How Did GirlForward Start?

At age 15, Domi was resettled in Chicago from a refugee camp in Tanzania with her mother and siblings. After three years of living in Chicago, Domi was at risk of not graduating from high school. It wasn’t for lack of motivation, but because barriers - such as language, disrupted education, poverty - stood in the way of her success. When Domi received support from a mentor (our founder, Blair) and peer group, she gained new opportunities and optimism, and soon became the first in her family to graduate from high school. Domi’s experience was the catalyst for GirlForward.

GirlForward works with girls who are refugees and immigrants and in grades 9-12. Girls represent a wide variety of national, cultural, and religious identities. Some of the countries girls have called home include Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Iraq, DR Congo, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Nepal. Every girl in our community has a unique story that continues to be written. Each year, we serve over 200 girls.

Who are the girls in GirlForward?

How do Girls Find GirlForward?

Most girls come to GirlForward through referrals by partner organizations, such as refugee resettlement agencies or other organizations in the community. We also receive referrals from schools and individual community members. Some girls come to GirlForward for the first time with a friend who is already actively involved.

When Is GirlForward going to come to My City?

GirlForward currently operates in Chicago, IL and Austin, TX and we are continuing to explore potential sites for a third location.