Achieving goals and developing life skills… that’s what an expanding North Dakota program is teaching young girls to do.
Emily Medalen found out how BIO girls is working towards a gender-equal future.
The nonprofit organization teaches 2nd-6th grade girls that they are equal to everyone around them – and can do anything they put their mind to.
“Girls are powerful, and they can do anything,” says Missy Currie, Site Director, Bismarck BIO Girls.
This belief, along with growing up feeling inferior to males, is what got Missy Currie invested in BIO girls.
“When I was young, girls didn’t play baseball. I was the only girl that played baseball on my team. And I remember that being an issue. I was told “You can’t. You can’t do this.” And I don’t ever want girls to experience that. Ever,” says Currie.
This session’s theme was “Like a Girl,” so the girls and their mentors built a “wall of doubt” full of stereotypes…
And they destroyed it.
“Even if, like, somebody comes up to you and says you can’t do this, you can say that “I know I can do this, but if you think I can’t, I can show you,” says Mya Jones, 3rd Grade.
“Empower them. Show them their value and their worth. Get them some tools that they need to be successful,” says Currie.
Currie says instilling these values and self-confidence at a young age is the best way to prepare females for a fulfilling future.
“The 6th grade is when the self-doubt and the self-esteem issues become the highest in girls – so that’s why we wanted to hit this age group. To give them some of the tools they need to navigate that really difficult time in their life,” says Currie.
She hopes these girls will take lessons learned at BIO girls, and pass them along throughout their lives to everyone they meet… no matter what gender, religion, or nationality they may be.
“The lessons that they learn here, the kindness, the empowerment, the building each other up. I want them to all take that back to their individual schools, and watch it spread,” she says.
If there’s one thing she wants these BIO girls to remember, it’s this:”They can become really whatever and whoever they want to be. There’s really no stopping them.”
“Girls can do anything boys can do. And sometimes girls can do better stuff,” says Kate Klein, 3rd Grade.
“Girls are brave and strong,” says Jones.
These girls aren’t only getting stronger mentally, they’re gaining some physical strength as well.
At the end of every session, they all go outside together and go for a run… they’re building up to be able to finish a 5K at the end of the 12 week program.
The girls are going to run their 5K on September 21st at U Mary Campus – anyone is welcome and encouraged to come watch and cheer them on!
Click the link below for details on BIO Girls and find a group near you.