Girl Ambassador Program (GAP)

Our girls don’t just want equal opportunities, but every opportunity

When we think about the future of work, we see Black women in the boardroom, Black women starting businesses, and Black women leading the next tech revolution. 

By creating access to relevant skills, experiences, and support, we can ensure Black Women not only see themselves in those roles, but have a clear path and the resources to get there. That’s why the Girl Ambassador Program (GAP) was created.

The 2022 Girl Ambassador Program is closed.
Applications reopen in November 2022 for the 2023 cohort.

Getting Ready to Work: The GAP Experience

Girls for A Change, Girl Ambassador Program, Ready to work

What if before you got your driver's license, you were equipped with skills and certifications to help you on your career path? What if you had opportunities to learn digital, professional, and soft skills alongside other Black girls who share your same drive to succeed?

The Girl Ambassador Program (GAP) is a four-year, tiered approach to workforce development. Through paced learning and development, our certified instructors work with girls based on their individual software and hardware proficiencies and life experiences to teach hybrid skills and prepare them for better-paying jobs and leadership roles. Girls are introduced to thought leaders and subject matter experts on job readiness, leadership, networking, and financial literacy in order to give them a head start on professional and entrepreneurial career pathways. Each GAP participant also gets a free membership to Immersion Lab.

Our sessions run twice a week for an hour. Every 15 weeks there is a Saturday session lasting 6-8 hours. These sessions are a chance for girls learn and also build their own peer networks while creating a bond of sisterhood through cultivated experiences. We take field trips, meet powerful professionals from all ethic groups and backgrounds , learn self efficacy and confidence. All of this culminates in a six week paid summer internship where girls will get the chance to put their skills to work in the real world with one of our vetted hiring partners.

We recognize it is important to teach the next generation the power of Black philanthropy. Additionally, girls will learn the power of paying it forward by participating in a giving circle and fundraising efforts.

At the end of the program, each girl will walk away with a new network of peers, allies, and mentors, transferable skills, in-demand career certifications, and experiences she will take with her for the rest of her life. She will be full and confidently prepared for work with a community to support her.

Attendance and Participation

Showing up is an important part of getting the most out of your Girl Ambassador experience. We allow one excused absence for mentoring sessions, two excused absences for weekday virtual sessions, and one excused absence for in-person sessions. We understand that emergencies happen and participants may need to be excused from class. We ask that participants and their parents communicate any anticipated absence with our program staff and make arrangements to make up any missed work. Participants who miss the maximum number of program sessions allowed may be removed from the program and/or forfeit part or all of the allotted program incentives.

Build Black Girl Circle

In order to increase the amount of Black philanthropy in this world, we need to teach the power of Black giving to our youth. The Build Black Girl Circle is a Black girl led program that teaches the importance of community service and philanthropy. Each GAP participant is required to raise funds through events, outreach to their personal circle, and giving of their own. At the end of the program, participants will do research, conduct application reviews, and then vote collectively on which nonprofit in the Greater Richmond Area receives the funds.

“Girls For A Change didn’t give me my worth, they helped me see my worth.”
- Genisus Holland

Girl Ambassador Program - Current Scholarship Opportunities

Girls who have completed 3-4 years of the Girl Ambassador Program have the opportunity to apply for scholarships through our Private Donor Fund. Each donor has their own set of eligibility requirements based on their scholarship. Girls For A Change strongly encourages our returning senior Girl Ambassador participants to research and plan early to apply.

Girl Ambassador Program - Private Donor Fund

In August 2020, The Ezer Agency’s Founder, Altimese Curry, partnered with Girls For A Change to start a scholarship fund and then petitioned other Black Women Business Owners to join her in supporting future Black women leaders. What started as one scholarship to Virginia Commonwealth University has blossomed into a scholarship program with multiple scholarship opportunities being offered by women who want to give back.


All donations made before April will go to girls entering higher education or a training program in the current year Fall semester.

Donations made between May and December will go towards the following year's Fall semester scholarships.

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Girl Ambassador Program - Become A Hiring Partner

Black women have been historically excluded and exploited by the rules of the American economy. Even before the onset of the Covid pandemic, when Black women suffered the most significant unemployment in the United States, they also suffered on-the-job marginalization and suppression. On average, Black women and women of color in the United States are paid less than their counterparts. As a result, the average woman of color misses out on more than $1,000,000 during her career. Gender and racial equality are critical for organizations that want to perform better.

Because of these harsh realities, Black women frequently turn to entrepreneurship to mitigate the racist and sexist realities that limit their opportunities in the workplace. Yet even in entrepreneurship, Black women face disproportionate challenges - namely the lack of adequate capital and mentorship, and the inability to test their business ideas without jeopardizing their financial security. Girls For A Change (GFAC) is on a mission to help Black girls and young women chart stronger paths towards economic success and empowerment as they enter adulthood. 

  • Provide Safe and Brave Learning and Workspace

    Learn, develop and apply a culturally-relevant, socio-emotional workplace competence for young Black women in the Greater Richmond area.

  • Be Part of the Solution Amid the Pandemic

    The current COVID-19 crisis has exposed and is widening the equity gap and has exacerbated the challenges Black girls face. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure those wanting to enhance their skills and have gainful summer work experience have the opportunity to do so. You can help us fill these gaps by partnering with us to provide summer jobs for participants. 

  • Increase Opportunity

    As a hiring partner you offer a unique lens into a career path our participants may not have known existed, while connecting to individuals who they might never have met before. As a hiring partner you open pathways for new career opportunities in your field and business. This increases opportunity and strengthens our participants’ career options.

  • Catalyze Culture Change

    For organizations seeking to become more adaptive and innovative, culture change is often the most challenging part of the transformation. Innovation demands new behaviors from leaders and employees that are often antithetical to corporate cultures, which are historically focused on operational excellence and efficiency.

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Program Schedule & Deadline

The Girl Ambassador program begins every spring and goes through the summer. Girls attend various workshops and build their skills through specialized training sessions. In the summer, they take action—volunteering, job shadowing, participating in paid or unpaid internships and working on projects for real employers.

The Application Process
The application process for the 2022 Girl Ambassador Program closes on Thursday, January 30, 2022 at 11:59PM

The Program Schedule
The program will require participants to commit to 8 hours a week. Participants will attend class for one hour during the weekdays (*Thursdays) and 6 hours on *Saturday.

The program runs from February 8, 2022 until May 14, 2022. Internships will take place from July 5, 2022 to August 12 2022.

*Schedule is subject to change

Women of Color in the Workplace

Women of Color in the Workplace released their first annual study, The 2021 Status of Women of Color in the Workplace Report. The report lays bare the inequities Black women and other women of color face, showing just how critical our work is right now.

GAP in the News

Girls For A Change Ambassador Program Opens Eyes & Doors

Girls For A Change Ambassador Program reaches four-year mark

Hiring Partners

Each participant will be matched with a hiring partner working in person. remotely or on a hybrid schedule, depending on the hiring partner requirements.

Hiring partners and the participants attend a speed hiring event, one day in-person or virtual orientation During the internship, there are ongoing professional development opportunities, including diversity and inclusion in the workplace training, resume workshops, and career exploration. Hiring partners, mentors and instructors are available to provide guidance and support and continue to learn and unlearn practices that have harmed Black women in the workplace as they help our participants prepare to enter the workplace.

2022 Internship commitment six weeks June - August.

Words From Our Hiring Partners

"If I loved Angela W Patton and Girls For Change before, I am even more enamoured today. The preparation she provides her business partners for creating an amazing experience in summer internships for our young Black girls. I am so excited to be part of this community." - Vida Williams, Singlestone

“Jhanee was extremely dependable and enjoyed being an integral part of the process. She was able to deliver exactly what I needed... There were many times I needed to be in two places at the same time. Jhanee was a force multiplier and I could not have have done all  I did and been everywhere I needed to be without her help and understanding of the process.” - Nadira Chase, Owner, Adiva Naturals

“I can't say enough about how much I loved working with Abena. At first, I was worried I wouldn't have enough for her to do but turns out I had a ton and Abena was game to try it all! She took direction well, picked up new concepts quickly and was always looking for ways to grow and improve. We were so lucky to have her this summer and I hope we'll be able to include her in many future projects." - Louise Keeton, Digital Producer at PBS

2022 Hiring Partners

These companies believe in investing in the life, personal and professional development of Black girls living throughout the Richmond Metropolitan Area.

Emergent Social Solutions
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Previous Hiring Partners

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Success Stories
Breeana Gant
Breeana Gant
“I am a junior at Christopher Newport University studying Information Science with a double minor in Leadership and Business Administration. I first learned about the Girl Ambassador Program during my junior year from my high school AP Physics teachers. Initially I wasn’t going to apply, since I hadn’t heard about the program or GFAC until a few days before the application deadline, but I’m extremely thankful that I did! As a participant during the launch of the Girl Ambassador Program, I was very nervous to see what the experience was like, and I was delightfully surprised. In my first year of the Girl Ambassador Program I was able to perfect skills in networking and writing, and I even had the chance to design my own personal logo, which was a very helpful experience to apply to my summer internship with Emergent Social Solutions, headed by Ashley Ray. That summer, I was able to hone in on my creativity and communication skills, which in turn assisted me in scoring another summer internship at Dominion Energy as a Business Analyst Intern this past summer. My past experience in writing gave me the upperhand in resume writing, interviewing, and networking with executives. My second year in the GAP allowed me to refine my Excel skills, which aided me this past summer as well. Without the support of the Girl Ambassador Program, I would more than likely be working at my very first job as a grocery store cashier. Not only did it impact my professional skills, but it also given me multiple moments to improve and advance in my career path.”
Michelle Johnson
Michelle Johnson
Michelle Johnson is a Huguenot High School graduate who has been in the Girl Ambassador Program for two years. During her second year as a Girl Ambassador participant, Michelle earned a full-ride scholarship to James Madison University.

“GAP has helped me prepare for the future by building my communication skills in zoom calls, by listening to trained professionals about their journey, and participating in social projects dedicated to empowering black girls. It is an honor to be a part of a sisterhood, who motivates me and truly cares about my well-being. One thing I’ve really enjoyed from the GAP would be all the network opportunities. I have gained so much support and advice that will guide me in my future endeavors.”

Michelle plans to get her BSN in nursing and become a registered nurse, with the possibility of traveling the world as a travel nurse.
Iyanna Hardin
Iyanna Hardin
Iyanna Hardin is a 12th grader at K12 Virginia Virtual Academy and is entering her 4th year in the Girl Ambassador program. Iyanna is also a business owner for her own line of beauty products, Iyanna Monet Essentials and has earned a position as the Girls For A Change Brand Ambassador. The skills she has learned GAP has helped her in her role as the Brand Ambassador and has helped her grow her business.

“My favorite thing about the Girl Ambassador program is being able to advance my skillset, learn skills related to technology, advance my career options, and expand my network opportunities.”
Read more about Iyanna in this story by Channel6

The GAP program provides SAT and other test preparation courses, college application and tours visits, as well as financial literacy and planning workshops and scholarships for our seniors for both students and parents to feel some ease. Training and certification includes Microsoft, Google Badges, Project Management, Coding, Entrepreneurship, and the list keeps growing.