Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, a nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold, is calling on local businesses to partner with its Eureka! Program by sponsoring an extern to support, mentor and encourage this summer as she navigates the workforce for the first time.
Eureka! is a five-year, college-bound program that breaks gender stereotypes by encouraging girls to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through engaging, hands-on activities, girls are able to discover and explore different career paths. Eureka! also includes fitness, nutrition, and personal development activities that encourage girls to be healthy, strong, and self-confident.
In the third year of the program, Eurekans shift their programming to the workplace. After a week of training, the teens are offered an externship in their field of interest and work approximately 80 hours over four weeks in July.
“Eureka is designed to prepare our girls for college while fostering career interests in fields where women have historically been underrepresented and industries positioned for exponential growth, such as STEM,” said Victoria Juarez, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “Our goal is to better prepare local teens for college and to engage in an increasingly competitive job market, becoming models of strong, smart and bold success. We ask the local business community to help us develop the next generation of professional female leaders by becoming an extern host.”
The program pairs externs with businesses throughout Santa Barbara County for this experiential work opportunity.
Girls Inc. of Carpinteria launched its five-year Eureka! program in 2012 to provide leadership and education enhancement opportunities for teen girls, beginning the summer before their eighth grade year up through the end of high school. In addition to a four-week component at UCSB during the summer, the program includes follow-up workshops throughout the year and college campus visits to universities such as UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, Pepperdine University and Long Beach State.
Girls Inc. launched the summer externship last year for its third-year participants, and the results proved successful for both the externs and the local businesses.
“We feel deeply and strongly about encouraging women to be business savvy, nurturing their entrepreneurial instincts, and forging a drive within them for success and independence,” said Patti Pagliei, founder of Carpinteria-based Waxing Poetic, who sponsored a Girls Inc. extern last summer. “Alisa was so eager to learn the ins and outs about how our company is operated, and did a fantastic job learning the ropes. She’s a bright, lovely young lady and we are confident that she will go far, and on to do great things.”
“I learned about all the components that make a successful business function,” said Alisa Lemere, a Girls Inc. of Carpinteria member and Eureka! participant who completed her externship last summer with Waxing Poetic. “I got to spend time with the sales team, design team, accountants, customer service team, and many other wonderful people. Overall the experience was amazing and I loved being a part of this awesome company.”
Waxing Poetic will be participating in the summer externship program again this summer.
Business professionals interested in sponsoring a Girls Inc. Eureka! extern should contact Kayla Cherland at [email protected] or 805.684.6364. For more information about the Eureka! Program, please visit www.girlsinc-carp.org.
Eureka! is a partnership between Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, UCSB’s Early Academic Outreach Program and Easy Lift Transportation. Program sponsors include Deckers Brands, ExxonMobil, Southern California Edison, Venoco Inc., the Williams Corbett Foundation and the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara.
— Daniella Alkobi is a publicist representing Girls Inc. of Carpinteria.