Volume 2 | September 2017
Active Lives. Empowered Futures.
Welcome Back to BAWSI e-News!  
Before we get lost in the Back-to-School buzz, we thought we’d take some time to share the goodness that’s been happening at BAWSI during the spring and summer months.
BAWSI Finishes Strong on the Playgrounds this Spring
The spring season brought 463 BAWSI Girls and 156 BAWSI Rollers to our playgrounds. Contagious fun, connected coaching, and self-reflection are the hallmarks of our programming. The results again, were tangible. By the end of our programs, 80% of our BAWSI Girls told us they want to be a leader; 74% of our girls said they set goals for themselves; and a whopping 94% of our girls told us they want to exercise more and participate in more teams. When asked if she felt like an important member of the BAWSI team, one of our cognitively disabled Rollers at Farnham Elementary told us “ YES, because I’m different and I can make a difference.”  To that we say “Mission accomplished!”  Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers from 14 different universities, colleges and high schools; and the working professionals from Pure Storage and Newsela who helped create active lives and empowered futures.

Click Here for video link from the playground
Santa Clara University and Stanford Play Host to Successful BAWSI Girls Game Days
A highlight of the spring season is always our Game Days, when BAWSI Girls are hosted on local college campuses to play sports, watch women’s collegiate basketball and dream of a future at college. “If I can see her, I can be her,” is the Game Day rally cry, and this year gave us so many incredible role models, including UC California Berkeley’s women’s ultimate Frisbee team, Santa Clara women’s basketball and Stanford women’s basketball. Our girls were loud and proud in the stands, encouraged by the army of student-athletes seated in between, and next to them – all volunteers from local high schools, and Santa Clara University and Stanford athletics. 
  Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Honors BAWSI with County and State-wide Award for Partner in Educational Excellence
ACSA is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States, serving more than 17,000 California educators. Each year ACSA honors a select organization for their significant contributions to education with the Partner in Educational Excellence Award. This spring BAWSI claimed the award for both Santa Clara County and the entire state of California. Perhaps most rewarding is a read through the criteria used by ACSA to determine their winner:
•         Sustained, positive impact on student achievement and learning.
•         Effective collaboration between education and community leaders in the creation and implementation of the program.
•         Exemplary management and educational practices that can be replicated by other schools, districts and communities.
•         Innovative approaches to dealing with the complex challenges facing public education.
•         Broad support and active involvement by the community.
Every employee, volunteer, Board member, Advisory Council member and donor over the last 12 years deserves their name on this plaque. Here’s sending a collective high-five to all of you as we celebrate this shared recognition.

Click Here for more info on ACSA.
BAWSI’s Evening at the Olympics Continues to Grow
Cinco de Mayo marked the date of our 3 rd annual fundraising event, filled with the BAWSI vibe of purposeful play, as guests mingled with Olympians, competed in a few Olympic events, and learned more about BAWSI’s reach. San Jose Taiko started our dinner program with a heart-thumping sampling of Japanese drumming. Juliana Furtado shared her moving life story and personal triumph. San Jose Mayor, Sam Liccardo and co-founder Brandi Chastain presented the All-Star Ambassador Award to our inspirational founder, Marlene Bjornsrud. Principal Brian Schmaedick of Rosemary Elementary and Special Education Lead, Kim Goeggel, shared the impact of BAWSI programs at their respective schools.

Each year our event brings more momentum for BAWSI. 2017 was no different as we continued growth in every category including attendance (330 people), net profit ($164,000), and silent auction proceeds ($56,950). This event enables us to provide our programming free of charge to participants by launching us into the 2017-2018 school year with a strong financial anchor. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who made the night possible – including Gold Medal sponsor, Heartbeat Ideas, all of our generous corporate sponsors and foundations, and volunteers from the National Charity League (Saratoga chapter), Gavilan College women’s basketball, Santa Clara University students and Sacred Heart Preparatory student-athletes.
Earthquakes Host An Afternoon to “Get Your Daughters in the Game”   
Imagine an afternoon at Avaya Stadium just for 50 fathers who love their daughters, and love the beautiful game of soccer. In late May, the Earthquakes rolled out the red carpet at Avaya Stadium for some of our BAWSI Girls and residents of Valley Palms Apartments in east San Jose. Lucky participants played soccer alongside their fathers at a variety of stations designed for maximum fun with a dash of skill and coordination building. The intent was to break down cultural barriers around girls in sports by using love of soccer and the prestige of the Earthquakes to create a positive sports experience between fathers and their daughters.

After a full hour of play and a stadium tour, participants were treated to lunch and a panel discussion hosted by former US Women’s National Team Player and Earthquakes sideline reporter, Danielle Slaton, highlighting the importance of getting girls in the game. Panelists included Brandi Chastain; former Olympian and Earthquake, Mani Hernandez; and several members of the Mexican Women’s National Team, now playing for the Santa Clara Lady Broncos. Our BAWSI Athlete Leader, Gema Ortiz, worked double-duty as both coach and Spanish translator for the panel. Special thanks to the Quakes for their commitment to inclusion and their investment in our community.
San Francisco 49ers Host THINK Gold! for High School Athletes
For the 9 th straight year, the 49ers teamed up with BAWSI to host the annual T.H.I.N.K. Gold! Conference presented by Real California Milk. Over 50 female high school athletes from the Bay Area received the opportunity of a lifetime to go behind the scenes at the 49ers stadium to learn from coaches and staff through a variety of social, educational and physical activities. Our day ended with a panel of the hard-working women of the 49ers back office, who candidly shared their professional journeys, giving the girls a glimpse of career possibilities in an NFL franchise. These insights were a true highlight for the aspiring young women in attendance, many of whom have been BAWSI volunteers. Cheers to the 49ers Foundation for continued leadership in bringing more women into the business of sports.

Click Here for video link
  Farewell & Good Luck to the 2016-2017 BAWSI Posse
We said goodbye to our Athlete Leadership Team and program coordinator as their BAWSI tenures came to a close in mid-June. This exceptional group of young women will begin the ripple effect of compassionate leadership in their new careers and endeavors. Knowing them and seeing them in action, makes us supremely confident about the future of our communities. Here’s who’s going where:
  • Hilary Hunt (Fall 2015-Spring 2017) Attending the University of Utah for a Masters in Occupational Therapy
  • Whitney Kanavel (Spring 2016-Spring 2017) Attending San Jose State University for a Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and returning to BAWSI as our program coordinator.
  • Lauren Mulhern (Fall 2016-Spring 2017) Attending the University of San Francisco for a Masters in Sports Management and returning as site coach.
  • Sloan Lewis (Fall 2016-Spring 2017) Attending UC Irvine for a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biosciences.
  • Christina Rebata (Spring 2017) Trying out for professional women’s soccer team in Europe.
  • Gema Ortiz (Spring 2017) returning to San Jose State University to complete her B.S. in psychology.
SF Giants Celebrate the 45 th Anniversary of Title IX
In July, BAWSI teamed up with the San Francisco 49ers Foundation in their annual celebration of girls in sports, with a special focus on the anniversary of Title IX legislation. It was a day to celebrate the progress and promise of Title IX and the individuals and organizations who are paving the way for more equity. The Giants celebrated BAWSI, Coaching Corps and local female champions at a pre-game ceremony at home plate. First Lady of Sports in the Bay Area and BAWSI Advisory Council member, Anne Cribbs, welcomed the all-star group at an earlier reception, reminding the younger generation to appreciate and defend the rights of Title IX legislation. BAWSI shared the need to support Title IX sports equity for ALL girls, not just those who can afford it. Kudos to the SF Giants Foundation for their longstanding commitment to celebrating girls in sports. 
Brandi Chastain Inducted into U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame
For video coverage click Here
In late March, we celebrated World Cup Champion, Olympian, BAWSI co-founder, and exemplary role model, Brandi Chastain, as she was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame alongside her teammate, Shannon MacMillan. Every movement needs a catalyst and an inspirational image. Brandi’s shot heard round the world at the 1999 World Cup and spontaneous celebration afterwards, gave us both, igniting the growth of girls’ soccer and a greater appreciation for women in sports. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor Brandi!
Giving Circle Launches for Blackford Elementary
BAWSI Board Member, Susan Munne, opened her home and launched our first ever Giving Circle in support of the BAWSI Girls program closest to her neighborhood - Blackford Elementary. Susan hosted a stellar group of women, serving plenty of food and beverages, as we heard from Brandi Chastain, and former BAWSI Girl -turned BAWSI staff member, Gema Ortiz. The Giving Circle brings philanthropic women and families together to commit to supporting 1 year of BAWSI Girls programming. 32 members in a circle, giving $50 per month, support a BAWSI Girls or BAWSI Rollers site for an entire school year. Giving Circle members enjoy a special connection with their school site, including hosted site visits with the principal and special recognition from the Blackford BAWSI Girls. 

While we’re off to a fantastic start with this Giving Circle, we still have room to round out the Circle, so please give us a call if you’re interested in joining. Want to start a Giving Circle in your neighborhood? Give us a call or send us an email – we can help make it happen!
Where Are They Now? A Regular Feature on Former BAWSI Staffers 
Meet Angela Gonzaga, former BAWSI Program Director, now entering her fifth year as Director of Operations for the Texas Christian University women’s basketball team. Angela spent three years at BAWSI from 2010-2013. Among many other contributions, she helped design and pilot our current structure for the Athlete Leadership Team, i.e., our part-time, seasonal staff of coaches who run our programs. Angela told us, “BAWSI gave words to what I knew,” and showed her that female athletes have a unique platform and opportunity to serve others. She was drawn to BAWSI because it provided a cross-section of everything she cared about – education as a vehicle for change, positive athletic experiences, and girl power. 

A true change maker, Angela has created important off-court experiences for the Lady Horned Frogs that include weekly volunteer work at a program for children with Down Syndrome and other developmental delays. The volunteer work was a true win-win for the program. Coach Raegan Pefley noted “As a result of service, we see women in our program discover their gifts, new passions, growing in their confidence and realize their true impact and worth.”

In addition, Angela has had her team volunteering in Fort Worth elementary schools to promote literacy; marching with Girls Inc. to promote strong, smart, bold girls; preparing dinner for the homeless, volunteering at a women’s shelter, and hosting a dance party at a local retirement center. Angela’s most recent accomplishment is the creation of an international service immersion program in both rural and urban Panama for TCU’s student-athletes. Finished with the design and pilot, the program has taken root as an annual offering for student-athletes to become global citizens.

Angela shared that the “legacy of BAWSI lives on in everything I do and everywhere I go.” We admire Angela for her continued leadership and devotion to empowering young people – she is a shining example of the BAWSI ripple effect.
Julie Foudy Book Signing
Kepler’s Book Store in Menlo Park played host to BAWSI co-founder, World Champion, Hall of Famer, Broadcaster, now turned author, Julie Foudy, last May as a stop on her book tour for her new book Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously You. Local Foudy lovers turned out in droves and were rewarded with a high energy, keeping it real, “sock talk” between Foudy and a few of her friends. Outfitted in their favorite socks and no shoes, 4x Olympic Water Polo player, Brenda Villa; Pixar producer and BAWSI Advisory Council member, Darla Anderson; Brandi Chastain; and our very own, Gema Ortiz gabbed like sisters on stage, discussing everything from inner fears to favorite foods. After the talk, the superstars drew a sizeable crowd for autographs, while Gema Ortiz was surprised to see her own crowd from a large group of girls who came from the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, reminding herself that you don’t have to be an elite athlete to be a positive role model.
  • Tuesday, November 7th , 2017 8:30 am – 10:00 am at Fremont Hills Country Club, Los Altos Hills - BAWSI FAN Presents…  Fueling for Performance: A Panel Discussion on the Myths, Pitfalls & Warning Signs for Female Athletes

  • Friday, May 4th, 2018 at Villa Ragusa, Campbell - BAWSI’s Evening at the Olympics
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BAWSI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization (federal tax ID #55-0897084)
  Active Lives. Empowered Futures.
Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative | 1922 The Alameda, Suite 420 | San Jose, CA 95126 | 408.247.2544 |
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