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July 12, 2016 2:24 PMCategory: Health Equity, Physical Activity

Partnering with GirlForward in Austin, TX

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Girl Forward, a program that provides refugee girls with individual mentorship, educational programs and leadership opportunities, strives to create a community of support that serves as a resource and empowers girls to be strong, confident and independent so that they grow into women who can successfully support themselves, their families and their community. Visit the organizations website to learn more.

This past March in Austin, TX, Girl Forward teamed up with Smart Trips Austin and the Ghisallo Cycling Initiative to teach a group of refugee girls ages 14-20 how to ride a bike. The girls met Ghisallo’s bicycling instructors at Dobie Middle School to learn basic skills, the rules of the road, and to practice riding together! Girl Forward’s team hopes that the girls become comfortable enough on their bikes that they can independently ride from home to their upcoming summer camp. Riding around Dobie’s track was the first step in improving these girls’ mobility as they begin to navigate their new home in Austin. We can’t wait to see where these young women take their bicycles!

Creating  and promoting safe and healthy communities for programs such as Girl Forward to operate is the main goal of National Park and Recreation Month. Held each July, this observance brings recognition to the role that parks and recreational areas help play in establishing, improving and maintaining quality of life for residents. These efforts also have a direct impact on a communities physical, economic and environmental well-being. For additional resources and to learn more about National Park and Recreation Month check out this grab-and-go packet from Partnering4Health.

Picture and content related to the program in Austin, TX courtesy of Laura Dierenfield and Blythe Carter.