What Do We Want for Girls?

Over the past couple of months the Girls in the Game staff and board has been working on our strategic plan for the next three years. When we first started this process, we assumed that our mission, vision and values were fine as they were; why mess with a good thing? Yet when we took a closer look, we realized that our mission statement was, to be honest, a bit clinical and uninspiring. It didn’t really get at the heart of what we are working for every day.

Girls in the Game provides and promotes sports and fitness opportunities, nutrition and health education, and leadership development to enhance the overall health and well-being of girls.

It was a true statement, but Girls in the Game does so much more than this! So we set out to update our mission, vision and values. This has involved a lot of round table discussions, word association exercises and Post-It notes, as you can see below!

At Girls in the Game, it seems like we are constantly evaluating ourselves. We evaluate each of our programs for effectiveness and to see if our participants can still relate to the topics we teach. We evaluate our girls for how they change and grow through our programs. As a Development Team, we assess the effectiveness of each of our events, and we carefully track our numbers on social media. But through this process, I become ever more aware of how vital it is to occasionally take a step back, catch our breath and look at the bigger picture.

IMG_2627What do we want for girls? It seems to always come back to this essential question. This question is a part of the training that every coach goes through, a question that every single intern or staff-member engages with. And it’s always a touchstone in our conversations on the bigger picture.

So what did Girls in the Game come up with after hours of discussion and several pads of Post-It notes? I think it’s pretty inspiring!

Our Mission: At Girls in the Game, every girl finds her voice, discovers her strength and leads with confidence through fun and active leadership, sports, and health programs.

Our Vision: Girls in the Game empowers all girls to be game-changers.

Values:

We nurture the whole girl. Our programs encourage physical and emotional health and promote active minds, bodies and hearts.

We believe in the power of girls. Our safe, girl-only space creates an openness for girls to grow and discover their strength and leadership.

We value teamwork. Through partnerships and relationships, we will create stronger, healthier communities and a positive, cooperative environment.

We strive for courage. Recognizing the value in taking risks, we are gritty, brave and resourceful, resulting in better outcomes and successes.

We celebrate diversity. We are stronger as a whole team than we are as individuals and we recognize the unique contributions of all.

We aim for quality. We are thoughtful stewards, results-oriented and data driven. Above all, we work with an ongoing awareness of the needs of girls and are tireless in our efforts to meet them.

We are vital. We boldly embrace change, respond to the needs of girls and are passionately driven towards excellence in everything we do.

This is what we value at Girls in the Game. And they’re not just for staff; these are also the things that we strive to incorporate and teach in programming to all of our girls. This is our answer to the question, What do we want for girls?

And it’s been so inspiring! At first, honestly, I thought this process would be boring; but when I read our new mission, vision and values I feel excited to come to work each day! It reminds me of how important my to-do list really is, even if that list just includes updating our Twitter account and data-entry from our recent gala!

So if you’re feeling a bit stuck in the rut during this season when it seems like we’re just waiting for the spring to come (at least here in Chicago!), it can help to take a step back. When you give yourself some room to breathe, it’s so much easier to see the bigger picture. That was all it took for me to remember that at the end of the day, my goal is for girls to find their voices, discover their strengths and lead with confidence! And that’s something I can definitely get on board with!

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