During January, National Mentoring Month, we are proud to highlight the impact of our multiple youth programs at the YWCA.

Recently, the girls in our GEMS program, or “Girls: Empowered, Motivated, Successful,” were asked to write or draw what they love about the group and what they’ve learned.

See what just some of the girls in the program created; click any photo on this page to enlarge it in a new window.

While we work with all children, the GEMS program focuses on supporting girls and providing a safe space to share experiences, develop skills to improve physical and mental health, and engage with their local community.

In recent years, girls in this program have had the opportunity to work on collaborative art projects like the 2021 YWCA Lobby Mural creation and 2023 expansion, volunteer at community mentoring events like the YWCA Harvest Dinner, and engage in enriching activities rooted in social-emotional growth.

Do you know a young girl who might benefit from this community of support and wants to join? GEMS is a free program that meets weekly at Homer and Randall Schools. Contact YWCA Cortland Mentoring Director Mindy Gardner at bridges@cortlandywca.org or (607) 753-9651.   

Want to support the mentoring program in 2024? Get involved!