Girls Paving the Way Program Logo

Gaining Information to Reach Life of Success (GIRLS) Paving the Way

GIRLS Paving the Way (GPW) helps educationally-disadvantaged middle school girls be socially, emotionally, and academically prepared for high school.

  • GPW is a three-year, pilot program that launched at Lakeview Middle School in Watsonville during the 2017-18 school year.

  • GPW began with a cohort of 35 sixth grade girls; 30 of the original 35 girls continue to be active.

  • The girls will matriculate to high school in June 2020

  • GPW’s goal is for the girls to enter high school emotionally & socially healthy - progressing on pathways to high school graduation, future-directed, with career identities leading to college or technical training that will prepare them to give back to their community.

  • Program staff and partners serve as consistent, positive role models for the girls

  • GPW received pilot funding from the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.

Infographic for GPW

Testimonials from GPW Participants

“GPW is fun and they teach you a lot. We go on fun field trips and you make new friends and learn about a lot of jobs. The (counselors) are nice and we can trust them if we have problems, they give us good advice.”

“The best thing about GPW is that they help you with homework and you get to go to new places. And they put a lot of effort to help you. And they are always with you when you are going through stuff.”

“What I like best about GPW is when we visit universities and we learn about them. We visit new places and meet new people. I love everything. All the workshops.”

“GPW has prepared me for high school because they told me what classes I had to take [to be college ready]. They talked about A-G requirements. I'm more confident when I speak and I'm not scared to talk to my teachers. They help me stand up for myself. They help me with my homework and help me understand math problems. They taught us how to know if a relationship is good which is going to help us in high school.”

“GPW helped me in tutoring because they explained the work, and they are patient. It [GPW] gives us hope to try harder and to not give up and just keep trying. They [GPW counselors] help us know the different things we are going to do in high school. It [GPW] taught me that I can go to college and made me more confident to know what I want to do in life. I want to be a counselor like you, Ms. Sanchez!”

Girls Paving the Way Contact Information

Osiris Ortiz

Program Coordinator


Izamar Sanchez

College Facilitator