To meet our mission, vision and goals, the following programs are offered to the membership:
Weekly Educational Sessions
The weekly educational sessions are held from October to May. Speakers with diverse backgrounds and expertise serve as weekly presenters. Example topics and presenters have included financial awareness/management (Bank of Hampton Roads), academic success(Norfolk State University), relationships (Help and Emergency Response Shelter), health(Virginia Cooperative Extension), self-esteem(Community Services Board) and Career Development (Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Inc.).
The annual Career Fair gives EGC members a unique opportunity to meet with women from a variety of disciplines including education, architecture, engineering, law, business, health care, finance, armed forces, human services, music and IT/Technology. Members have the opportunity to rotate through all of the disciplines in 15 minute increments. Sample questions that the presenters discuss with the membership include: (1)reason(s) for selecting chosen field, (2)education requirements for chosen field, (3)potential employment opportunities and (4)suggestions for how a young person could begin preparing for entry into chosen field (i.e. internships, school clubs, community service, etc.).
Annual Bonding Retreat
The bonding retreat is traditionally a 3 night 4 day trip to Nags Head, North Carolina or Sandbridge Virginia Beach, VA during which girls from different sites are brought together. The retreat includes a college tour and 6-8 hour structured bonding activities.
Mother/Daughter Sessions and Field Trips
Quarterly sessions with mothers include topics that will elicit dialogue between mother and daughter during the session and late into the home. Mother/daughter field trips have included the Hampton Roads Women’s Show, International Black Women’s Congress Conference titled “What do we tell our daughters?” and the Urban League of Hampton Road’s annual Mother/Daughter Tea.
The book discussion is a six to eight week discussion usually held late winter/early spring. Titles that have been read by the membership include, An Alphabet for Life: Skills for Living A to Z by Patricia Russell McCloud, Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl? The Impact of Fatherlessness on Black Women by Johnetta Rose Barras, Who am I Without Him? and The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake and Staying Pure by Stephanie Perry Moore. Every first year site reads the book Ophelia Speaks by Sara Shandler. Once the initial book is completed, the sites then have the flexibility to select the book of their choice to read.
College tours have been conducted at the following campuses: Norfolk State, Old Dominion, Elizabeth City State, VirginiaWesleyan, Chowan, East Carolina and Christopher Newport Universities. The tours have included lunch, on site admissions, application fee waivers and panel discussions with current students.
The program launched in September 2006 as a collaborative effort between Excellence Girls Club, Inc. and the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Inc. Session topics include “Introduction to Leadership”, “Leadership Styles” and “Picturing Your Success”. During each session, members engage in team building activities, group discussions, and expert presentations. The Leadership Institute prepares young women to become effective leaders by giving them the necessary skills to take on important roles within their schools and communities. Excellence Girls’ Club’s approach to leadership emphasizes integrity, self-awareness, and understanding of how and why individuals act, react and interact as they do in groups.
Annual Advocacy Project
As a means to practice political awareness and understanding, the sites and their memberships are tasked with identifying an issue to advocate. Nov 2006- June 2008 EGC focused on Lupus after losing a 13 year old member to the disease. The Sept 2008-June 2010 advocacy issue is homelessness. To date, the members have assisted with putting together care packages to distribute to the homeless during the City of Chesapeake’s annual homeless count and volunteered at the HER shelter, a homeless and domestic violence shelter. The Dwelling Place a family homeless shelter was the partner for 2009-10. Members provided children’s activities bi monthly to the residents.
Community Service Projects
EGC members are also required to participate in at least 2 community service projects each year. Past projects have included the Newport News Children’s Festival, the Hampton Crab Half Marathon, Edmarc Hospice for Children, MS Challenge Walk in Annapolis, Maryland, mentorship of elementary age girls, serving as monthly companions for residents at a local convalescent home and Kids in the Kitchen with the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Incorporated.