There were many teary eyes in the audience last year when Susan Jackson talked to us about her experiences at Just For Girls. Unfortunately, she is unable to attend in person this year so we spent some time with her as she reflected on this year at JFGE.
Susan, a member of the University Park Women’s Club, is also the Family/Student Coordinator at the school and is in a unique position to know just how important our donations of time, dollars and other resources have been for the girls. This year there are 80 girls at the school; many of whom face problems that we can’t even imagine. “Mom just lost her job, so we have to move again.” “We were just evicted from our apartment so we’ll be sleeping in the car for the next few weeks.” “Please Mrs. Jackson, can I have some shoes because I can’t walk in these any longer.” This is the world these children live in.
And that’s why UPWC plays such an important role in their lives! Every day, Susan witnesses the tremendous help that we give the girls. From the clothes that we donate so that the girl with the broken shoes can get though the day without tripping, to the time we spend with the girls reading to them and giving them positive reinforcement. Teaching them French and Manners; all to help give them a chance to have the opportunity to succeed. Susan is also thankful to us for the monetary donations that allow the girls to have experiences that many of us take for granted.
The girls are STILL talking about the trip to Mote Aquarium last year; standing in salt water, touching sharks, seeing an octopus and eating sub sandwiches! For quite a few, it was the best day of their lives. And how exciting would it be if even just one of the girls decided to pursue a career in oceanography because of this experience. Susan also wants to point out that 100% of all we donate goes directly to the girls.
Susan is enormously proud of JFGE and the work the staff do every day to help each girl reach her potential and she is equally as proud to be a member of the UPWC as we help them to attain that goal.