“How do we show that Eureka! attitude?”
“Take positive risks!”
“Show your corn!”
Those were the sounds at this summer’s Eurekathon – the final day celebration of all things Eureka! at Girls Inc. of Alameda County. Eureka! is a five-year program for girls between 8th-12th grades that includes STEM learning, health and sexuality, professional internships, financial literacy, and college and career readiness. On the last day of summer programs, 106 girls gathered at Cal State East Bay to show sisterhood, demonstrate what they learned, and come together as a group to celebrate each other and the staff.
Program leaders designed hands-on activities around what the girls learned over the summer, with plenty of fun and laughter built in. Rookies and Vets (8th and 9th graders), who learned about puberty, sex ed, and consensual relationships during the preceding two weeks, held team races correctly handling condoms. Girls played flag football and had soccer/hula hoop relays, practicing what they learned during the fitness portion of Eureka! summer. Program leader Nina, who was trying to capture video as the girls ran around the lawn, said she loved to see how far the girls had come over the previous weeks. “They were all shy about running around with the ball when we started. Now they won’t stop!”
First and second year Interns (rising 10th and 11 graders) mixed it up with the younger girls. Interns work three days a week at companies throughout the Bay and learn first-hand how to contribute in a professional setting. They learn business and communication skills, explore industries, meet female mentors, and expand their vision for college and career. Spending a day with younger Eurekans let them become mentors themselves as they chaperoned the girls from activity to activity and talked up what it was like to be an Intern.
At the end of day, everyone cooled down with Otter Pops and together in a big appreciation circle where girls shared what they liked best about the day, and the summer. While many girls were sad to see summer programs ending, they knew they’d be back with their sisters at Girls Inc. in the fall for the next step in their Eureka! journey.