Emily looked right at the palm sander and with genuine fear asked ‘what if I can’t turn it off?’ Elaine Hamel did not flinch as she answered the 9-year-old, “Even if a put my hand on the sander, it cannot hurt me. If you can turn it on, you can turn it off.”
Yesterday at Swasey Central School in Brentwood, girls in the YMCA afterschool program built shaker peg boards with palm sanders, hammers and a drill press. At the end, they tucked their achievement under their arm and walked away with increased confidence, a stronger voice and the power of knowing they are successful. The Girls at Work mission dovetails with the YMCA in developing youth to reach their fullest potential.
“Children are natural learners. It is our goal to introduce them to many hands-on experiences that develop their whole self,” said Kimberly Meyer, Director of Community Operations for the Southern District YMCA. “Girls at Work brings a dimension of empowerment to girls as they learn a traditionally male-dominated skill. It’s a powerful life lesson for these young minds.”
Read more and see some great photos of the build on the Southern District YMCA site.