Frequently Asked Questions
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Hurrah! Attending the Girls of Promise® conference is free. We are grateful to have many corporate sponsors and individual donors who help provide this program to students and chaperones at no cost. And there is no catch. Lodging and meals will be provided. The meals included during the conference are lunch and dinner Thursday evening and breakfast and lunch on Friday.
Girls of Promise® is a two-day conference. Registration will be open between 8:30-9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. On Friday, we will start our day around 8:00 a.m. and conclude after a lunch keynote around 2:30 PM. Once the conference is over, before girls can leave and go home, their chaperones must check each girl out by signing for her and providing a photo ID to one of the Girls of Promise committee members. Only the chaperone who is attending the conference with the girls will be allowed to check them out.
The 2020 conference will be held just outside Little Rock at the Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale on Thursday April 2nd and travel downtown to Heifer International for activities on Friday April 3rd. Buses provided by WFA will transport the girls from Ferndale to Downtown Little Rock on Friday morning. More details about activities and their locations will be posted on the Conference Schedule. Lodging will be provided within the 4-H Center.
You will spend your conference time interacting with and learning from some amazing women working in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. Your break-out session presenters will introduce you to fields of study through the use of exciting hands-on activities specific to their areas of expertise. Participants will rotate through group and breakout sessions and hear from inspiring women about their career decisions. You will also get to spend time with your team and team leader, learn about your team STEM Heroine, and learn about each other through team-based activities. Thursday night you get to hear presentations from our Tech for Good finalists and vote on your favorite project.
On Friday, the conference will include an Exhibit Hall and visit to another STEM-focused activity or site visit in downtown Little Rock. Friday will conclude in a general session where you will make a promise to yourself in regard to your future.
Chaperones have their own sessions throughout the day to help guide them on how to support their students’ future success in STEM.
Transportation will NOT be provided to or from the conference. Some transportation reimbursement is available based on county. Transportation on Friday morning to downtown Little Rock will be provided. Lodging will be provided. Girls will be assigned to a room in the 4-H Center grounds. Chaperones will also be housed in a room in the same facility. Chaperones will be lodged together & girls will be lodged together. Chaperones will not be placed with girls unless specifically requested.
Sheets, blankets, pillows, and towels will be provided by the 4H center. You do not need to bring your own unless you absolutely want to. You may want to bring your own toiletry items such as shampoo/conditioner/soap.
Unfortunately, this is not possible. We have designed the program in such a way as to provide as much information and exposure to careers in STEM possible. If you cannot be present for the entire conference, please do not apply. Please check your schedule carefully BEFORE completing your application. Applying to the program when you already have a commitment takes a spot away from another girl who is interested AND available.
All students must complete an online application and will be subject to WFA’s established admissions criteria. We are unable to guarantee acceptance of all of a chaperone’s students as a group because our admissions process values racial, socioeconomic, and geographical diversity.
Girls wanting to participate in Girls of Promise® are required to complete an application and obtain a recommendation from a teacher or counselor in their school. This form is completed online by the teacher/counselor by the deadline indicated on the form. Students will not be accepted into the program without this recommendation.
It is extremely important that your daughter complete the application herself. There are several reasons why we ask that you not help your daughter with the application process. Applications are essay-based. It is not fair that you – an adult – write an essay that will compete with essays written by eighth-grade girls. Also, if your daughter is not interested in STEM areas of study or in attending a conference on these subjects, applying for her is not going to convince her to consider career paths in these disciplines. Perhaps you can guide her to the Girls of Promise® section of WFA’s website to raise her interest and encourage her to apply.
One thing we’ve learned over the years of hosting this conference is that if a young woman does not want to be at the conference, she will negatively influence the other young women attending. The young women who attend Girls of Promise® are eager to learn about future career opportunities and we want them to have as positive an experience as possible at the conference.
Girls of Promise® is an admission-based program. This means that all young women wishing to attend a conference must complete an application. Applications are completed online and are reviewed after the application deadline. Those young women who best meet our admissions criteria are invited to attend the program.
We seek girls in the eighth grade with an expressed interest in science, technology, engineering, or math. Admissions will be based on the quality of the application essays. We do not ask for your GPA or a transcript. We are interested in YOU as a person. We are seeking girls who have a desire for knowledge and an interest in STEM fields. We hope to give you a good understanding of the work that is necessary to succeed in these fields while you are at the conference and inspire you to follow your dreams. Our admissions process does prioritize and value diversity – not only racial and socioeconomic but also geographical as we realize these opportunities are not offered as often in various parts of our state.
There are two essay questions that you must answer in the application process. They are:
- Why are you interested in participating in the Girls of Promise® program?
- What are your short term and long term educational goals?
The essay questions are the only place in the application process where you have an opportunity to tell us about YOU. We ARE interested. We want to know about your interest in STEM. We want to hear about your experiences, your dreams. We want to know that you are smart, motivated, ready to take on the world – whatever you want to share with us so that we have a good sense of just who you are. We are truly interested in YOU.
WFA will accept 200 students and maintain a waiting list of 10 – 20 students. If one of the original 200 students selected is unable to attend, a girl from the waiting list will be contacted and accepted in her place. Occasionally, we will not know a young woman is not attending until registration on the day of the conference. Girls on the waiting list should be prepared to receive a call that they have been accepted anytime between the acceptance period and Thursday registration.
First, make sure the application deadline has passed. Admissions decisions will not be made before this deadline. Applicants who have been selected in this process will be notified promptly through both email during the first week of February and physical mail letters shortly there after. If it is the second week of February and you still have not heard from us, check your email account’s Spam Folder. If you can’t locate the email in your Spam Folder and the chaperone listed on your application has also not heard back, then contact us for information.
Sadly, we cannot accept all applicants. Please do not take our decision as a judgment of you as a student or as a person. We receive almost twice the number of applications than the number of girls who can be selected to attend. Our decisions are based on what you have shared with us about yourself in your essays, the quality of your essays (grammar, spelling, punctuation), and the quality of your teacher recommendation.
Please contact us immediately. The girls on the waiting list would appreciate attending in your place.
Girls of Promise® is designed for eighth grade girls. However, there are opportunities for program alumnae in grades 9 – 12 to attend other Girls of Promise events, such as our summer & December coding summits.
We also want you to stay in touch via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@GirlsofPromise). Let us know what you are doing; share information on fun educational camps that you hear of or have attended; post photos from the conference or educational projects you are working and so on. The Girls of Promise® Facebook page is there for you to support one another in your studies and aspirations. As our program develops and grows, more opportunities will open up for Girls of Promise® alumnae.