CALDWELL - A new program at Lincoln Elementary School in Caldwell is helping 5th grade girls learn, grow and prepare for the future.
It's called Girls with Goals.
Each month, the students meet for a special lunch and listen to guest speakers - women who are doing great things in our community.
At a recent Girls with Goals lunch, Reagan Rossi, College of Idaho's athletic director, stopped by to chat with the girls about goal-setting.
"I'll tell you a little bit about me," Rossi said to the group. "But really we're going to talk about what you are passionate about... what you just love to do."
When she asked the girls who plans to go to college, they all raised their hands.
"That was pretty amazing," said Linzy Self, Lincoln's school counselor, and the staff member behind the Girls with Goals program.
Self put the group together earlier this after noticing a need.
"We have about 20 girls, and it's really neat, every month we do a luncheon or a brunch where we bring in a woman who is a leader in their field," she said. "So we've had police officers, we've had the state teacher of the year we've had our superintendent come and speak."
Her students are eager to learn.
"They are just little sponges," Self said. "They want to soak up all of that knowledge."
It's not just monthly lunch meetings; the group also takes part in community service projects. This year they are holding a clothing drive for kids in need, and volunteering at a preschool.
If the program sounds familiar, that's because it was inspired by a similar program at Lincoln Elementary - Guys in Ties. That program, founded by teacher Joe Grover, has been so successful that Self wanted to offer that same opportunity to the girls.
"It broadens their horizons, it gets them excited that anything really is possible," she said.
And these girls are listening.
"How we're going to be able to reach our long-term goals and our short-term goals, how are we going to get to that point of what we want to be when we grow up," said student Demi Thompson.
Many of the girls are already making career plans, and they are inspired by what they are seeing and hearing.
"I think anytime that we can talk with our kids about their future and about their passions, that's a responsibility that we have," said Rossi. "I think these ladies need to know that it's okay to go after dreams."
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