“The knowledge and insight to see how other people evolve from the program and myself evolving from the program is monumental”
Pam and her wife were encouraged to get involved with the program by a close friend who said that Girls at Work was made for them. She started out helping before the series of women’s classes were established and was one of the first instructors to come on board. Pam enjoys volunteering with Girls at Work because she really appreciates that the Women’s build program directly contributes to the success of the youth program. She also loves to see the look in peoples faces at the end of a class as they leave feeling accomplished and proud.
Pam grew up around power tools and has always been quite vocal in questioning the status quo and stereotypes of women. Girls at Work has opened Pam’s eyes because not all women have had similar experiences with power tools and some have “expectations that these tools aren’t made for them.” She goes on to say that “society in general has made women passive and now there is a shift that says it’s okay to be powerful and to have your own voice,” and that is what Girls at Work is all about.
Pam encourages women to let go of striving for absolute perfection. “When any woman comes here to build she is learning how to become confident and self-sufficient, if they are quick to point out all the flaws in their work they are devaluing their accomplishments and we strive to find beauty in the process and finished product of every build.”
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with Girls at Work, Pam says, “do it! No matter what your skill level is, if you want to commit, definitely take the steps to get involved – don’t wait, there is no reason to not get involved now.”
“I have gained knowing some great people and being able to do things that I love. I love working in the shop and I could do this everyday”
Mary Crawford has always enjoyed working with power tools and was doing some handy work with a partner for a few years until he was no longer able to work. She was getting bored and was looking for something to do when a friend told her about Girls at Work and said it was right up her alley. She stopped by to meet Elaine and watched her teach a class. Mary ended up staying to help with one of the Women’s Build classes that same day.
Mary is not only a women’s instructor for Girls at Work. She has put in many hours helping to maintain their space by cleaning, organizing, painting, building, etc. as well as participating in events such as DIVA. “I enjoyed working on DIVA night, Mel and I ran one of the rooms and it was really rewarding to see all that we accomplished.” Mary has continued to stay involved because she thinks it is a good cause to support.
Mary encourages people who are interested in getting involved with Girls at Work to go for it. “You will meet really great people and you’ll enjoy working with the girls. I have really enjoyed teaching the Women’s Classes and watching women who have never used power tools finish a project and seeing how proud they are.”
“It’s fun for me because I get to talk about tools in a way that I don’t in my own home – And the component of people is the most important piece for me. I love that we get to help women feel strong.”
Kelly grew up using power tools and as a result has gained confidence and strength to tackle challenges throughout her life as well as seek opportunities. Recently, she was elected as one of the youngest Goffstown Select(wo)men and is passionate about helping women find their inner power. She has always been actively engaged in the community and served two years in Americorps programs prior to becoming involved with Girls at Work. She heard about the organization from a good friend who said it would be a perfect fit for Kelly and her wife. Since Kelly has started volunteering with Girls at Work she has been essential in growing the Women’s Build program. She has helped spearhead the introduction of a series of Women’s Build classes that began this past January and is the Lead Instructor for the program.
Kelly didn’t realize the impact that she was going to have on women through teaching. She says, “I can help other women find that power that society tells them they shouldn’t have.” Kelly acknowledges that the classes at Girls at Work are not “normal” because the opportunities for women and girls to build are rare. She reflects on a really cool experience when teaching and someone came up to her after class and said, “I was absolutely terrified of power tools and now i’m not.” Kelly talks about how being apart of Girls at Work is “a good reminder that everyone has different life experiences and approaches things in different ways.”
Kelly offers a bit of advice for those interested in getting involved with Girls at Work. “It’s not about the tools. It’s about the process of using critical thinking skills and what happens internally. You have to do this, this is not a normal experience that women get to have. There is a place for everyone at girls at work and there is no limit to who can be involved.”