YW Boston launches new Inclusive Girls Leadership Program, F.Y.R.E. Initiative


YW Boston is excited to announce the launch of our new F.Y.R.E. Initiative during the Fall of 2019. Last year, YW Boston engaged in a strategic planning process to determine the best way for the organization to create systemic change, eliminate racism, and empower women in the City of Boston. The process resulted in a redefined vision to empower organizations to create more inclusive environments for women, people of color, and especially women of color, so that they can succeed. While assessing how to better respond to the most pressing needs in our community, we have had to make some very difficult decisions regarding the future of our programs. As a result, YW Boston’s Youth Leadership Initiative (InIt) will be remodeled as a 12 to 15-week inclusive girls leadership program for students grades 6th through 9th titled F.Y.R.E. Initiative (Fierce Youth Reigniting Excellence.)


The new program will incorporate elements of the InIt curriculum as well as our former Girls Health Program. The curriculum will bring together social justice education, positive identity development, and civic engagement, and will culminate in a small group civics project. Our new F.Y.R.E. Initiative 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. Program participants will present their project at an end-of-semester conference and have the opportunity to engage with other young leaders from across Greater Boston.


As we make this shift, YW Boston recognizes the significance of the InIt program to our participants, partners, volunteers, staff, and alumni. Throughout the years, YW Boston’s award-winning InIt program provided hundreds of high school students with social justice education and training outside of the classroom to support their growth into socially responsible youth leaders. We are grateful for all of our participants with whom we’ve shared learnings and growth. We want to thank all of our partners, alumni, volunteers, supporters, and staff for making this learning possible. We will take this knowledge and the most effective elements of the InIt curriculum to develop a program that we believe will allow us to reach many more students each year, from 40 to 250, while meeting a need to provide programs that empower girls of color.


We hope you will stay engaged with YW Boston as we continue to further our mission through our youth programming. Thank you for your continued support.


If you wish to learn more about our F.Y.R.E. Initiative, please contact TiElla Grimes at tgrimes@ywboston.org.


YW Boston Gender Inclusion Statement:
At YW Boston, 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.