Women face unique challenges related to designing life and career paths, including a persistent gender-based earning gap; under-representation in key fields; and often-daunting parenting and family demands. At the same time, society needs women to make critical contributions--paid and unpaid--over the course of their lifetimes.
Attendance at an all-girls institution provides special opportunities to learn about and to practice leadership in its many forms. Through James Center initiatives and partnerships, Garrison Forest has expanded its leadership development curriculum to offer programs that allow students to explore life options while learning about potential careers and pathways to serving the public good.
Recent initiatives include:
- Creation of several student intern roles within the Middle Grades Partnership (MGP) program to provide students with an intensive experience in mentoring younger students and in serving as assistant teachers.
- An Upper School Career Day designed to provide students with opportunities to learn about careers and about the paths alumnae have taken to craft a satisfying life.
- Special field trips and activities for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) students and other interested girls designed to introduce them to careers and educational pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
- Establishment of a calendar of opportunities throughout the year for students to participate in career-related visits to special events in greater Baltimore to expose students to a variety of career fields. Options in 2011-12 include architecture and construction, accounting and finance, and public health.
- Establishment of the on-campus Da Vinci Lab, a design/technology space in the Hathaway Fine and Performing Arts Center that provides a wide range of tools and equipment that supports creativity and inventiveness across arts and science disciplines, so that students see creativity’s common ground and can practice being inventive creators and problem-solvers.
- The creation, in partnership with the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust (BEST), the Molly Hathaway Girls' Leadership program that brings together BEST scholars from other Baltimore independent school 2 to 3 times a year for topical leadership sessions.
Ongoing leadership development opportunities include:
- Leadership development for all classes led by class advisors and faculty, in class meetings and through class activities and projects.
- Annual leadership program for elected and appointed leaders built on a series of workshops throughout the year.
- An “emerging leaders” program for new leaders for spring 2012.
- Appointment of a second James Center Leadership and Service fellow who helps with the advancement of James Center intiatives.
- The Junior Leader Program (JLP), a three week residential program for day and boarding juniors in late spring.
- Baltimore Girls’ School Leadership Coalition (BGSLC), an opportunity for selected students to join students from other local girls’ schools for a year-long series of activities and an annual overnight retreat.