My husband and I are often asked why we chose an all-girls school for our daughter. The reason is simple: we wanted to set her up for a lifetime of success.
“That seems counter-intuitive,” people respond. “How can an all-girls school help someone become successful in our co-ed world?”
The key is in building girls’ confidence, determination, and self-worth. As a society, we’ve made huge strides. But the reality is, while the world is evolving, some things haven’t changed. Women continue to be locked out of the boardroom, earn less income for comparable work, and are underrepresented in tech and other industries.
Studies show that, as early as age six, girls tend to perceive genius as a masculine trait—influencing their perceptions, interests, and self-worth. And it doesn’t stop there. Whether consciously or unconsciously, teachers are up to 30% more attentive to boys than girls, calling on boys more often. Data supporting boy bias is especially prevalent in science and math. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports exposure to high-achieving boys in high school negatively impacts girls’ science and math grades.
But when boys are taken out of the classroom equation, these roadblocks are eliminated—and girls are able to discover their own brilliance and voices. They can test the waters in a safe and elevating space. These skills set up girls to take on the challenges of our co-ed world.
A National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS) commissioned study at the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California founded that when compared to their female peers from co-ed schools, girls’ school graduates:
- Gain stronger academic skills
- Indicate being more academically engaged
- Demonstrate higher science self-confidence
- Display greater levels of cultural competency
- Express stronger community involvement
- Exhibit increased political engagement
In single-gender schools like GALS, girls are discovering and recognizing their strengths. They’re more comfortable in their own skin, have confidence in their decisions, take risks, and are happier—because they’re defining their own paths.
As a parent, I saw this magic from the moment my family walked into the GALS building. The school breathes confidence and determination.
An all-girls school graduate myself, I know firsthand that the skills my daughter is gaining at GALS are empowering. I’ve seen it in myself and my fellow alumnae. But GALS offers something more—because my daughter is also learning to protect and soothe her soul.
The teen years can be both the best and worst of times. Middle school, especially, is challenging, with emerging hormones, evolving emotions, and the growing influence of peer pressure. At GALS, the staff recognizes that managing one’s mental health is as important as academics and leadership training. They provide students with tools to navigate the ebbs and flows of being a teen—and, ultimately, an adult.
I’m thankful for GALS Denver for so many reasons—but most importantly, because at GALS, my daughter is learning that her power lies in simply being herself. Already, halfway through middle school, it’s clear that she’s ready to take on the obstacles that await on her life journey.