Monday, March 13, 2017

Girls Empowerment in February

There were a lot of great activities to be had in February during our Girl's Empowerment After School programs.

Team building and cooperation are invaluable tools for the girls to learn early on. One way that we have them build up those skills are through games. The girls were tied together at the wrists and then tasked with creating a delicious bagel pizza snack for the day. They had to assign roles, coordinate their movements, and make sure that they had enough made for everyone to have the tasty snack.

Feb 2 - TechgyrlsFeb 2 - Techgyrls
Feb 2 - Techgyrls

We continued to develop this skill through a poetry activity. The girls worked as a group to create works of poetry line by line. The first participant started the poem off and each successive girl added her own spin to the poem .

Express Yourself - Poetry by the Lin Express Yourself - Poetry by the LinExpress Yourself - Poetry by the Lin

Participants were once again able to take a trip to the Apple Store for a workshop, this time on video production. They worked in groups to plan shoot and edit a video using iPads, Macs, and iMovie. They had free reign to decide what kind of video they wanted to make one was a documentary , one a thriller, and one a music video journey through the apple store. The girls really loved learning a new skill and had a lot of fun getting creative with their group videos.


For Valentine's Day the girls had a special project lined up. They incorporated LEDs into Valentine's Day cards and favors for their loved ones. They made flowers, pop-up cards, valentines, and others.

Valentines' Day LED FlowersValentines' Day LED FlowersValentines' Day LED FlowersValentines' Day LED FlowersValentines' Day LED Flowers

The girls also learned a simple way of transforming their cell phones into a Virtual Reality experience. They cut and assembled cardboard VR holders, fit the lenses into the viewers, and attached velcro fasteners to complete the base design. They then were able to decorate their holders with sequins, pom-poms, pictures, and anything else that they wanted to use to create their custom viewer.

Cardboard VR ViewerCardboard VR ViewerCardboard VR ViewerCardboard VR Viewer

Next month will bring more collaborations, new experiments, and great art projects.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

YWCA After School Programs Celebrate the Holidays and Participate in a Social Movement


The holidays dominated December and January with good cheer and fun crafts. Our annual holiday party was a fun time for all. Thanks to a partnership with Toys For Tots the girls each received gifts.


The girls also made gingerbread houses with gingerbread kits. They had lot of fun decorating with the frosting and candy that our Executive Director, Jessica Kubel, taught them to make.


Later in the month, Jessica also taught them the history of  Hannukah and how to make dredels.


After Winter Break, the girls got a chance to participate in social action by making signs for the Women's March. They learned more about the importance of art in political movements and got creative with the messages that they wanted to send out with the women attending the march.


January also brought some new science activities. The girls learned first how to grow borax crystals on pipe cleaners. Then once they were more proficient, they made keychains, necklaces, and other keepsakes out of their creations.


 Jomie also introduced the girls to LilyTiny, a small programmable circuit board that lights LEDs in sequence. She used this circuit board to inspire the girls to create their own light-up stuffed characters. Each girl designed, cut out, and sewed their character. Then they used conductive thread to sew in the LilyTiny circuit board and LED lights. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Donor Love

Dear Friends,

Investing in girls and women is fundamental to breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty, and allowing women to lead better, equal, and more productive lives. When we support the growth and empowerment of women and girls, we improve the quality of life for all. .

The YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley hosts several programs that aim to empower young women – Tech Gyrls, Express Yourself! and our Girls Empowerment Summer Camp. Each year dozens of young women aged 10 to 17 benefit from these opportunities.

I am writing to ask that you please consider renewing your support with a tax-deductible gift to support our scholarship fund. The demand for our programs grows every year. The scholarship fund ensures that every young woman who is interested in participating in our programs is able to take advantage of them.

Many of our program participants and summer campers come from disadvantaged families and are dependent on scholarships to enable them to attend.

 We have had the honor of serving the Pasadena area for over 110 years, and we intend to serve our community for many more, with the help of supporters like you. Thank you for your past support and we hope that you are able to renew your investment in the young women and girls in our community. We can’t do this without you, and with you we make a difference.

Jessica Kubel
Executive Director

Angeline Chen
Board President