Our Mission

Completion of a Girls at Work program empowers each girl with tools to overcome adversity and build the confidence needed to face current and future life challenges with her own unique and powerful voice.

Many of our young builders are challenged by personal family struggles exacerbated by the limitations of economic hardship.  We strive to build partnerships with organizations sharing a mutual ambition to support girls from communities at-risk. Funding and support from local and national sources subsidize program costs for our community partners, including Title 1 schools, seeking to provide opportunities to prepare girls with the problem solving skills and personal strength to rise above the challenges encountered at home, in school, and on the job.

Our vision is a world where every girl feels confident and capable.

Our vision is a world where every girl feels confident and capable.

Girls at Work Builds Leaders

Girls at Work builds leaders. Our programs are designed to build confidence, strength and resilience through building with power tools in our after school and “Build Me Up” summer camp.

Our workshop is located in Manchester, NH. In addition to our after school, vacation and summer camp programs, we can customize a program for you and your organization.

From birthday parties, home school groups, youth organizations, non-profit, womens and give back builds, we’ll develop a build event that sharpens critical thinking and fosters teamwork and connection.
We’ve worked with groups to build picnic tables, benches, raised beds, bird houses, bookcases, chairs, window boxes and little free libraries!
You provide the people and we’ll provide all the tools and materials you’ll need to complete your project!

I am blown away by the impact this program has on the girls served. I believe that all girls should have the chance to participate and find voice, confidence and success in this program.

Nancy Frankel

Girls Scout camp director and board member of the national board of directors of the American  Camp Association


Elaine Hamel, Girls at Work Founder

Elaine Hamel

Founder & Program Leader

“I believe teaching girls and women how to use power tools to build provides an experience that shatters the lens of powerlessness that so many struggle with. Our girls and women need extreme measures to silence the voices of self doubt that consume them at every turn. I believe building does just that and also enables them to discover that the most powerful tool in their arsenal is their voice.”

  • Over 25 years experience as a general contractor specializing in residential renovations.
  • Has led 6 service trips to rebuild New Orleans homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina
  • Has empowered over 15,000 girls through building since founding Girls at Work in 2000

Board of Directors

Donald E. Bossi, Ph.D. is a General Partner with Technology Venture Partners (TVP) and has been actively engaged with the firm’s venture-capital investments, both as an operating executive and as a representative of the firm. As Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of two TVP portfolio companies, Aegis Lightware, Inc. and Inlet Technologies, Inc., Don was pivotal in leading the expansion efforts of both companies, as well as positioning them for successful acquisitions. In addition, he has served in key Board and Advisory roles across several TVP companies at various stages.

Prior to TVP, Don was Group President of JDS Uniphase Corporation’s Transmission Products Group, a division that grew ten-fold under his leadership. Don also served as President of FIRST, the leading global non-profit organization that inspires young people’s interest in science, technology, and engineering.

Don holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is an owner of a number of U.S. patents. Has also serves on the Boards of Directors for several privately held companies and non-profit organizations.

Nancy Boyer has focused her career working for mission-driven nonprofit organizations.  With a background in social work and evaluation, she has developed the capacity of organizations to assess and monitor impact.  Nancy leads the evaluation and impact work for FIRST, a global nonprofit providing youth ages 4-18 STEM programs.  A champion for inclusion and equity, Nancy built out the diversity and inclusion strategy for the organization to ensure that all youth have access to FIRST programs. Nancy has a passion for providing girls with opportunities to develop confidence and leadership skills, and has coached several all-girls robotics teams in the greater Concord community. Nancy has a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology from Boston University. In her free time Nancy enjoys training her two dogs and spending time outdoors with her family, especially on the trails of NH mountains and state parks.

Faina Bukher is the Program Director for the Changemaker Collaborative and provides leadership to programs such as the annual New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge, the annual summer Social Innovation Internship program, the Semester in the City program, as well as other events throughout the year. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Purchase College, an M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A from the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at UNH. As part of the Social Justice Educator’s team at UNH, Faina facilitates social justice workshops to faculty, staff and graduate students. In her previous roles at UNH, Faina was the Coordinator of the Social Justice Leadership Project, Assistant Coordinator of the Women’s Studies Program, and a Residence Hall Director. She has also taught a number of undergraduate courses including Introduction to Women’s Studies and Leadership for Social Change through the UNH Women’s Studies Program, and Paul Changemakers in the Paul College of Business and Economics at UNH.

Tamara Croteau was raised in Windham and earned her degree in Accounting/ Finance and Computer Information Systems from Southern New Hampshire University. With over 20 years of accounting and bookkeeping experience, Tamara is currently the Accounting and Human Resources Manager for Stoneface Brewing Company. Tamara enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children who keep them busy with crazy schedules.

Samantha Dionne is a passionate advocate for Manchester’s children. She has been working in the Manchester School District for 17 years and volunteers for organizations that support local children local including the Salvation Army, Kid’s Café, and Girls on the Run. A Manchester native, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education from Notre Dame College and a Master’s of Education in Reading and Writing from Rivier University where she is currently finishing her Education Specialist degree in School Psychology. Sam currently works as a school psychologist at two of Manchester’s elementary schools. In her free time, she loves to take walks with her dog, visit new places, and spend time with her family.

Holly Hiltz-Harrington is a life-long banker with strong ties to the communities that she’s worked in. She has a passion for helping others in her neighborhood by building programs that foster growth and promote leadership through mentoring and community involvement. Obstacles are the building blocks to empowerment and self-confidence, Holly believes that GAW plays a critical role in shaping the lives of these young girls and women by creating opportunities for all. Holly is a Granite State native who loves traveling, animals and nature.

Kristi Scarpone is a social justice and equity advocate committed to mentoring the next generation of female leaders. A University of New Hampshire graduate with 25+ years of fundraising and social innovation experience, Kristi manages a portfolio of fortune 100 companies, foundations and philanthropists for FIRST. An avid volunteer, she also serves on the Families in Transition-New Horizons and Global Force for Healing boards of directors, and volunteers throughout the community with her twin teenage daughters.

You have the Power to Empower

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