Soroptimist launched the Dream It, Be It: Career Support For Girls program for girls in 2015. Far too many girls face barriers on their journey to career success. Obstacles such as poverty, teen dating violence, and pregnancy can get in the way of a girl’s ability to make her dreams a reality. Dream It, Be It gives girls the tools to overcome their obstacles, set goals, and head towards success. Through access to education and to positive role models, girls are empowered to pursue their career goals and reach their full potential.

The inauguration of Soroptimist Raleigh’s Dream It, Be It program took place on June 4, with a half-day workshop for middle school girls entitled Dream It, Be It: A COVID Re-set. The workshop was held in cooperation with Girls Geared For Greatness (Chasta Hamilton) and Stage Door Dance in Brier Creek, Raleigh. This workshop was an intentional soft launch to test the response to the material, and was an abbreviated version of the full program which takes up an entire day.

The workshop was presented by our DIBI Committee: chair, Marianne Breneman, members Lynn Kavcsak, Tania Tinsley-Little, Mary Woodard, Suzanne Blanke, Dana Friedli and Betty Hyatt.

Through extensive outreach, we had 11 middle school girls, most rising 6th graders, participate in the workshop. The 90 minutes workshop covered several modules of the Dream It, Be It program for teen girls. The girls received worksheets and handouts, and even swag bags which contained, among other things, a journal, scented body lotion, a shower poof, nail polish, puffy stickers.

The program included the following modules:

Overcoming Obstacles with Marianne and Dana
Using the line game as the icebreaker, the girls saw that many others in the room (including SIR members) had similar life experiences and backgrounds. This helped to establish trust and creating a safe space together. We talked about what obstacles were, both external and internal, and how obstacles can keep you from realizing your dreams. We discussed how to overcome specific obstacles with strategies such as self-care, supporting other girls and mentorship.

Balancing Your Stress with Lynn
We started with a ball game that started easy but ended with balls flying in all directions as a way to illustrate unmanaged stress. Lynn addressed the issue of large, medium and small stressors and strategies for managing them, and the kinesthetic activities to create the feeling of stress and overwhelm were very effective!

Creating Achievable Goals with Tania
Tania worked with the girls to break down goals into long, medium and short-term buckets. They then formed teams and received a series of cards which they had to put into the correct order for reaching a specific goal. Candy was tossed to the group with the correct answers – making things a little competitve but also loads of fun!

Between the sessions, we had a snack break with make-your-own snack mix and a mindfulness meditation to help keep the energy levels up.

Middle school girls are not the most communicative but we did have some very confident girls in the group who would talk and the others would agree!, but the feedback (especially through moms) was positive.

The committee is looking forward to holding more DiBi programs this coming year. Do you represent or volunteer with an organization that works with teen girls? Get in touch with Marianne Breneman to talk about working together.