Goodman Community Center | Team Spotlight: Girls Inc. of Greater…

Team Spotlight: Girls Inc. of Greater Madison

See what Goodman's Girls Inc. of Greater Madison staff are up to in 2024.

March 15, 2024 |

Girls Inc. of Greater Madison (GIGM) is one great(er) team!

GIGM is a local branch of the national Girls Inc. organization that brings STEM to girl-identifying and nonbinary youth through empowering rhetoric and activities. MSCR helps bring Girls Inc. to the entire Madison area, but Goodman is proud to host GIGM’s core team, Jade Koenigs, Molly Stapleton, and Karimar (Kari) Ledesma.

Molly (Girls Inc. Administrative Specialist) and Kari (Girls Inc. STEM Coordinator) are relatively new to Goodman and Girls Inc, but their passions were made for this community.

Molly, GIGM Administrative Specialist (Left) & Kari, STEM Club Coordinator (Right)

After spending 7 years as a teacher, Molly was looking for a new way to support youth and have a positive impact on community. That’s when she found Girls Inc’s open admin position this past fall. Equally impressed and inspired by the Girls Inc. motto “Strong, Smart, Bold” and Goodman’s widespread community impact, Molly found the position an easy and fulfilling fit. When she isn’t helping GIGM events and clubs run smoothly, you can usually find Molly rock climbing.

Kari is a recent undergrad with an impressive mind. She has a bachelor’s in theoretical physics and is fervent about making science fun and accessible for kids. As the STEM Coordinator, Kari spends much of her time planning experiments and activities that will help kids fall in love with science and dream of careers in STEM. Her favorite moments are the look on kids’ faces when they connect with or understand an experiment. Her deep love and commitment for science is also present in her love for running and salsa dancing.

Jade Koenigs cheering on participants at the February 2024 TGIF Day

Girls Inc. Manager Jade thought her years of running girl-centered programming were behind her when COVID hit and sent her looking for a new job But thank goodness she was wrong! A job that was intended as a temporary stepping stone has brought out the leader and dreamer in Jade. Every day she learns something new, and not just about the position but about herself and the world. Jade also credits her involvement in Rugby (she’s a coach to UW Madison’s Women’s Rugby team) and love for Dungeons and Dragons for keeping her creative, agile and inspired while working for Girls Inc.

2024 has had GIGM staff busy as bees! The upcoming April TGIF Day—a no-school day alternative activity hosted with MSCR for 3rd-9th graders—has Kari deep in planning the Women in STEM round robin discussion. Molly is working with Jade on the exciting new Eureka! pilot program, which will connect early high schoolers with STEM resources and professionals to turn their future dreams into reality. As manager, Jade is involved with all of GIGM’s ongoing projects, however, she’s been spending a lot of time with the East High School Girls Inc. Club on their exciting period product campaign. The high schoolers have been working within the community to get period products donated for East High bathrooms, but even more impressively, the group has teamed up with Cummins Inc. to build a machine that can sort and dispense any kind of period products (seriously, ANY size or type). The team is truly incredible!

Jade, Molly and Kari also emphasized how important volunteers are to the Girls Inc. mission. Volunteers are there for the small moments, like when Kari needs another hand in STEM club, and the big ones, such as setting up the first TGIF Day back in December. The three team members are strong, smart and bold on their own, but without the help of volunteers their program dreams would likely stay just out of reach.

Want to help keep this one of a kind program alive for Madison youth? Consider donating to Girls Inc today!

For more information about Girls Inc. of Greater Madison contact:

Jade Koenigs

Girls Inc. Manager
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