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UW Oshkosh student Rebecca Krummel (left) and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation Development Director Karlene Grabner present to a class of Oshkosh high school students.

Through an internship with the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, Rebecca Krummel, a senior University of Wisconsin Oshkosh human services major, has been able to gain experience creating and implementing the “Girls Granting Initiative,” an innovative grant program giving high school girls the power to award thousands of dollars to a program they believe will improve the lives of peers.

“The Girls Granting Initiative is a new program that gives 14 high school girls an opportunity to openly communicate with peers and adults about the problems they face as young women in their community,” said Krummel, who graduates from UW Oshkosh in December. “They speak knowledgably about how these problems affect themselves and their community as a whole, and are willing to share their thoughts and experiences.”

The girls participating in the program will then work together to decide on one specific issue they feel is important to young women in their community. The program will then donate $7,500 to a program that best serves this need.

“It is important to hear from them and then in return, give them the resources so they can grant a program to make a difference for girls,” Krummel said.

Through research done by a former Oshkosh Area Community Foundation intern, Krummel was able to see how other girls granting programs worked and learned the basics about setting up a similar type of program. With the help of a supervisor, Krummel was able to create lesson plans, get connected to Oshkosh high school social workers and counselors to assemble girls for the program, obtain female speakers from the community to talk to the girls and, with some assistance, run Girls Granting Initiative meetings.

“Rebecca is a self-motivated, smart young lady that understands the issues facing young girls today and how important those issues are,” said Krummel’s supervisor, Oshkosh Area Community Foundation Development Director Karlene Grabner . “She has great energy and wants the community to do better for young girls. Her passion shines through in this project.”

Grabner said it was important to have student interns involved in this project because they are closer to the issues being discussed and can more easily relate to what the girls are going through.

“Part of the mission of the Women’s Fund is to empower women and teach philanthropy, and through this program we are doing both,” Grabner said.

Krummel said it is difficult to pick just one thing she likes most about her internship, but running a girl-based program is a goal she has wanted to accomplish ever since she started her education in human services and women’s studies at UW Oshkosh.

“I am so thrilled that I have been able to combine my two areas of study by successfully creating a program, while at the same time professionally understanding the needs and issues of the girls I am working with,” Krummel said.

As Krummel prepares to graduate this December, she looks forward to continuing to work with non-profit organizations and feels prepared for her future career.

“We have been really lucky to have found talent like Rebecca, who saw the potential in this program and developed it even further than we imagined,” Grabner said.

Learn more:

  • Those who are interested in learning more about the Girls Granting Initiative, or internship information, can contact Grabner at 920-426-3993.
  • The Women’s Fund