in four school districts with programs still growing.

Mary Farel

FAQ

How old are the girls you serve?

The girls are between 6 – 18 years old with age appropriate groups.

Why just girls?

The purpose of Girls Inc. programming is to enable girls to achieve their full potential. Today’s girls are confronted with social, economic, cultural, and legal barriers and by providing a safe ‘girls only’ space, and research-based programs specifically for girls, their needs and their challenges, we are able to inspire and empower girls to set priorities to make smart choices that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

How can I offer Girls Inc. at my school/facility?

You can contact the Girls Inc. Director, Mary Farel, to discuss the various programs and options available for your girls.

Resources

Girls Inc. Girls Inc. national website provides global information about our organization, mission, vision and outreach.

The Girl Effect The Girl Effect is a movement about leveraging the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries and the world.

Girl Up Girl Up envisions a world where all girls, no matter where they live, have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.

Miss Representation MissRepresentation.org is a non-profit social action campaign and media organization established to shift people’s consciousness, inspire individual and community action, and ultimately transform culture so everyone, regardless of gender, age or circumstance can fulfill their potential.

V-Girls V-Girls is a global network of girl activists and advocates empowering themselves and one another to change the world, one girl at a time.

Girls Leadership Worldwide Girls’ Leadership Worldwide, is an international leadership development program for girls entering their sophomore or junior year of high school next fall.

Girls Inc. Girls’ Bill of Rights

  • Girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes.
  • Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm.
  • Girls have the right to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success.
  • Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies.
  • Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and to be safe in the world.
  • Girls have the right to prepare for interesting work and economic independence.