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Young women break barriers as they thrive at free construction camp promoting leadership, self-esteem

Free construction camp in Philadelphia empowers girls, shaping future leaders, breaking barriers, and opening career possibilities.

Young women break barriers as they thrive at free construction camp promoting leadership, self-esteem
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Good Morning America Screenshot

Empowering women is of paramount importance as it not only promotes gender equality but also unlocks a range of societal and economic benefits. When empowered, women can fully participate in all aspects of life, including education, the workforce, and decision-making processes. This leads to more significant innovation, improved well-being for families, and more sustainable communities. By recognizing and fostering the potential of women, we create a fairer and more prosperous world for everyone. One such initiative, the MyWIC (Mentoring Young Women in Construction), is a transformative effort aiming to empower girls entering 7th through 12th grade in the Philadelphia area. This groundbreaking construction camp offers a unique opportunity for real-world experience, mentorship, and education in the construction industry.



The camp is designed to open doors to career possibilities and foster a sense of inclusion and diversity by welcoming girls of all genders. Taking place between Thursday, July 6, and Friday, Aug. 11, MyWIC promises to be a life-changing experience, equipping young women with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in the construction world and beyond. MyWIC is made possible through the dedicated efforts of the NAWIC Philadelphia Foundation, in collaboration with prominent companies like NEST, a renowned national facilities management company, and Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern Jersey.

This powerful partnership brings to life a camp that aims to foster a sustainable labor pool in the construction industry and provides young women with exposure to careers they might not have considered before. By breaking down gender barriers and promoting inclusivity, MyWIC encourages girls to explore the vast opportunities available in the construction field. Thanks to the generous support from the Philadelphia Youth Network Work Ready, a significant portion of the camp's expenses are covered, ensuring that the girls can attend this transformative experience free of charge.




Mary Gaffney, the president of GEM Mechanical Services, runs the camp. She expressed her understanding of the experience of being the sole woman in construction-related jobs. Speaking to Good Moring America, she says. "It's not easy. I mean, there's not many of us, especially in a corporate environment." She cites the lack of women as the primary reason behind managing such a camp, along with getting more girls excited about jobs in the construction industry.

Throughout July and August, the construction camp will be held at various trade locations in Philadelphia. On a daily basis, the girls will be exposed to different specialties within the trades, such as carpentry, sheet metal work, safety training, electricians, finishing trades, steamfitters, plumbers, and retail construction. Madison McBride, a participant at the camp, said, "I want to either own my own construction company when I get out of college or work in a construction company. So I feel like all this background knowledge I'm learning now will definitely help me in the future."

According to Gaffney, learning about construction and its safety measures makes the process easy. She further emphasized that pursuing a career in construction can lead to lucrative job opportunities. The camp serves as a powerful statement to women worldwide, showing them that they are just as capable as men in any endeavor.

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