Shane’s Lane – My Vision For Girlstart In 2023 ❤️

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Cheers to a new year of empowering girls in STEM! I want to give a warm welcome to all of our newsletter subscribers, whether you recently signed up or have been with us for years. Thank you for supporting our work to increase girls’ interest and engagement in STEM. 

This is the inaugural edition of “Shane’s Lane,” a newsletter where every few months I’ll share with you what’s new in my world. I’m a runner–my goal is to do a half marathon later this year and I’ve done several 5Ks this month–so “Shane’s Lane” seemed an appropriate title, and a fun play on words. I’m excited to give you an inside look at my work as Executive Director through these messages.You can also look forward to Girlstart’s monthly e-newsletter, which is picking back up again next month.

Before I share with you my 2023 goals, here are my highlights from 2022:

1. My first tour of the Austin STEM Center: I was overwhelmed by the sheer possibilities that await the girls who visit our flagship location!
2. Summer Camp: Seeing the hard work of our staff yield lightbulb moments in STEM feeds my soul. I was over the moon when I heard that the most recorded survey comment from our campers was “never give up”. 
3. Staff Retreat: This fall, Girlstart employees convened in Austin over two days for strategizing, planning, and team building. Being in community with our staff and hearing from each person allowed me to see so clearly the amazing skill sets of each human who serves this organization. I know you also have the pleasure of interacting with these individuals who make Girlstart what it is!
4. Austin Game Changers Luncheon: The in-person return of Girlstart’s annual fundraising event was a memorable day! Seeing a physical representation of so many of the people–like you–who believe in the mission of Girlstart was priceless. Being able to recognize those who were integral to the first 25 years of Girlstart was touching.
5. Messages from past campers, alumni, volunteers, and board members: Each month, I hear from someone who has great memories of Girlstart and wants to know how they can continue to help us move forward.

My priorities for 2023 fall into three categories:
• Maximize our impact in the schools and communities we currently serve
• Create and support a staffing structure that allows us to operate in a manner that is best in class for girl-serving organizations
• Strategically orchestrate and document how we do the business of Girlstart by making data-driven decisions in the areas of HR, Operations, Revenue Generation, and Stewardship

My ultimate goal for 2023 is that this organization is where a girl starts to embrace that feeling of belonging in all the communities we serve.

If you have a couple more minutes today, I hope you’ll watch the video below, where I share a few more thoughts as we head into 2023 together.

And, if you have a friend (or two) who would be interested in learning more about Girlstart, share the love and send them this blog post so they can get plugged in to our community. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for Girlstart. I am looking forward to an amazing year as your Executive Director. 

Sincerely,

Shane Woods,
Executive Director

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