What does leadership-in-action look like today? And what does it require for tomorrow? These are the questions asserted by Girls Rock! Rhode Island, a volunteer-based nonprofit that uses music creation and critical thinking to foster empowerment, collaborative relationships and the development of healthy identities in girls and women.
The spectacular brand of positive youth development nurtured by GRR cultivates engagement of the supreme variety, and no more so demonstrated than at the annual Girls Rock Camp. An intensive one-week day camp offered to girls ages 11-17, Rock Camp allows campers of all skill levels the opportunity to learn guitar, bass, drums, vocals or keyboards, and help every girl find her own voice. Campers form a band, write an original song and let it rip at the final Showcase, shredding for family, friends and neighbors.
The curriculum immerses young women in a proactive education-based environment, with classes running the gamut from screen printing and band merchandise creation, to body image and self-esteem workshops; from media literacy education, to concert and show promotion.
The first Girls Rock Camp was was held in 2010, and has since grown leaps and bounds. Today, GRR not only features year-round programming - including Ladies Rock Camp for adults, group lessons, and gear-loan programs - but now boasts two camps; one for ages 11-13, and a second for ages 14-17.
The addition of a second camp has provided an age-specific curriculum, addressing the critical variances in emotional and developmental needs, and enabling the foundational GRR point of difference to translate into life beyond camp.
Under the leadership of Executive Director - and human unicorn - Hilary Jones, the maturation of GRR has included steadfast fund development, which affords over half of the campers to receive financial aid, with about 40% of campers garnering full scholarships.
Music is a deliberate emphasis at GRR, of course, however the service and contribution of the organization exceeds the observable aspect of rocking out. Music creation is the vehicle for lessons encouraging collaboration, empowerment, self-expression, and mutual respect among girls and women, delivered in an organic approach designed for sustainability.
By championing the power of the youth voice, GRR directly addresses the strengths of young women, while simultaneously speaking to their qualities as the leaders of tomorrow. GRR’s forward-thinking model truly meets the needs of the times, favoring action over words, and envisioning a world in which gender and identity are assets, not limitations; where girls and women can actively name and claim their own strengths, expertise, and purpose in pursuing goals of their own accord; where girls feel encouraged, supported, and valued more for what they do than for how they look.
Girls Rock! Rhode Island Rock Camp Final Showcase
Friday August 14, 6pm
270 Broadway, Providence