Kelly Boyer-Volunteer

Celebrating GAW Volunteers | Kelly Boyer

“It’s fun for me because I get to talk about tools in a way that I don’t in my own home – And the component of people is the most important piece for me. I love that we get to help women feel strong.”

Kelly grew up using power tools and as a result has gained confidence and strength to tackle challenges throughout her life as well as seek opportunities. Recently, she was elected as one of the youngest Goffstown Select(wo)men and is passionate about helping women find their inner power. She has always been actively engaged in the community and served two years in Americorps programs prior to becoming involved with Girls at Work. She heard about the organization from a good friend who said it would be a perfect fit for Kelly and her wife. Since Kelly has started volunteering with Girls at Work she has been essential in growing the Women’s Build program. She has helped spearhead the introduction of a series of Women’s Build classes that began this past January and is the Lead Instructor for the program.

Kelly didn’t realize the impact that she was going to have on women through teaching. She says, “I can help other women find that power that society tells them they shouldn’t have.” Kelly acknowledges that the classes at Girls at Work are not “normal” because the opportunities for women and girls to build are rare. She reflects on a really cool experience when teaching and someone came up to her after class and said, “I was absolutely terrified of power tools and now i’m not.” Kelly talks about how being apart of Girls at Work is “a good reminder that everyone has different life experiences and approaches things in different ways.”

Kelly offers a bit of advice for those interested in getting involved with Girls at Work. “It’s not about the tools. It’s about the process of using critical thinking skills and what happens internally. You have to do this, this is not a normal experience that women get to have. There is a place for everyone at girls at work and there is no limit to who can be involved.”

GAW Celebrates our Volunteers | Christine Keenan

ChristineKeenan-VolunteerChristine Keenan first heard about Girls at Work when Elaine Hamel (founder and program manager) posted about a women’s build back in November 2014. Christine signed up for the class and learned how to build a garden bench. She took that bench home and danced around it because of how proud she was to have accomplished something she didn’t know she could do. She learned about the mission of Girls at Work and how they support at risk girls and jumped at the idea of getting involved. Over the next couple of years she volunteered helping with classes, building signs, and attended New Hampshire Construction Career days to attract women to the organization.

When prompted about her continued involvement with GAW she said, “How could I possibly say no, when you know it just takes a bit of time to help and have a positive impact on a young girl? I have had similar experiences growing up as some of these girls and I know the importance of how this program helps them.” Christine can see the difference that the organization has on these young girls. She says, “It gives these girls a new way of looking at their world in a positive way because they are put in a position to see positive role models and then they can imagine opportunities for themselves.”

Christine values so many memories and experiences with her time at GAW. She really values the connections that she has made with people from various backgrounds and hearing their stories as well as the mission of the organization. In her time volunteering in the workshop she really enjoys “seeing how it has unfolded and seeing the difference between the first two hours and then watching the girls as they walk out a little bit taller.” Above all Christine loves sharing the moments with girls and women when they accomplish their project because she can see their faces light up with pride.

Christine has personally benefited from the programs values throughout her time at GAW. “I’ve gained confidence to build other things and pursue other personal goals that I put on the back burner, such as doing art. Now I have secured a spot featuring my art at Oglethorpe Fine Arts & Crafts in collaboration with Artisans by the Bay in Meredith starting in May.” She is thankful for all the wonderful people she has met through the organization as well. You might meet this amazing volunteer when you take a Women’s Power Build class coming up this year.

For anyone who is interested in volunteering with GAW Christine offers her advice. “Stop thinking about it and just do it! You have nothing to lose and you will gain much more than you would have ever imagined by being apart of it.”

Seaport Warm-Up Fundraiser

Seaport Warm Up Official-FBMentally Escape the Seaport Chill for a Good Cause
Thursday, April 5
4 pm – 6:30 pm
at the SUPER COOL Reebok HQ: 25 Drydock Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Stanley Black and Decker Women’s Network, Reebok and Nutre Meal Plans have partnered up to give you a momentary escape from the cold weather and support a great cause! The Winter Warm Up is a fundraising event benefiting Dress for Success and Girls at Work!

Come join your Seaport colleagues for a time of
FUN, FUNDRAISING and NETWORKING

100% of Donations Benefit Girls at Work and Dress for Success 

Jog: $10-$29.99 | Admission, 2 Raffle Tickets, 1 Drink Ticket, 30% off Reebok Merch

Run: $30-49.99 | Admission, 5 Raffle Tickets, 1 Meal Ticket, 2 Drink Tickets, 30% off Reebok Merch

Sprint: $50. or more | Admission, 7 Raffle Tickets, 1 Meal Ticket, Open Bar, 30% off Reebok Merch, and Special Thank You Gift

Can’t Attend- Please Make a Donation to Support this event.

Click HERE for tickets or to donate. Thank you.

Seaport Warm Up Official

Girls at Work receives $50k grant from New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Lois G. Roy Dickerman Fund

 

A $50,000 grant from a donor-advised fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will help Girls at Work, Inc. to reach more girls and help them build confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills.

Girls at Work is a non-profit that teaches at-risk, low-income New Hampshire girls inner strength through woodworking skills. The grant will help further Girls at Work’s mission of empowering girls with the tools to overcome adversity and build confidence to face current and future life challenges by providing after-school and summer programs to reach our girls in need of building up.

“We are delighted to be providing another year of support to Girls at Work,” said Arthur Desaulnier, Richard Roy and Ted Roy, advisors to the Lois G. Roy Dickerman Fund.  “We know they are bringing effective programs to young girls whose lives will be positively impacted for years to come.”

Mel Gosselin, CEO of Girls at Work reported that, “In 2017, funding from the Roy Dickerman Fund helped Girls at Work  reach 487 girls in need – up from 145 girls in 2016. This continued support will help us strengthen our program further. We have much more to do in 2018 with the hopes of furthering our work on solidifying our curriculum to increase the number of girls we reach throughout New Hampshire. We are incredibly grateful for the continued support as we build our infrastructure.”

About Girls at Work, Inc. Girls at Work empowers at-risk girls that struggle with feelings of powerlessness and defeated. The experience of building for the first time enables girls to overcome the fear associated with power tools, leaving them feeling powerful, strong and capable. For more information, please visit www.GirlsWork.org or call 603-345-0392. We welcome you to contact us to set up a meeting to tour our facility and witness first-hand the confidence we are building through our program.

About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire. The Foundation manages a growing collection of more than 1,800 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards nearly $40 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.

eTown recognizes Elaine Hamel – Girls at Work for “ECHIEVEMENT AWARD”

Girls are Powerful!Girls at Work, Inc. empowers girls with the tools to overcome adversity and build confidence to face current and future life challenges.

Their vision is a world where every girl feels confident and capable.

Only a handful of the girls they meet have had the opportunity to learn how to use power tools safely. They pride ourselves in providing girls with a safe and supportive environment to step out of their comfort zone and to build with other girls. Not only do they discover how capable they are, they also discover  how exciting it is to work as part of a team toward a common goal.

Click here to read more and hear the full interview.

Mike Cote’s Business Editor’s Notebook: Building the future with life skills and a band saw

WANTED: A BUS BIG enough to contain a woodworking shop and some volunteers to help build it.

Mel Gosselin poses with inspirational messages written on the walls by former students in the workshop of Girls at Work, where she was recently named CEO. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)Mel Gosselin poses with inspirational messages written on the walls by former students in the workshop of Girls at Work, where she was recently named CEO. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Girls at Work, a Manchester nonprofit that teaches girls and women how to make things with power tools and empower themselves in the process, wants to go mobile so it can expand its reach statewide.

Think of it as a food truck that smells like sawdust.

That’s a familiar scent to the girls ages 8 to 12 who participate in the eight-week after-school sessions at Girls at Work’s headquarters at 4 Elm St., in an old school building also home to the American-Canadian Genealogical Society.

Continue reading

GIRLS AT WORK HIRES CEO MEL GOSSELIN

New CEO Mell GosselinManchester, NH – The Board of Directors of Girls At Work is honored to announce the recent hire of Mel Gosselin as Chief Executive Officer.

Gosselin brings 25 years of dynamic leadership in the for-profit and non-profit worlds, including 13 years as Executive Director of the New Hampshire Food Bank.   During her tenure food distribution grew from 1.5 million to over 12 million pounds.  She was also recognized at a national level chairing and serving on a number of advocacy and research committees such as Hunger Action Month and the Feeding America National Advisory Council.

“Mel has a proven strategic track record, extensive knowledge of the New Hampshire non-profit world, and a wonderful, sincere connection with our mission of empowering girls with confidence and competence. Her experience in fundraising, program development, and capacity building are exactly what Girls At Work needs as we are poised to grow and expand our programs to reach more girls,” said Samantha Luker, chairman of the board of directors.

“I’m so excited to see Mel put her considerable experience building relationships with diverse stakeholders to work for our little builders,” said Founder and Program Director Elaine Hamel.

“From my professional experience, and as a woodworker myself, I know the empowering feeling of completing a project you weren’t sure you could do. Girls At Work puts that power in the hands of girls from our city who are told by music, movies and TV that women and girls are weak. In our classes and camps, they learn how strong they really are,” Gosselin said. “I can’t wait to share this incredible program with more girls in Manchester and beyond.”

Girls At Work is a not-for-profit organization that empowers girls through woodworking. For more than 15 years, Girls at Work has shown girls their own inner strength, resilience, and problem-solving skills, in direct contrast to a world that tells them they aren’t strong, smart or powerful. Through woodworking with power tools, we believe girls can show us all – and themselves – what they’re really made of.