Aug 7, 2015
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The spirit of Rosie the Riveter is alive and well in Richmond, where 27 local girls spent six weeks this summer exploring non-traditional career options.

In its seventh year, students in the Rosie’s Girls program learned skills in trades such as carpentry, welding, painting and silk-screening. In past years, students picked up plumbing and electricity.

The girls just received a nice write up by the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), which partly sponsors the program for students between grades six and eight.

A closing ceremony to honor their hard work was held July 25 and attended by Mayor Tom Butt, who took to social media to marvel at the chairs students had designed and built, some including welded metal armrests.

The following video below offers a fun overview of their work.

The national program wants girls to recognize their potential through education and vocational training activities, and also to build their character, self-esteem and teamwork skills.

“We are here to give them their voice, to teach them some trade that ordinarily girls wouldn’t learn,” Rosie’s Girls site coordinator Vanessa Calloway said in the district’s article. “We also teach them how to properly communicate, build diversity, and get them out of their ordinary culture.”

Marsha Mather-Thrift, executive director of Rosie the Riveter Trust, said girls aren’t afforded enough opportunities to “really use their hands, figure out how strong they are, or figure out how much they can be in life.”

The group also enjoyed a few other off-the-beaten path adventures, such as a four-day trip to Yosemite National Park at the end of summer camp. Isabella Garcia, a sixth grader at Wilson Elementary, says hiking there taught her never to give up, even when tired. The group also apparently went sailing:

rosiesgirls.8-7Butt touted the importance of the summer program, which serves girls from lower-income families.

Click here to see the impressive final projects the girls created.

Along with the school district, program sponsors include Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Mechanics Bank, PG&E, Wells Fargo, NatureBridge, the City of Richmond and East Bay Community Foundation.



About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.