Unleashed in Action
The Unleashed program is an integration of leadership development, social-emotional learning, and activism. Our goal is to arm girls with the critical tools necessary to navigate complex social problems throughout the course of their lives.
We believe in instilling a strong sense of self in our girls, and our methodology focuses on strengthening the core skills necessary for individual and collaborative leadership. After participating in Unleashed, our girls have learned to:
- Embrace their power and develop a sense of self and identity
- Be authentic and stay true to their core values and beliefs
- Make a difference and create an impact in their world
- Use their voice and communicate effectively
- Step out of their comfort zone
- Build a strong, diverse, and cohesive community
At its core, Unleashed is a 12-week after-school leadership program for middle-school girls that is led by master’s-level certified coaches with an expertise in development who are trained in the Unleashed models of social justice and power.
Adolescence is the ideal time for girls to develop the critical tools needed to be powerful females. Not only are girls at the crux of identity development, they are also experimenting and beginning to define who they are. Unleashed provides girls with positive templates for leadership, civic involvement, self-awareness, and interpersonal relationships that will impact their future.
Through the Unleashed program, girls develop a deep understanding of a social issue and learn to diagnose the root of the problem. They are able to see the relationship between society’s treatment of animals and larger social issues. As a result, Unleashed girls think critically about complex social issues and how to address them. More importantly, they learn how to advocate for themselves and for others to create lasting change.
Through the vehicle of animal rights and welfare, adolescent girls have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on leadership skills. Unleashed provides girls the opportunity to take ownership, and empowers them to create an impact and make a difference in their world. By taking ownership of projects with tangible results, Unleashed girls gain not only confidence but also a sense of self-mastery.
Integrated into the Unleashed program is our puppy rescue organization. The puppy rescue serves two purposes:
- It fuels passion and keeps participants engaged in the program
- It strengthens social-emotional intelligence
Additionally, through the puppy rescue, Unleashed girls gain firsthand knowledge of the issues underlying animal rights and welfare. Armed with this knowledge, girls can identify ways to create change and develop powerful solutions.
Unleashed Leads Day
Unleashed Leads Day is a cornerstone of the program and helps girls hone their skills as social activists. The event, open to the public, features booths and activities designed to educate and inspire others to make a difference in animal welfare.
Girls spend several weeks leading up to Leads Day working together to establish their priorities for the day. Each girl contributes to the success of Leads Day, as program participants are responsible for designing and operating the booths, fundraising, and educating the public.
The program culminates with a formal graduation attended by family and friends.
Each girl is presented as an expert in animal rights and welfare and discusses her transformation journey to becoming a change-maker and leader. The girls share their insights about:
- What it means to be a powerful female
- The sisterhood that developed over the course of the program
- How they advanced the cause of animal rights and welfare
All Unleashed graduates are invited to serve on the Unleashed Girls Philanthropy Council. Serving on the council is optional, but it allows Unleashed graduates to continue to enhance the skills they learned in the program.
The Unleashed Girls Philanthropy Council helps shape and guide the evolution of Unleashed. The council gains a deeper understanding of grassroots activism and fundraising as well as completing service learning hours by volunteering in multiple capacities within Unleashed, the organization.
In January 2015, we hope to launch an exclusive social networking site for Unleashed graduates and current participants so they can easily remain connected to the organization and stay a part of the Unleashed community.