Youth Guidance – WOW

Launched 2021


Supporting girls of color to find their power, their voice and, ultimately, their way

Working On Womanhood (WOW), a program of Youth Guidance, provides in-school, group-based mentoring and clinical support to cultivate leadership, promote mental health, and foster the social-emotional skills of girls in Grades 6 through 12. WOW Scholars, through the gender-specific, therapeutic approach, gain skills to cope with negative thoughts, solve problems, and build self-efficacy to make positive and healthy decisions and, ultimately, be leaders in their schools and their communities.

Too many youth of color are exposed to traumatic experiences as a result of systemic racism —community violence, grief, and loss. For girls, this trauma leads to PTSD, anxiety, and depression symptoms—significantly more than their male peers. In 2019, 45% of girls in Boston Public Schools reported feeling sad or hopeless for two or more weeks. GreenLight brought WOW to Greater Boston to address these challenges.

WOW, working alongside staff and administrators, brings to Greater Boston its proven ability to positively impact girls’ mental health and ensure they are on track for graduation. It has shown that 62% of its participants experienced reduced PTSD symptoms, 71% reported decreased depression symptoms, and 96% affirmed the program improved their decision-making skills.

“WOW is needed here in Boston because our young people need to feel supported and need to feel like they matter.”

WOW’s Impact in Boston

In 2022-2023


individuals reached


of WOW participants with clinical PTSD showing improvement by the end of the year


of WOW participants with clinical depression showing improvement by the end of the year

In Boston

young women participated in the Working on Womanhood (WOW) program in school year 2023

Read the Story

WOW circles create a space for girls of color to be themselves.

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