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

Leadership

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
Beth Dever, Executive Director

Beth Dever

Executive Director

“Girls at Work is about encouraging and allowing every girl to learn how to rise above adversity, push beyond obstacles, and find their voice. The young and impressionable girls that walk through the door of GAW learn how to say ‘can’ not ‘can’t’ and ‘will’ not ‘maybe’. Each project they complete, the more empowered they become!”

  • 10 years experience in nonprofit management
  • 20 years experience in board development and strategic planning
  • 30 years experience in coordinating and leading youth programs
  • BS in Parks & Recreation, University of New Hampshire
  • Former Executive Director, Tapply-Thompson Community Center
  • Senior Program Associate, The Council of Chief State School Officers
Kathryn Conway, Program Director

Kathryn Conway

Communications/Program Coordinator

“As the beneficiary of rights earned on my behalf from generations of brave, strong, and empowered women, including my mother and grandmothers, the importance of the work done here at the shop is not lost on me. When I see these little girls building, I am reminded that these are future leaders being equipped to shape a better world with even greater opportunity for my granddaughters and their daughters.”

  • Former small business owner
  • Over 20 years of event planning and production expertise
  • Equestrian and passionate fan of horses

Board of Directors

Anna Caron is passionate about STEM education as a pathway for girls to realize their potential. Born in Manchester, she graduated from Colby College then served two years with AmeriCorps within the City Year New Hampshire and VISTA programs. Anna earned her M.Ed. from the University of New Hampshire and is now an elementary teacher in Salem.

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.

Jessica Watts is a lifelong learner committed to empowering girls and women. A University of New Hampshire graduate with 15 years of sales, marketing and operations experience, primarily in the male-dominated beer industry, Jessica is a passionate leader as the Director of Sales and Commercial Operations for Stoneface Brewing Company in Newington. She enjoys spending time outdoors along the Lakes and Seacoast Regions of New Hampshire.

You have the Power to Empower

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