Girls EMpowered


United Way of Henderson County’s Women United invests in the future of local youth by supporting Girls Empowered.

Girls Empowered (GEM) is a weekly afterschool program designed to increase self-esteem and school success for girls in fifth and eight grades. Gem sessions at each school include 15 participants who have been identified by school teachers and counselors, and each school host 9 – 10 weekly sessions.

Teachers and counselors facilitate and teach the GEM sessions in partnership with guest speakers and Women United volunteers. Each session uses a particular character trait or topic as a theme, such as empowerment, confidence, inner beauty, perseverance, passion, and commitment. A signature feature of all GEM sessions is the careful recruitment of local professional women from diverse careers and diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds as guest speakers. The professionals share their personal stories with the girls, including how they overcame obstacles to meet their goals. Some sessions include field trips to visit women owned and operated businesses for hands on learning.

GEM has provided meaningful opportunities to fifth and eighth grade girls, most of whom come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, are students of color, or come from families that are English language learners.

GEM is a signature program of Women United, a network of engaged members supporting UWHC. A portion of Women United members’ financial contributions directly sponsor GEM activities.

Click here to learn more about Women United or to Support the Girls Empowered program.

Ready to learn more about bringing GEM to your school? Email Jenny Moreno, GEM Coordinator



 Thank You to our Women United Sponsors whose partnership supports GEM




Champion Comfort Experts Logo WNC Bridge Foundation


GEM Backpack Sponsor



Gem Flat Rock Tour

GEM Yoga class

Gem Vet visit