In special remembrance of Sandra Kalsey, a dedicated volunteer, for her tremendous contributions to Gwen's Girls.
Local band raises donations and awareness for Gwen's Girls

Pam Hanlin, a community member, first heard of Gwen's Girls while working at Youthworks, where some of our girls would attend her sessions.

After resonating with Gwen's Girls' mission and wanting to make an impact on our community by empowering girls, she decided to fundraise for our organization as a way to raise awareness. 

Her, her husband, and her brother-in-law make up the band Dumplings, a band from the East End. On New Year's Eve 2016, they put on a show at Howler's in Lawrenceville and raised $550 to donate to Gwen's Girls. 

The band has been playing for five years around Pittsburgh and Chicago. They are featured in the photo above.

We are so grateful to our supporters who find creative ways to keep us going! 
Equity for Girls: Continuing the work beyond last year's summit

In October 2016, Gwen's Girls convened its inaugural Equity Summit, to discuss issues of equity affecting black girls based on data from FISA Foundation and Heinz Endowment's report,  Inequities Affecting Black Girls in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Since then, over 50 community partners have convened summit follow-up meetings for those interested in taking action in four areas of focus: 
h e a l t h   &   w e l l n e s s,  j u v e n i l e   j u s t i c e ,   c h i l d   w e l f a r e ,   e d u c a t i o n.

Below is our most recent Education workgroup convening at Gwen's Girls!  

Contact Meagan Roppo at with interest in joining the workgroup.
See the Best in Me, Year Two! 

In January, all of our girls from Northside, Penn Hills, and Clairton participated in a See the Best in Me program led by Dr. Britney Brinkman and Dr. Sara Goodkind to learn about Youth-led Participatory Action Research, an innovative approach that is based in social justice principles in which young people are trained to conduct research to address adverse issues impacting their lives, their communities, and the institutions intended to serve them. The girls are also learning about restorative justice and civic engagement. 

See the Best in Me is an advocacy, public education and awareness effort to reshape and redefine images of black girls in the city of Pittsburgh and beyond. The initiative equips girls and staff with personal development skills of thinking critically and nurturing your own voice through advocacy training and educational events.

Spirit of the King Award

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Port Authority selected our founder, Gwen Elliott, as this year’s posthumous honoree for the Spirit of the King Award. The ceremony took place on January 19th at the Kingsley Center.
Volunteer at Gwen's Girls!

Looking to give back in 2017? Contact Latifa Miller at to find out more about volunteering at Gwen's Girls! We have opportunities in: 
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Special events assistance
  • Maintenance
  • And more!