MATRIX visits Girls At Work, Inc. in Manchester
Girls at Work Inc., the award-winning nonprofit organization that empowers girls through woodworking in after-school and summer camp programs, has officially settled into their new headquarters of FIRST, the international student robotics program, in the Manchester Mill Yard. This month, Matthew Currid, a managing partner at MATRIX was invited by Elaine Hamel, Founder and Program Director to visit their new facility located adjacent to the SEE Science Center at 200 Bedford Street in Manchester, NH.
In this supportive environment, girls are empowered and gain a sense of accomplishment that lasts well beyond the build. During the tour MATRIX also learned that in addition to their after school, vacation and summer camp programs, they also customize a program for individuals and/or an organization! From birthday parties, home school groups, youth organizations, non-profit, and give back builds, Girls at Work can develop a build event that sharpens critical thinking and fosters teamwork and connection. They have worked with groups to build picnic tables, benches, raised beds, bird houses, bookcases, chairs, window boxes and little free libraries!
“As a father of two young children, I was encouraged to see an organization so dedicated to promoting the confidence of young women. The facility is great. I could absolutely see MATRIX hosting team-building events in this space.”
In addition to two woodshops, there is a lumber storage area and a state-of-the-art STEM workshop including 3D printers with dedicated space for the Girls at Work robotics team and for expanded science, technology, engineering, and math programming.
Aviation pioneer, Amelia Earhart once said, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up to make new trees.” Founder and program director, Elaine Hamel showed us the organization's "Kindness Closet" – a large space dedicated and filled with donations for their little builders. They have backpacks with school supplies, boots, socks, hats, sweatshirts and more. These items were all donated because of the kindness of so many.
“When you look down at the feet of a little girl whose soles on her shoes are no longer fully attached, flapping as she walks, or holes in the tips of her sneakers, because she outgrew them long ago, or she is wearing a short sleeve shirt that no longer really fits on a bitter cold winter day, it triggers something inside that knows we can do more.”
“But we can do more because of you, each of you who has been there for us to bridge the gap. Together, we can do things to help change the narrative for these little kids – that they are worth it, and it matters, it matters a lot.”
Whether it is spending time one on one in the workshops with their teen leaders or delivering the “Yes You Can” kits to their younger girls in the inner city; the kindness of each individual and each organization’s support shows up every day in these girls faces. It makes them stand tall, like the most solid trees that have the support of a strong root system.
MATRIX GIVES is proud to support such a worthy cause.