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GEM: Encouraging and Empowering Girls

The associate-led giving committees of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation exist to make a difference by living our Core Values every day. The Atlanta Falcons Youth Fund (AFYF) invests in organizations that focus on innovative ways to increase the amount of time kids spend in physical activity – especially those that change the lives of children who are most likely to miss out on, or opt out of, physical activity.

One such grantee organization, Girls Empowerment Movement (GEM), is on a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of middle school girls by empowering them to take the lead in developing physical activity programs designed by girls, for girls. The program supports improved fitness levels, long term health and emotional wellbeing.

In 2019, GEM started their initiative to improve physical activity and aerobic capacity for almost 200,000 middle school girls across Georgia. That same year, AFYF granted GEM more than $4 million over six years to support their Engage Georgia Middle School Girls project. Since then, the GEM programming has engaged 4,660 girls at more than 100 sites across Georgia through organized sports, non-traditional physical activity and play.

The program has been implemented in partnership with HealthMPowers, Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia and The University of West Georgia.

GEM is also currently providing leadership training to approximately 7,000 girls at more than 100 Georgia locations. Participants are developing new physical activity and leadership opportunities for their peers, reaching a total of approximately 18,000 girls statewide.

For girls, by girls. The leaders of GEM program are change agents for a healthier future, believing in themselves and striving for greatness.


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