Meet the Girls Leading the MOVEment
GEM, Girls Empowering Movement, is the next generation of physical activity programs for middle school girls. Unlike other programs, GEM puts girls at the center of creating physical activity and wellness programs unique to their preferences, motivators, and goals.
As a youth-led initiative, GEM puts the power into the hands of the girls to create and lead programming that will most benefit them. The program was built from the ground up by The GEM leadership Team, a diverse group of 14 middle school girls from across Georgia. Their collective leadership and insights helped create a program that engages and empowers middle school girls to lead the way in creating healthy habits that will impact the trajectory of their generation.
“What is so unique about GEM is that instead of a bunch of adults getting together and deciding: how are we going to solve this problem? It’s a bunch of girls getting together and saying how are we going to solve a problem that directly affects us? How are we going to fix this? We can use the fact that we’re actual middle school girls and we know what problems we’re facing.” – Ella Sipe, member of the GEM Leadership Team.
The GEM Leadership Team
8th Grade – Eagles Landing Middle School Henry County
6th Grade – Hutto Middle School Decatur County
8th Grade – McConnell Middle School Gwinnett County
8th Grade – Sutton Middle School Fulton County
7th Grade – Lakeside Middle School Forsyth County
7th Grade – Jefferson City Middle School Jackson County
8th Grade – William James Middle School Bulloch County
8th Grade – Temple Middle School Carroll County
7th Grade – Haralson County Middle School Haralson County
8th Grade – Arnold Magnet Academy Muscogee County
8th Grade – Frederica Academy Glynn County
7th Grade – Valdosta Middle School Lowndes County
8th Grade – Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School Dougherty County
6th Grade – Factory Shoals Middle School Douglas County
7th Grade – Saddle Ridge Middle School Walker County
8th Grade – Mary McLeod Bethune middle school Dekalb County
6th Grade – Haralson County MS Haralson County
8th Grade – Saddle Ridge Middle School Walker County
6th grade – Gainesville Middle School Hall County
The Middle School Girls Who Designed GEM
With professional development and leadership training from the HealthMPowers staff, the GEM Leadership Team worked together to build the foundation of GEM from the ground up. Together, they developed all aspects of the program over an 18 month planning phase, including the name, logo, and program resources.
The Leadership Team, which has been expanded to include more girls, continues to provide insight and feedback, ensuring that the girl voice is heard and implemented throughout the program.
“Some girls really don’t feel like they’re worth what they really are. GEM as the name will make girls understand that they’re worth as much as a diamond.” – Ayshiah, Age 13, GEM Leadership Team
Members of the GEM Leadership Team together at the 2022 GEM Summit
GEM, Girls Empowering Movement, is a statewide initiative to improve the health and well-being of middle school girls across Georgia. In an effort to empower girls to be change agents in their communities, this five-year program is designed by girls, for girls and is being implemented by HealthMPowers in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Georgia, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, and The University of West Georgia.
The GEM Leadership Team Announces the initiative that would become GEM
Through strong partnerships and unique programming, GEM is empowering girls to create physical activity programs, improve fitness levels, promote long term health, and enhance their emotional well-being. Your support today will help us continue to deliver innovative youth-led programming to girls across Georgia.