Group seeks to cultivate opportunities for girls |

Group seeks to cultivate opportunities for girls

30 attend Women's Foundation of Colorado luncheon

Members of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado sent out a call to Moffat County leaders to take an active role in helping to develop girls into educated, self-sufficient members of the community.

Thirty women answered by attending a luncheon Tuesday to discuss the need.

Northwest Colorado’s grass-roots movement, “New Frontiers: For Women & Girls,” is moving a little faster in Routt County than in Moffat, and committee members want to see that change.

Routt County offers three programs for young women: one for fifth-graders and their mothers about preparing for puberty, a career day for eighth-graders and a financial symposium for high school juniors.

Moffat County has borrowed the program for eighth-graders and successfully hosted a daylong “Girls to Women” event for four years.

“We feel it’s time to move on and bring other things,” steering committee member Cindy Biskup said. “One of the things we’ve found is you have to continue this education over and over. That’s how it works with youth.”

Several needs were stated: Creating economic self-sufficiency, preventing teen domestic violence and drug and alcohol use and encouraging higher education.

“We’d like to make changes in what we’re educating girls to do,” said Valerie Lee, a Women’s Foundation trustee. “It’s very important to us that young girls become independent.”

Statistics show there are some challenges to overcome in making that happen. In Moffat County, the average woman makes $22,080 for the same job for which a man earns $37,288, according to the Yampa Valley Partner Community Indicators report.

“This isn’t about bashing men; it’s about creating our own income, our own self-sufficiency,” said Audrey Danner, also a steering committee member. “We have some work to do.”

Education is the key, said Linda Hamlet, foundation trustee. She said improving Colorado’s high school graduation rates for girls is important, but not the only factor.

“I think we need to look a little larger than just getting our girls through high school,” she said. “Girls to Women is a great program to help girls set goals and make good choices.”

Four girls who attended last year’s Girls to Women workshop attended Tuesday’s luncheon, each saying the experience was a positive one.

They spoke about a game they played, “Reality Bites,” that guided them through career choices and financial planning.

“I was a flight attendant,” sophomore Katie Kincaid said. “The only way I would’ve made it is if I would’ve landed a rich pilot.”

Luncheon organizers put out a call for people to serve on a steering committee that had an interest in programs for youths.

Anyone interested can call Biskup at 824-5752 or Danner at 824-8233, ext. 241.

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