Girls Rising Onto Womanhood
Focusing on building social and academic skills in the girls of today to be the women of tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blasting Back to the Past

The G.R.O.W. girls were whisked off to Charlottesville on a historical adventure to examine the past and how it influences our present. By visiting the homes of Jefferson and Madison, the girls learned about the contributions each made to our country.
One of the highlights of the trip occurred at the home of James Madison. There, the girls explored an archeological restoration of Montpelier as well as building using tools from the 1700s. Each girl tried drilling holes, sanding, and chopping wood.
During our trip, each girl was presented with a journal to record their thoughts, experiences, and reflections. The girls thoroughly enjoyed being able to privately reflect on the day's occurrences and will be adding embellishments and mementoes to their journals during Tea at Auntie's. The G.R.O.W. girls also welcomed a new member to the ranks during the summer excursion to Charlottesville. Breya joined the ranks of the G.R.O.W. group and cannot wait to make her mark.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How You Can Help G.R.O.W. Girls Blossom

G.R.O.W. is a not for profit organization, seeking 501(3)C status. Everything we do depends on generous donors like you!

From the day-to-day experiences at school to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, the program needs constant financial support. The girls need community service opportunities. Volunteers from the community have demonstrated everything from candy making to therapeutic writing. Please contact us to set up community service projects or to volunteer to spend an afternoon with the girls, sharing your expertise. And, as ever, cash contributions will be gratefully accepted.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Almost Up, Up, and Away

During the last week, three of the G.R.O.W. girls received a fantastic invitation to be a part of Upward Bound. Upward Bound is an extraordinary program that provides high school students with academic and cultural enrichment opportunities. This program assists high school students in developing necessary skills for success in college through academic and cultural enrichment, career development, and personal growth.

Upward Bound offers opportunities for enrichment during the summer months as well as academic support during the school year for its members. For six weeks during the summer, Upward Bound participants live on a college campus, are involved in an intensive academic program, and receive instructional assistance in the areas of math, science, English, foreign language, SAT preparation, study skills, computer science, counseling, and physical education. In addition, students visit various college campuses, learn about the college admissions process, attend workshops, and participate in cultural enrichment activities. Once the school year begins, Upward Bound participants continue their relationship with the program. Students meet on Saturdays (September-May) for academic assistance and counseling sessions. Upward Bound coordinators also visit target area high schools on a regular basis. College visits and cultural activities are included during the academic year as well.

It is so exciting for me to see these girls branch out and GROW into being the successful young ladies. Thank you Upward Bound for giving children a chance to blossom and GROW!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Whether you voted for our new President or not, there is one thing that can be said about experiencing the Inauguration Ceremony up close and personal- Amazing! When you are this close to a defining moment in history it is easy to be absolutely awestruck with what is in front of you. But the founder of G.R.O.W., Stephanie Doyle, bundled up as best she could and put her best foot forward to take in the moment. It started with a very early rise and shine at 2:30 AM in order to get ready to catch the Metro by 4:00AM. Needless to say it was just as cold as it was early and the combination of the two made for a very astounding wake up call! As the day began citizens from across America, young and old, began to converge onto Washington DC to attend the festivities. This year, record crowds of upwards of 3 million people were on hand for the historic swearing-in of the nation’s first African-American president.

Stephanie, this years Virginia State Teacher of the Year, had the privilege of being invited to the ceremonies by her State Senator, Mark Warner, which she gladly excepted. As she arrived in Washington DC the crowds were enormous and it became very obvious that being a guest of a Senator definitely had its benefits. Everywhere she turned around there was another person she had seen on TV, either in politics or in Hollywood, standing in close proximity to her. It was exciting and amazing all rolled into one. She even got to meet Jay Z and Beyonce while making her way to get seated for the ceremonies. Below are a few of the additional pictures that Stephanie was able to take throughout the day. Click on any of the pictures in this blog to see them in a larger size.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Getting to Witness History

No matter what you may think about our upcoming Presidential Inauguration one thing is for sure, it will be history in the making. The cool thing for Stephanie Doyle, the founder of G.R.O.W is that she will have a front row seat. Over the past week she has been invited by Senator Mark Warner to be a guest of his. Senator Warner wanted to invite the Virginia State Teacher of the Year to the event and, as a history teacher, Stephanie is ecstatic about the opportunity. To read more about this opportunity please read the front page article in the Roanoke Times written by Code Lowe.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

G.R.O.W. Goes to Radford University

On Tuesday, January 6, the G.R.O.W. girls ventured to the campus of Radford University. The girls were guests of Anne Pascucci, Director of Sponsored Programs and Grant Management. Mrs. Pascucci planned a wonderful day to introduce the girls to various careers in science. The girls first visited the Library, where they were completely amazed by the books, DVDs, and other media. We, then, headed to the planetarium, where Dr. Rhett Herman gave us a tour of the night sky. From there, we proceeded to the lab of Tara Phelps-Durr. The girls examined human and plant DNA and discussed how Dr. Phelps-Durr studies mutant genes in plants. Mrs. Pascucci whisked the girls off to RU West, where the Nursing Clinical Sim Center is headed up by Dr. Cynthia Cunningham. There, the girls examined simulation mannequins, taking their pulse and listening to their hearts.

After a delicious lunch sponsored by Mrs. Pascucci, the girls headed down to the research labs to visit the lab rats used in research studies at the University. After that, Dr. Donna & Cliff Boyd, Co-Directors of the Forensic Institute, hosted the girls in their Forensic lab. The girls analyzed animal and human bones as well as learned what can be learned about a person from their skeletal remains. A campus tour was arranged during our visit to give the girls an overview of college life. Lastly, the girls spent time with Dr. Matt Dunleavy, Asst Prof. School of Teacher Ed working with Augmented Reality.

This was an amazing experience for each of the four girls. The girls’ eyes were opened to what lies beyond their neighborhoods and were introduced to various career paths that they may not have known about before. This experience took my breath away!

Please also see the article in The Roanoke Times that documented our trip for more information on our journey.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Starting Off the New Year Right

The G.R.O.W. girls closed out 2008 and welcomed in 2009 with a tea party hosted by Lynne Victorine. Mrs. V, or Auntie as the girls affectionately call her, treated the girls to sweets and savories along with delicious Christmas tea. The treats were scrumptious! Shannon, a friend of Auntie's also joined our tea party. Shannon is a lawyer and shared with the girls how she went to college on a full ride thanks to academic and athletic scholarships. The girls definitely soaked up Shannon's advice about getting scholarships.

In order to close the door on 2008, the girls participated in writing regrets and 'junk' from the past year that they wanted to forget. These were written on red paper and then taken out back and burned in the fire pit as a symbol of putting the past to rest. To usher in 2009 with a fresh start, the girls began setting short and long term goals for the year. Auntie helped the girls start the process by having the girls help with her goal setting of getting in shape before her nephew's wedding in September. Once the girls helped Auntie, it was their turn. Each girl picked one goal and created a step-by-step plan on how to achieve it. It was wonderful to see the girls focusing on what they can control and making a plan for action.

G.R.O.W. is currently seeking community members who are interested in sharing their time and talents with our group. If you are interested, please contact me at

GROW Girls Introduce Mrs. Doyle at the RCPS Teacher of the Year Banquet