( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Girls Rock: A Collaborative Program Designed to Keep Supporting and Inspiring Youth Remotely
ENSPIRE Contributor: Amanda Hirsch
Many teens are feeling hopeless with the cancellation of their summer plans and summer programs shutting down due to COVID-19. To support these teens, Girls Rock Santa Barbara launched its first-ever paid internship program for teen girls and gender-expansive youth. The six weeks “Summer of Love Internship” takes place from June 29th to August 7th, and each intern will be compensated $500 at the end of the program.
Girls Rock Santa Barbara is a non-profit organization that teaches self-worth, confidence, and empowerment to young girls and women through music education, performance, and creative expression. The organization provides diverse, inclusive spaces for female-identifying youth through self-discovery and the arts. Their paid internship program is the first of its kind within Girls Rock Santa Barbara.
This program allows the organization to continue to provide a safe, collaborative environment and encourage lifelong skills such as positive peer bonding and building self-confidence and self-worth. “Many of our campers, counselors, even local bands spend the entire year holding their breath until they can truly be themselves at camp,” explains Executive Director Jen Baron. “For many of them, Girls Rock Santa Barbara summer camp programs are an environment unlike anything else they have in their lives, and we want to keep instilling those feelings of safety, empowerment, and accomplishment however we can.”
Hundreds of high-school-aged girls applied to the program, from incoming freshmen to newly graduated seniors, and from as far away as Tokyo, Japan. 42 interns were chosen to participate in six arts-focused disciplines of their choice: record label, recording artist, social media, journalism, photography, and podcasting.
Over 50 special guests have been secured to participate throughout the internship including Grammy-nominated music artist Elle King, Lennon Stella manager Genevieve Thompson, Hole drummer Patty Schemel, and Twentyseven Music owner and songwriter Jenna Andrews. Each of the six disciplines is taught by an experienced female mentor who will share their knowledge and resources with her assigned interns. Interns will work within and between their disciplines to publish polished pieces each week, as well as host and share virtual community events and music performances via Instagram Live. From their respective homes, all 42 interns and their six mentors – including young musicians, journalists, and marketers just beginning to discover their authentic voices – will come together, immersing themselves in their chosen disciplines to produce meaningful, hands-on work each week.
Upon completion of the six-week program, interns will receive a $500 stipend, letter of recommendation from her/their mentor, and an official Certificate of Completion. Girls Rock Santa Barbara has fundraised tirelessly to be able to offer this paid internship program at a time when so many teen girls need it most. They raised $21,000 to furnish 42 interns’ stipends, as well as the cost of employing six inspiring mentors, and the wages of staff who are pulling the virtual strings behind the scenes.
To support Girls Rock Santa Barbara’s mission to empower girls and gender-expansive youth in any environment, please visit their website here.