Non-Profit Expands Services Virtually During Pandemic

Senior+Angelica+Fabricatore+recently+joined+LiveGirl%2C+an+organization+that+promotes+growth+and+development+among+middle+school+girls

Abby Guttman

Senior Angelica Fabricatore recently joined LiveGirl, an organization that promotes growth and development among middle school girls

Abby Guttman, Staff Writer

Since 2014, an organization known as LiveGirl has been guiding young women from Connecticut into becoming strong, independent thinkers through engaging group sessions and a variety of programming.  Challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have limited many of those opportunities, but have also offered new ones.

In a typical year,  many empowerment programs and time-flexible events are available through the LiveGirl organization, such as a LiveGirl League, Launchpad, High School Mentorships, and Leadership Conferences. Girls from middle school to college can interact with each other, give advice, create and conduct interest-based projects, and discuss controversial topics with guest speakers, all with a common goal in mind: building self-esteem and confidence.  However, many of these activities are no longer safe to conduct during the pandemic

Program director Alison Waller said the COVID-19 quarantine has impacted LiveGirl in positive and negative ways. Over the past seven months, many in-person activities were canceled and some had to be moved to virtual environments. Before the shutdown, LiveGirl activities were in person and only offered to girls in the state of Connecticut with many participants from Fairfield County.  

However, moving to a virtual setting has now allowed more access for girls worldwide to join and take advantage of what LiveGirl has to offer. Waller, who started at LiveGirl during its early years, said, “the primary goal of LiveGirl is that by the time a girl is in high school she is confident about who she is, able to say no and make decisions, lead others and make fearless inclusive leaders.” 

Senior fellow and AITE senior Jordan Mallis has been a part of the organization for four years. She has participated in the program LiveGirl League, been a high school mentor, and now recruits potential high school members to the program. Mallis said she’s learned a lot from her experiences with LiveGirl. “From speaking clearly in front of large audiences, to becoming a helpful mentor, and helping make positive changes in our community, LiveGirl has truly been such an amazing experience and has provided me with so many opportunities that have helped me in ways I couldn’t even imagine.”

Mallis said being a part of LiveGirl has also had academic benefits. She has learned new communication skills that have given her the confidence necessary to raise her hand in class to ask questions and give a class presentation without trepidation. She also has become more passionate when discussing controversial topics. Through many projects she’s participated in with LiveGirl League, she now possesses the ability to voice a difference of opinion in school without hesitation.

Annalise Fabricatore, senior at Stamford High School, is a new member of LiveGirl participating as a high school mentor. After reading and hearing about LiveGirl, she said she was particularly drawn to how the organization focuses on helping girls with stress and anxiety. She felt strongly about “giving younger girls advice and helping them deal with school and test anxieties.” All the members of LiveGirl, including Fabricatore, want to make middle school life easier for girls and will help them in any way they can.

Waller said that she hopes LiveGirl continues to reach out to a larger community, leaving girls with new-found confidence and the drive to make a difference in the world.