Summer Memories

During the summer I had such a great time with all the other girls at Girls Inc. We attended many field trips, and we enjoyed our time there. I got the opportunity to go to the Omaha Doorly Zoo, the ice skate arena, golfing, and the swimming lessons at Spring Lake pool. Out of all of them my most favorite trip was to the Spring Lake pool. Even though, going into the pool, I already knew how to swim I still learned a lot during the lessons. I even overcame my biggest fear of heights, by going off the high dive! I got to spend the whole morning in the pool, and nothing could have been better than that!

I loved going ice skating as a little girl, and going back to the ice arena really made me feel like a kid again. Even though I fell once or twice and I was freezing, I still had a great time! Even the younger girls, who were afraid of falling had fun. It was a fun experience for me and all the girls of Girls Inc.               

Every kid should go to the Omaha Doorly Zoo at least once in their childhood. And I am glad that the younger girls got to go. My favorite part of the trip was going into the jungle. We saw a bunch of animals one wouldn’t normally see every day. The aquarium was my next favorite part of the zoo. I love going to see the penguins, and the jellyfishes. – Gabbi




The Luminaria

I felt like I was in a big kaleidescope. – Tanajah

I liked the Luminaria because of the way the colors changed our clothes…it was very fun and inspiring.  The lights were beautiful and mostly bright.  My favorite color was the purple and green one.  It was amazing to sit down and look up and see the pretty colors.  During the walk, I noticed that some were kind of dard and that was cool. – Ashli


We were all amazed at the middle room because it was a mixture of all the colors.  I think the really cool thing was that it was a big balloon and we had to shut the door really fast so all the air doesn’t come out! – Samantha

I felt like I was in the brightest star ever. It shined so bright!  It was one of the prettiest things I’d ever seen…To me it was kind of like a starship. – DaNya


Thanks to Vic Gutman & Associates for providing this cool field trip for the girls.

Outward Bound Urban Expedition



On May 27, 2012 I left Girls Inc. not really knowing what I was getting into.  I knew it was an expedition which was 2 days.  I also knew we were staying at a church.  That’s all I really knew.  But as I continued, I learned and saw some pretty cool things.  – Deja


While I was on the Expedition we visited places I would never have imagined or stepped foot in.  Like for instance, Kent Bellows Studio. – Ladayshianae

That day we first went to Kent Bellows Art Gallery and painted. We met Anne who is an arts administrator. – Deja

We each got weird shaped pieces and we got to paint whatever we wanted.  Once we were finished, we pieced it together and it made the shape of a heart. After we cleaned up we had lunch at Leavenworth Park.  Unfortunately, we missed our bus, so we had to catch another bus.  We got dropped off in Midtown Crossing and walked to a store called Inclosed.  Inclosed is a store that is in the wedding invitation business.  We met Leslie, Candace, and Meagan.  Leslie is the owner of Inclosed.  Candace is the wedding event planner.  And Meagan owns her own bouquet shop called PrincessLazortron.  She fixes bouquets for brides and bridesmaids.  Next we got to create a party invitation on a posterboard using magazines. – Elijahiana

We learned what it takes to get to the top.  And when we get to the top, we learned not to back down. – Ladayshianae

Then we took a short distance walk to Film Streams.  Film Streams is a non-profit organization that shows special movies like classics and documentaries.  We met Rachel Jacobson who is the director/founder of Film Streams.  Film Streams only has 2 theaters.  We got the chance to examine the 2 theatres and the projection rooms.  – Elijahiana

We learned about how Film Streams started and what they play there. – Maggie

Film Streams is an awesome place. – Ladayshianae

We got to go to Red Mango.  Red Mango sells frozen yogurt and you could add any topping you want.  Once done with the treat, we took the bus back to Midtown Crossing and walked to the Farmer’s Market.  Our challenge was we had to buy organic produce and we had to try to find one thing we never tried before, by using only $20. – Elijahiana

We were given $20 and had to decide as a group how to spend it wisely on organic food and use those foods to create our dinner.  We had rice and beans provided so we had to make something to go with it.  It was fun and new for me because I have never been to one of these before. Our dinner was garlic rice and beans with a zesty salsa and fruit salad which were all things from the market.  – Deja

We all collected fruits and vegetables, and we decided to try kohlrabi.  Kohnlrabi is like a green potato-like thing. – Elijahiana

The most fun was picking out the food that no one had tried which was kohlrabi.  We fried some, then boiled some in water, spices, and honey.  It was good both ways.  When we were buying the food everyone wanted to be in charge so for me that was the hardest. – Ladayshianae

We had to have a few people navigate the bus times and where to go by bus numbers while others went to go cook.  Once dinner was ready, we all ate. – Elijahiana


We went to the City Hall. Once we walked off the bus, we were assigned a challenge.  We had a scavanger hunt.  We met the Mayor and got a baseball card with his autograph.  Then we met other employees who told us about their challenges. – Elijahiana

We talked to Buster Brown, the Mayor, and Diane Battiano.  They told us about how to be succesful in their positions. – Maggie

We learned about the government system and about things like deeds and city planning.  We explored City Hall. We also learned about a program called ReEnergize. – Deja

We met Eric, who showed us than an LED light buld saves more money than a regular light bulb and lasts longer. – Elijahiana

Next, we went to see the Trugs on Leavenworth. – Maggie

We went to Leavenworth and 27th and talked to businesses and people about the Trugs, a bench-like thing they put there to promote the Leavenworth neighborhood and celebrate their community.  – Deja

We talked to another Anne, who was a part of Emerging Terrain.  She explained to us how the Trugs made communities look better.  We had to ask other businesses about what they thought of the Trugs.  Some people said it was good for the community.  Others said it was ruining business and traffic can’t see them. – Elijahiana


We made shirts and posters telling what we did.  When we were done, we went to the downtown slides and Old Market to survey people.  We asked people what they would change about Omaha.  Some said parking, more police officers, less violence.  Other people said there is really nothing to change….We headed back to the bus stop and went to [Omaha Home for Boys].  We had pizza for lunch and set up everything for graduation.  Once graduation started, we presented and told people about what we did.  A special presentation was put on — we each told about where we went.  We nearly made the goal for points and we got pins. We all enjoyed the camp! – Elijahiana

I felt that the most challenging thing was to carry those packs or book bags which were heavy.  But as far as that, I really enjoyed myself and would love to come back. – Deja

During the Expedition, I learned very important things.  I had to learn not to care what other people think because as we were walking through Omaha, we were required to haul around these big hiking bags.  people asked us [about them] but we just told them they were for our Urban Expedition. ..One value I got from this trip was to not be so independent.  Like I learned that it’s OK to sometimes ask for help.  And I had to realize that I was with a group and couldn’t do my own thing….Through the whole Expedition, I gained a lot.  Now that I went, I have new tools to help me through my journey.  So I thank everyone who helped put this together for letting me be able to be a part of this.  Thank you. – Ladayshianae





Humanitarian Dinner – thank you David Slosburg!

“I appreciated the opportunity of being able to attend the annual Humanitarian dinner.  It was great listening to the motivational speakers and their ideas.  Marlee Matlin was one of my favorite speakers.  I love how she doesn’t let her disbaility get in the way of achieving her goals and adventures.  I thought it was an honor to be able to go to the dinner.  The food was great, the speakers were fantastic, and I would like to say thank you so much for letting Girls Inc. members experience something inspirational.” – Yadira

“When I left the Humanitarian dinner I felt special and strong.” – Leslie

“The food was extraordinary, the speakers were grand, and the videos were very informative.  Thank you also for showing us we can live in a world of peace and joy…” – Victoria

“One of your speakers was a deaf girl and she taught us how to say “courage plus dreams = success.” – Chanecia

“I am glad I was one of the chosen ones to attend this event.” – Brianna

“I liked Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler’s speeches.  Also it was cool that the weather man gave us the forcast for the eventing.  Futhermore, I loved the food and the dessert.  The chicken ws fantastic!  There were fancy decorations on the table with all the proper utensils.  Most of all I really enjoyed the speakers and watching people receive medals.” – Nadeja



The girls watched this video about Johan Mowry being bullied:  Then they wrote advice and letters to Jonah.

Hey Jonah-
I can understand how you feel.  I get bullied, too.  I know someone who cut.  You shouldn’t have to go that route.  You could really hurt yourself.  It’s OK.  You can make it through.  You should try writing poems.  That’s what I do.  It helps me empty out my feelings.  It’s like I am a new person.  I many not know you Jonah but I have a feeling you can find something else other than cutting.  You put your life on the line when you cut.  Do me a favor and try not to cut again. – Ashley

Dear Jonah,
Don’t even bother with those people.  They are haters and what you are is a very special person.  You are yourself.  They probably feel bad about themselves.  They haven’t seen the inside of the book, they just looked ta the cover.  You are wonderfully made in your own way. – Salera

Dear Jonah.
As your friend, please don’t listen to mean people.  You should not let them get to you.  Tell a teacher or talk to a friend.  You are stronger than that so JUST BE YOURSELF. 

Dear Jonah,
It is OK.  Believe it or not you are not the only one that gets bullied.  It’s not fair for the victim of the problem.  They probably bully you and other people to make them feel better about themselves.

Dear Jonah,
Sometimes I get bullied about my hair, my skin, my clothes, but then I met some friends and they stood up for me.  I stood up for them.  And yes!  I did kinda bully that’s only because they hurt me so what I say is it’s “Back fire time!” but my friends would say “NO!  It’s not worth it.”  I took their advice and whne I stopped, they stopped.

If I were Jonah’s friend I would always encourage him to never give up no matter how many things that go on in his life.  He should never give up on life.  I would help him through his problems.  I would start a club for people just like Jonah and other people.  I would tell him they’re jealous and the only reason they do that is because something’s wrong with them.  I would tell him:  the song called “You are beautiful.” – Ziann

I would say just ignore them and tell an adult. – Jeriona

It will be OK.  You are who you are.  Don’t care what other people say.  You are fine the way you are.  You can just ignore them and come play with me.

Dear Jonah,
I know you’ve been put down and bullied a lot, but don’t listen.  Just a few minutes ago I got called ugly.  I know I’m beautiful and I believe that.  They’re just jealous and hatin’.  One day those bullies will be punished.  Just think that.  Wish you wonderful things. – Anneliese

Dear Jonah,
Just live your life and there are people who care about you.  What you think of you is what matters. – Teondra

What I would say to Jonah if I were his friend – i would say I’m your friend.  Ignore people.  be strong.  You’re a good person.  Don’t let people get to you. – Jennile

Just remember we’ll all be here for you. – Arian

Don’t worry about what they say.  It’s not true.  I will always be your friend.  You did not do anything wrong to them.  They are just jealous of your greatness.  Just don’t worry.  They just don’t know how hurt you feel. – Tyana

If I was your friend I would have your back and be by your side no matter what.  Brush it off. – Alaunys

Dear Jonah,
I know what you’re going through.  I get bullied every day.  Sometimes the best you can do is ignore it.  If people call you stupid try saying, “If I’m so dumb let me see your report card.”  People will freeze if you say that. If a girl picks on you say, “Stop flirting.” If it’s a boy say, “Stop hatin’.”…I know you can do it.  Go Jonah! – Janeshja

I’ll be here with you all the way.  You won’t hurt or have to cry any more.  I know there are very violent people out there.  Don’t let people get to you.  Either they like you or they are jealous of you.  I know you may want to hurt yourself…I wish you all I have. – Amari





Ms. Stephanie & Her Mentee, Amya



My mentee is Amya, a very sweet 10-year-old girl. I would have to say what makes our relationship so easy is the fact that Amya attends Girls Inc. so we are able to see each other daily.  Also, it helps that Amya and I live 10 minutes apart from one another, which allows us to get together more often.  Another thing that enables us to have a close relationship is that Amya has a cell phone so we communicate daily and set up plans with one another via text or with a phone call. Amya has a younger sister, Asia which can be a tricky situation but whenever her sister has accompanied us it has always been Amya’s choice.  I make it a point to spend time with Amya as much as I can and when the time and situation allows her little sister Asia comes with us.
Amya and I have gone to the movies.  We went to Transformers 3, which was her choice
J.  We’ve gone  to a relative’s birthday party; we’ve gone shopping at the Westroads or Oak View Mall.  We’ve played Bocci Ball; gone to church together; gone to my mom’s house to hang out; listened to music; and had a water gun fight. We’ve gone out to eat at Red Robins, Burger King, Jimmy Johns, etc… One of the places we like to go is Sonics because we can sit in the car and just chat. 

One thing I like about Amya is that even though at times she is an old soul she can still be a kid and play with younger children and let herself have fun.  She is an awesome big sister – always looking out for her little sister Asia.  We don’t have to be doing anything just hanging out and that is just fine with her.  Amya just enjoys spending time with me even if that means sitting outside together talking, or watching her shows on Disney Channel like So Random, Good Luck Charlie, My Babysitter’s a Vampire or Shake it Up!   

Amya is a such a sweet, thoughtful, loving, kind, funny, caring, young lady and I am blessed to have her as my mentee.
I am so glad that I became a Pathfinders Mentor – it has added such wonderful experiences and memories to my life.  – Stephanie Lewis
                                                                                                                                                                            Girls Inc. staff member and Pathfinders Mentor




Making a Gumball Machine

Using a sheet of cardstock, a takeout box, popsicle sticks, 2 skewers, 3 washers, Dixie cups, and a small glass bowl, the girls made their very own gumball machines in Techbridge. This activity was listed as a “favorite” of many of the girls.  They loved using the tools – rulers, scissors, tape, X-acto knives, glue guns, and snips to put all of the pieces together and create a machine that actually works.

Check out our Girls Inc. of Omaha facebook page to see an album of photos from this activity.

My Ideal Teacher

The girls write about their ideal teachers.

“I want my ideal teacher to be nice and do more math and [sic] sicince and [sic] sousho stades and more class and more play time.  And she can give us…” – here the Girls Inc. member runs out of space.  Turn the paper over to read what the ideal teacher gives her students: “[sic] mony.

Page 1 (above) and turned over for page 2 (below).

Girls Design Rube Goldberg Fish Feeders in Tech Bridge

From Wikipedia:  A Rube Goldberg machine, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883-1970).

The girls designed elaborate, comical machines using pulleys, levers, dropping marbles, planes, inclines, fulcrums – you name it and they used it!

Build IT

As part of the STEM program Build IT, the girls are creating message boards and blog accounts where they are able to chat live  with each other. During this session they learned how to develop a clear theme for a blog, making it easy to navigate and including at least four images and four links to external sources.