YW Boston’s F.Y.R.E. Initiative empowers girls across Boston through a civic engagement, social justice, and identity development curriculum

53 - Girls' Health Program Created

In June of 2019, YW Boston announced the launch of a new girls leadership program, F.Y.R.E. Initiative (Fierce Youth Reigniting Excellence). The program launched its pilot session this summer with a curriculum that combines social justice education, positive identity development, and civic engagement. YW Boston’s F.Y.R.E. Initiative will take place in school or during Out-of-School Time. The program will culminate in a small group civics project where participants will have the opportunity to engage with young leaders from across the Greater Boston Area.  F.Y.R.E. provides girls with an opportunity to build understanding and increase social emotional learning through group dialogues and experiential learning.

Check out some of the activities taking place during F.Y.R.E. Initiative sessions this summer:

construction paper house built by FYRE Initiative participant

Unpacking racism and sexism

Young girls participated in a session aimed at cultivating empathy for others and exploring manifestations of oppression—ideological, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized. 

Group of girls from FYRE Initiative building paper houses
construction paper houses built by FYRE Initiative participant
face chart full of written perceptions filled by FYRE Initiative participants

Exploring identities and the intersectionality of race and gender

Girls crafted identity masks as part of an activity aimed at exploring common assumptions about identity, specifically around being a girl. 

brainstorm flip chart of issues such as racism identified by FYRE Initiative participants
flip chart of issues such as racism identified by FYRE Initiative participants

Action planning

Participants worked together in a group to define strengths and areas of concern within their schools with the goal of selecting an issue around which to develop a community action project.

We would like to recognize and thank our F.Y.R.E. Initiative summer partners BCYF, Epiphany School, and St. Stephen’s.

The F.Y.R.E. team is looking forward to empowering young girls across the Greater Boston Area when the program formally launches this Fall. Stay tuned by following @ywboston on social media or signing up for our monthly newsletter. 

About the F.Y.R.E. Initiative
YW Boston FYRE Initiative girls program two girls smiling

In this new program launching in the Fall of 2019, YW Boston facilitators will conduct a 12-15-week leadership development series for girls grades 6th through 9th. The series brings together social justice education, positive identity development, and civic engagement, culminating in small group civics projects. This model will take place in schools or Out of School Time programs, and it is developed to operate in a “girls group” structure rather than a traditional classroom structure. Core to the program is an effort to provide experiential learning opportunities and dialogue to build understanding and increase social emotional learning.

YW Boston Gender Inclusion Statement: 

We use girl as a term to include anyone, including transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, whose key gender identity, experience and internal perception on the spectrum of gender, is woman or girl. 


About YW Boston

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and youth programming, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.