(NORCROSS, GA)— HealthMPowers, Boys and Girls Clubs of Georgia, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, and Wolf Wellness Lab at the University of West Georgia have selected 14 middle-school girls as student leaders for the new Girls Empowering Movement Program (GEM). Sponsored by The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, GEM is a five-year statewide program designed by girls, for girls to improve middle school girls’ physical activity and fitness levels.
Spurred by Georgia FitnessGram® data that shows a sharp decline in girls’ aerobic capacity from 51 percent in 5th grade to only 31 percent in 12th grade and a gender disparity in fitness levels among middle school girls and boys, the GEM program will empower and engage 18,000 girls from 120 sites across Georgia. The program will be implemented in schools, Girl Scout Troops, and Boys and Girls Clubs starting in the fall of 2021.
The following students were selected to serve on the GEM Leadership Team:
Giselle Adan, Douglas County
Callie Barger, Bulloch County
Brookelyn Dunn, Gwinnett County
Ayshiah Frazier, Haralson County
Nevaeh Graham, Carroll County
Aniyah Harris, Muscogee County
Timmea Jordan, Dougherty County
Grace Koster, Jackson County
Sophia Price, Glynn County
Angel Sheffield, Lowndes County
Ella Sipe, Fulton County
Kennedi Ward, Henry County
Merci Williams, Decatur County
Pratima Yellayi, Forsyth County
The leaders have worked closely with HealthMPowers staff during the design phase of the program. The girls collectively decided on the name GEM because they felt it represents the strength, value and confidence they hope to inspire in their peers. The Team also announced the project in a video and provided direction in creating the GEM logo.
“The collaboration and insights from the GEM Leadership Team have been integral to creating a physical activity program tailored to meet girls’ needs,” said Christi Kay, Project Director, HealthMPowers.
The Girls Empowering Movement is an initiative led by HealthMPowers in partnership with: Boys and Girls Clubs of Georgia, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, and Wolf Wellness Lab at the University of West Georgia. The organizations are working together to ensure that the girls’ voice drives all program elements and keeps them at the forefront.
For more information about the Girls Empowering Movement (GEM) program, visit HealthMPowers.org/GEM.
HealthMPowers promotes healthy habits to build a better future for children. By integrating nutrition education and physical activity into schools, early care centers, and out of school time sites, the settings where children spend their time, we create a culture that supports lifelong healthy lifestyle choices for children, families and communities.