‘She Became’ Program Designed to Give Girls Skills and Confidence Comes to MCS

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Caroline Kirby, Staff Reporter

Madison Consolidated Schools is the first school system in the state to incorporate the ‘She Became’ program. The program is designed to teach employability skills and confidence in young female MCS students in the fifth grade. According to www.shebecame.org,  ‘She Became’ is “. . . an after school program for third through fifth-grade girls that operated entirely by high school and college students. We educate these students on the many possible careers that they can grow up to pursue. Instilling confidence in young girls that live in a world where men still hold the majority of leadership roles is incredibly important. Too often these girls that have strong voices and opinions are labeled as “bossy” and have been taught to remain quiet. We encourage them to instead utilize their skills to become the strong leaders we aim to show them they can be.” 

At Madison Consolidated Schools, the program is running a little differently than at the college level. MCHS and MJHS partner with this program. Instead of third through fifth-grade girls, the program focuses specifically on fifth-grade girls. The 2019-2020 school year has been an opportune time to begin this program, considering that MCS fifth-graders are finding their footing at the junior high. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors at the high school mentor these fifth-graders every other Friday after the school day ends.

‘Director of Marketing and Outreach, Paige Young, with two young ‘She Became’ members.

The program also features a successful career woman from within our own community, which inspires both the fifth-grade and high school girls. The purpose of each presenter is to give first-hand examples that anyone, especially women, can achieve anything that they set their minds to.

‘She Became’ originated at the University of Louisville in 2016. Haley Sage, a former Madison Consolidated High School student, fell in love with the program after beginning her freshman year at U of L. After participating in the program herself, Sage decided ‘She Became’ would be an excellent addition to student life in Madison.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) seniors and E-board leaders, President Caroline Kirby, Vice President of Programming Laney Cox, Director of Marketing and Outreach Paige Young, and Director of Membership and Communication Ally Reese, have been heading the program and partnering with JAG.

She Became President, Caroline Kirby, left, and Vice President of Programming, Laney Cox, discuss ideas during a She Became meeting.

Whitney Mathews, Madison Consolidated High School’s JAG Specialist, has been acting as the supervisor and coordinator of the program. Mathews, Kirby, and Sage presented the program idea to the school board during the summer of 2019 in order to secure the program. Since then, ‘She Became’ has been up and running at Madison schools.

“As soon as Haley Sage presented the opportunity to bring ‘She Became’ to Madison, a lightbulb went off. This is the perfect opportunity for our JAG students to practice the mentorship skills that they are taught in JAG. After a lot of hard work, we finally got the program approved by the board. It has been the best thing that we have followed through with so far,” Mathews stated.

Mathews continued, “The connection that the high school mentors have with the 5th-grade girls is amazing. They both look forward to every other Friday making those connections. I can’t wait to see where this program goes in the years to come. This is the first school in the state of Indiana to adopt the program, and I am hoping we will be the best one day.”

 

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