BIO Girls increased its reach to 1 in 13 ND girls in 2022
The organization will also unveil 5 modules for adolescent program in 2023
At its recent annual fundraising gala last month, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering and educating girls and teens about confidence, wellness and more announced it is reaching 1 in 13 girls in North Dakota.
BIO Girls will also launch 5 modules of its new teen program for girls in grades 8-11: Mental Wellness, Body Esteem, Relationships, Self-Confidence and Faith Journey, according to a press release from the organization. BIO Girls seeks to reach 400 teen girls through that program next year.
Founder Missy Heilman brought on stage her three daughters, Olivia, Jazlyn and Mila – who first inspired her to create the organization, which stands for Beautiful Inside and Out – to introduce them to a full room at the Avalon.
“They are my why, along with the thousands of other girls in our region,” Heilman said. “They fuel my purpose to keep growing and to keep innovating.”
Two years ago, Heilman announced the organization’s goal to reach 1 in 6 girls by 2025.
Created in 2013, BIO Girls provides a 12-session program that includes life skill lessons, mentorship and noncompetitive physical activity for girls in grades 2 through 6 . It was created in Fargo but has since expanded to 75 locations throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Just four years ago, the organization reached 760 girls with 2,700 girls involved in 2022. The organization estimates reaching more than 4,000 youth and teen girls in 2023 with an estimated financial assistance of $375,000, according to a blog post about the fundraising gala.
The fourth annual gala’s theme of “a night in black & white” illuminated the stark reality that the issues facing young girls and teens are complex. A 2021 North Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 1 in 3 girls believe their mental health is not good. Nearly half reported being bullied at school with 39% being electronically bullied, according to the press release.
Additionally, more than half of ND girls surveyed reported unhealthy body esteem, and 1 in 8 girls has attempted suicide.
Learn more about BIO Girls at www.biogirls.org.