Invest In Girls Receives Boston Club Advancement Award!

 IIG Founder Dune Thorne (3rd from the right), IIG Board Co-Chair Lisa Mullan (far right), IIG Executive Director Betsy Kelder (2nd from the right), IIG New England Program Director Erin White (3rd from the right) and IIG Board Member Joan Miller (2nd from the left)

IIG Founder Dune Thorne (3rd from the right), IIG Board Co-Chair Lisa Mullan (far right), IIG Executive Director Betsy Kelder (2nd from the right), IIG New England Program Director Erin White (3rd from the right) and IIG Board Member Joan Miller (2nd from the left)

The Boston Club announces Advancement Award recipients

Invest in Girls, which teaches financial literacy to high school girls, and the Somerville Village Program of The Home for Little Wanderers both won this year’s Advancement Award from The Boston Club, a professional women’s organization that works to advance women leaders.

The awards, providing $5,000 to each organization, were presented this morning at the Club’s Community Salute, at the Westin Copley Place.

Kathleen Collins, award committee chair, said the committee members decided to split the award between these two organizations that perfectly aligned with this year’s theme of recognizing programs for high school and college-aged women that “encourage innovation, creativity, and personal growth for long-term personal and financial success.” The winners were chosen from 12 applications from nonprofits in the Greater Boston area.

“Each of these recipients is incredibly well deserving, and we look forward to seeing the Award put into action towards their goals,” said Collins.

Invest in Girls, founded in 2010, teaches 10th - 12th grade girls valuable financial skills, and connects them to women in financial services leadership positions. Their curriculum consists of 15 one-hour workshops, designed to develop finance and budgeting knowledge, teach investment tools and strategies, and educate young women on the return on investment of attending college and the career paths available within financial services. The program is designed to both provide more women with the financial literacy required to grow their own wealth, and to develop a pipeline of women in the finance industry.

The program benefits not only participants, but their families as well. Often, students in the program become the first in their family to invest in the stock market, establish savings plans, or aspire to enter the financial sector. Through students passing the knowledge they gain onto their families, the program can reach more than just class participants.

Invest in Girls plans to use the funds to expand its programming into more schools. In the 2017-18 school year it offered their programming to 2,500 girls in 24 schools and community centers, including seven full-time programs and three pilot programs in the Boston area. The cost to run the full program at a school is $10,000, so the award provides half the sum needed to adding a new school.

The Home for Little Wanderers’ Somerville Village is designed to benefit homeless or at risk young women by helping them pursue post-secondary education. Somerville Village provides housing, therapeutic and emotional support, and educational supports to up to 15 women.

The six-month-old Somerville Village program is modeled on the successful Roxbury Village program, started in 2012. The program provides a place to live while participants are in school and support from life coaches to navigate the uncharted waters that they face as the first person in their family to attend college, work in internships and the job market.

The Home for Little Wanderers seeks state and local government funding on a per-client basis, which leads to a funding gap at the beginning of the program while they ramp-up operations. Somerville Village plans to use its award funds to bridge this gap during the startup process.