At Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here!
Early adolescence is a critical period for girls. In New York City, many early adolescent girls fall behind boys in academic test scores. Girls who are 10 to 14 years of age are more likely to commit suicide than boys of the same age, and they have a higher chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. One in six girls are at risk for obesity; according to the US Department of Health and Services, racial and ethnic minorities have a higher chance for being obese, and of these minorities, African-American women have the highest risk.
One approach to tackling these issues is through participation in sports, which scientific research has linked to better physical, mental, and physiological health, as well as better social interaction. New York Women's Foundation has said that the most effective programs for girls emphasize positive development, treat girls as resources, provide girls-only programming, and work with girls over a long period of time.
These qualities are present in Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH), a revolutionary non-profit organization founded in 1997 by Sharon Cohen. It promotes physical and emotional health and academic achievement. After nearly two decades, it remains the only education and ice skating program of its kind in the United States. Its mission is to use figure skating as a draw to provide young, underserved girls with education and fitness programs in a safe and supportive environment.