Girls Inc. of Carpinteria emphasizes the importance of fathers in the lives of their daughters.
“Our mission is to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold. We have programs in literacy, STEM and college readiness and access, breaking down barriers for girls so they can grow up healthy, educated and independent,” said Jamie Collins, Executive Director of Girls Inc. “Being an older generation and watching my husband navigate parenthood, it’s really about breaking down stereotypes. It’s about breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and building education around that for males and females. It’s really important to have male allies that are helping to push women forward into seats at the table and breaking down barriers to being leaders.
One such ally is local father Mynor Muralles, who works in a printing shop in Ventura and is the father of three children including nine-year old daughter Danna Muralles.
Mr. Muralles daughter Danna has attended Girls Inc. of Carpinteria since kindergarten, and he says the organization is “a lifesaver to all the parents out there. It’s a great program.”
Mr. Muralles said of fatherhood, “In general being a father is really special … (fathers need to) step up and show their kids the real world and guide them to the future. Especially with all the mental health issues.”
“We really try to have girls navigate what healthy relationships look like. Seeing what is modeled in their home. Having a father figure that is a good role model and pushes girls to break down barriers and be the best they can it sets up the child and future family for breaking cycles,” said Ms. Collins.
Mr. Muralles gave advice to young girls: “Just be a nine-year-old girl. Don’t try to be 15. Play with barbies. Don’t grow up so fast. You have to grow at every stage of your life … enjoy every year of your life.”
Ms. Collings recommended for fathers to “support your daughters’ dreams and help them push through and navigate the world we are living in with a lot of unknowns for females.”
“It’s good advice to talk to your kids,” said Mr. Muralles as advice to other fathers. “I’m going to be 47. We aren’t living in the same world, with the media and mental health issues. It was great to be a kid. My daughter doesn’t live the way we used to live. Any simple thing can ruin your kid’s life. Keep your eyes open … Good fathers try to raise their children the best they can.”
According to Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s website, the organization’s mission is to “inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold. Our programs empower girls and women to achieve personal, social, political, and economic success. In partnership with schools in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and at our Girls Inc. campus in Carpinteria, we focus on the development of the whole girl. Our comprehensive approach helps girls to value themselves, take risks, and discover and develop their inherent strengths.”