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Employee volunteers on her lunch break

Most office employees might pack a sack lunch or head to a restaurant on their lunch break. One day a week, Proposal Coordinator Megan Young does something a little more unconventional on her lunch break: she volunteers.

Young, MeganYoung volunteers with a group called Girls Inc., a non-profit dedicated to inspiring all girls to be “strong, smart, and bold,” according to its website. Girls Inc. provides programs that give girls the tools they need to achieve goals and resist peer pressure. Once a week, Young drives to Beech Grove Middle School to work with a group of twelve 7th graders over the lunch hour.

Last summer she attended the Touchstone Awards banquet hosted by Girls Inc. because F.A. Wilhelm Construction sponsored a table. The banquet honors female leaders in the community while also showcasing exhibits hosted by Girls Inc. summer campers.

Young was intrigued by the girls’ projects and asked for more information on volunteering and decided to teach a Girls Inc. course. Young has been volunteering with Girls Inc. since January 2015.

The curriculum Young teaches is called “Redefining Beauty.” Using activities and conversation-starters provided by Girls Inc., Young and a co-facilitator teach the girls about the important of self-worth.

“This time gives female students the opportunity to share their stories and opinions or struggles with us,” Young said. “It’s the only time out of their school day that they get to talk about what they want to talk about.”

Young said each week the class has a different focus and provides the girls opportunities to think through real world issues affecting them. Examples of topics include eating disorders, what “real” women look like, and valuing their bodies.

Young also uses her position at Wilhelm to demonstrate female leadership to the girls.

“As a continued supporter of the organization, I feel empowered as a woman to show young girls what it’s like to be a leader in the workplace,” Young said. “This shows them that there are many other career paths available as they decide areas of interest.”

She says volunteering with Girls Inc. is an eight-week commitment with long-term rewards, and more volunteers are needed, particularly on the Southside of Indianapolis. If you or anyone you know is interested in reaching more girls, feel free to contact Hazel Owens at Girls Inc.

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