Girls with Grit: Non-Profit Focused on Hands-On Career Paths!
I'm passionate about educating young adults and parents about the diversity of career paths, especially for young girls. I serve on two different Career and Technical Education Advisory groups for school districts in San Antonio because I am a champion of CTE pathways. When I learned of this non-profit that is giving girls hands-on experience in our area, I wanted to learn more and share their mission so I asked them to be a guest contributor this month. The power of formal career exploration with a career counselor allows young girls to understand careers that exist that they never knew would be a good fit. Aptitude testing allows them to see their high level of "hand-eye" coordinator and spatial visualizing which is critical for fields like welding where a person can have a salary, depending on the industry of $100K without a bachelor's degree. As I always say, "Information is Power" and this organization gives girls exactly that.
Girl with Grit Program serves the Greater Texas Hill Country Region with an emphasis on the San Antonio and Austin metropolitan areas and brings real-life essentials such as changing a flat tire, road safety, engine maintenance, introduction to tools and hardware, and DIY home-from plumbing to electrical. We also provide a variety of unique learning experiences for girls and women which help develop life skills, career paths, and passions. Girl with Grit Program is a 501c3 and founded by women. We reach both girls and women through them visiting our facilities and our mobile programs. We also serve group homes, shelters, and other underserved populations.
Girl with Grit Program is a 501c3 nonprofit that was officially started by Blythe Zemel in December of 2020. Blythe had recently developed a line of female safety glasses, Safety Sasses and became aware that we often overlook teaching girls some fundamental skills. With only a formal educational background in art, art education, and a love of entrepreneurship, she started pulling together a board of women that she felt could saturate skills into young girls and women she felt were missing. She started the grassroots non-profit program funded solely by her other job teaching art, the support of families and the women on the board, and a major figure in the trades, Briana Huhn.
Briana Huhn, our Co-Founder and Trades Director, has been a welder/fabricator for 11 years across multiple industries. In addition to welding, Briana shared her love of the trades with children through a Minnesota-based nonprofit, Big Ideas Inc. Her main goal is to help end the stigma that the trades are second-rate. Her metalworking skills earned her a spot on Motortrend’s ‘Bitchin Bootcamp’ and Discovery Channel’s ‘Monster Garage’. She is responsible for co-founding Girl with Grit through her dedication to teaching girls about the skilled trades.
In September 2021, Girl with Grit officially opened a Co-ed Community Makerspace COME AND MAKE IT! to share our love of hands-on skills with everyone. Come and Make is the first nonprofit Makerspace in Boerne, TX. We also like to call it the best little makerspace in Texas. We are housed in a 100-year home in Boerne’s Historic District. Come and Make It! is a co-ed facility where youth get to make things and learn everything from the arts to the trades. Girl with Grit Program is also housed in Dripping Springs, TX in the woman-owned Huhney Bee Fabrication Shop, that location and has an emphasis on trades, welding, and fabrication.