A group of 14 local teens from Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, a nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold, are gearing up for a once-in-lifetime trip to Washington D.C. next week, where they will have the exciting opportunity to leave their footprints on our nation’s capital.  
Over the course of the five days in Washington, Girls Inc. members will meet with the offices of our local representatives and senators, including Congresswoman Lois Capps and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, to discuss youth mentoring grants and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) legislation. 

The girls will spend time exploring the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Air & Space Museum—one of the world’s most visited museums—touring Google and Microsoft’s D.C. offices, visiting monuments and doing a White House Medical Unit tour.

They will also have the opportunity to explore college campuses such as George Washington University, providing them with a broader context for their options and possibilities for their futures. 
For many of the participants, it will be their first time flying on an airplane, leaving the state or staying in a hotel.
“Our programs are designed to expose girls at a young age to strong, smart and bold female role models and diverse career paths, including government and policy-making, so they can begin envisioning their own paths to success and establishing life goals with the confidence that their goals can be achieved,” said Victoria Juarez, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “We’re so proud to be developing the next generation of female leaders—and these girls are beyond excited to get out of their comfort zones and discover the city where world-changing decisions are made every day.” 

Members from Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s Eureka! program are preparing for a five-day trip to Washington, where they will be encouraged to step outside their comfort zones while exploring a new city and becoming better prepared for college and the real world. (Kilho Park Photo)

The girls, who will be entering their junior year of high school, are members of the organization’s Eureka! program, a five-year, college-bound program that aims to break gender stereotypes by encouraging girls to discover and explore different career paths and fields. Eureka! also includes fitness, nutrition and personal development activities that encourage girls to be healthy, strong and self-confident.

 Following the trip, participants will be asked to share their experiences with members of City Council and other local clubs. The girls will also be blogging and sharing photos from Washington next week on the Girls Inc. website. 
The organization 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. The girls traveling to Washington D.C. are part of the program’s first cohort and will be entering their fourth year with Eureka!

For more information about Girls Inc. of Carpinteria or the Eureka! program or to make a donation, please visit www.girlsinc-carp.org or call 805.684.6364. 

About Girls Inc. of Carpinteria

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria is a member of Girls Incorporated®, a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. With local roots dating to 1864 and national status since 1945, Girls Inc. has responded to the changing needs of girls through research-based programs and public education efforts that empower girls to understand, value and assert their rights. We provide programs for girls 6 to 18 years old that focus on science, math and technology; health and sexuality; economic and financial literacy; sports skills; leadership and advocacy; and media literacy. To learn more, become a volunteer or offer support, please visit www.girlsinc-carp.org/

—Daniella Alkobi represents Girls Inc. of Carpinteria.