What we do matters:
Girls’ Career Institute (GCI) truly has an impact on students –
A whole big world was revealed to 17-year old Isabella of Jersey City when she spent two and half days in June at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, meeting a variety of professional women, living in a dorm and realizing that she belongs in college.
Isabella was one of two CASA (Court Appointed State Advocates for Children) girls in New Jersey selected to attend the Girls Career Institute, sponsored by the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs.
The institute, founded in 1947, offers a mini-college experience to 144 girls, who, although they are rising seniors, may be unsure about the college process or if college is the right choice for them.
Isabella, an excellent student at County Prep in Jersey City, attended lectures by a psychiatrist, a reporter and a Goggle employee, who works on the business side of the tech giant. “You could tell she really knew what she was talking about, “exclaimed Isabella, who would like to open her own business someday,maybe in the self-care industry.
Zumba was a first for Isabella and she loved it. She also loved the Institute’s housemothers, her roommate Becca and the food, especially the four-cheese pasta. All the girls participated in a talent show as well as “Spirit Night” for which Isabella and her team did a presentation about the history of women in sports. “We made tennis racquets out of cardboard and all kinds of props from whatever we brought from home,” she recounted with enthusiasm.
Four years ago, Isabella and her younger sister entered foster care. CASA was assigned to their case and was formally involved until the girls were reunified with their father two years ago. Since that time, CASA has remained in their lives and is now eager to help Isabella through the college process.
What was the highlight of the Girls Career Institute for Isabella? “I met so many types of people, “she recounted. “I was so nervous, but everyone was so kind. The classes were incredibly informative, and I was happy to be a part of it.”
This article was taken from the Hudson County CASA newsletter.