A Space to Explore Healthy Sexuality and Careers in Health Care
We believe all girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies. In addition to showing youth the services YWCA Minneapolis has to offer around healthy living, our afterschool and Eureka! programs embed healthy decision-making and healthy sexuality education to ensure young people have the confidence and skills to be strong, smart and bold.
Health Care Ambassadors
Girls Inc. Health Care Ambassadors is a group of female-identified and non-binary high school students learning about health disparities and health care careers while exploring issues of representation and community health equity. From activities like Health Care Professionals BINGO to Community Health Mapping, the youth are gaining knowledge of different career requirements and how to bring a critical eye to health issues. After one of our sessions, a group member stated, “This was so fun! There was a lot of information I didn’t know about the ethics in the medical field and I want to learn more.”
Exploring Biomedical Engineering, Nutrition, Dentistry and More
Our second cohort is interested in exploring health care careers in biomedical engineering, nutrition, dentistry and neurosurgery. Counselors arrange opportunities to meet with professionals in these fields and shadow at different health care spaces.
National Healthy Sexuality Champions
YWCA Minneapolis is also representing youth on a national scale. Samia, a Girls Inc. Eureka! participant, and Elena, Girls Inc. OST Coordinator, were selected as 2019 Healthy Sexuality Champions. They joined one other student and eight staff from across the country to provide Girls Inc. with insight and ideas about current healthy sexuality programming resources, needs of young people and actions to take for Girls Inc. programs across the country.
Confidence to Stand Up
YWCA Minneapolis Girls Inc. has given Samia a space to learn about her body. “With all girls, it’s more comfortable to bring up questions, and we explore issues without judgment about my culture and beliefs.” Samia felt “really heard” at the Healthy Sexuality Champions gathering and noted that as the only Muslim present, she was able to bring a unique perspective to the topic and do things for others from her background. Samia is bringing her voice back to YWCA Minneapolis as Girls Inc. develops peer education opportunities for older youth. “I really like that teens have a voice in Girls Inc. — it gives us the confidence to stand up for other issues outside of programming.” Samia is in one of our Eureka! cohorts and plans to become a nurse-midwife.
“I really like that teens have a voice in Girls Inc. — it gives us the confidence to stand up for other issues outside of programming.”
Stay tuned! Applications for youth to join Health Care Ambassadors will open again in the spring.