No More Frogs to Kiss

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February 13, 1996 EvaS :Our guest, everyone... Joline Godfrey, author of "No More Frogs To Kiss: 99 Ways to Give Economic Power to Girls". :)

JolineG : It's great to be with you tonight.

EvaS : Joline, great to have you here. :)

JolineG : I just came from Bank of America. We were discussing women and capital. Hot subject these days.

EvaS : It sure is! What were you doing there?

JolineG : All the banks are finally getting interested in women. In Sarasota, a woman got a loan for $194,000 between the time of two speeches!

EvaS : Wow! What kind of meeting was this? Just curious.

JolineG : And Wells Fargo gave a loan to a woman last week in 72 hours!! Times are changing. This was a meeting to explore the potential relationship between AIOHO and Bank of America....Hmmm!!

EvaS : that is impressive!!! Tell us, Joline, what AIOHO stands or. :)

JolineG : An Income Of Her Own (shades of Virginia Woolf). We do entrepreneurship education for girls. "No More Frogs to Kiss" was developed by women involved with AIOHO to pass on some of what we have learned about working with girls and economic empowerment. (13-18--we call them teen women)

EvaS : What inspired you to start your organization, Joline?

JolineG : 1. I got tired of watching little girls grow up to be poor women. 2. I discovered that most women don't think about "ownership" until their 30's, 40's, and later. In order to overcome the feminization of poverty, we need to get to girls at an early age.

EvaS : And the meaning of the title of your book, "No More Frogs To Kiss," refers to this? Prince Charming doesn't exist any more?

JolineG : Yes, it's a note to all the fairy tales still lurking in our psyches. And a reminder we don't NEED the frogs! Prince Charming is an occasional visitor, but a friend of mine says he's older now, divorced Cinderella, has been "downsized and his new honey is supporting him!

EvaS : Joline, LOL!!! Throughout the book, you stress computer training for girls. Only 33% of girls are enrolled in computer courses and computer-related activities. Why is this? What can do done about it?

JolineG : Yes, it is of course the new currency. Without it, even with better access to capital, women and girls will be left behind. The numbers continue to be low because most of the training is still done by the boys using boy models. We need more women and girls mentoring in this area. Everyone online tonight...each one, teach one!

EvaS : Yes, great slogan, actually! We have one woman here who does teach more than one daily.

JolineG : Who and how?

EvaS : WLVSage teaches computers to seventh graders. :)

WLV Sage : Every day, at a middle school for very gifted kids. I see 190 8th graders a day, half of whom are girls.

JolineG : WLV Sage, I'd like more information on what you do.

EvaS : Joline is in CA, too. :)

WLV Sage : These kids are the cream of the crop of Fresno City Schools, and are wonderful to work with. They are online every day. They learn programming in HyperTalk and Logo languages, learn desktop publishing skills, learn all the integrated stuff such as word processing, spreadsheet, database, paint, draw, etc.! They are WONDERFUL!

JolineG : We run a camp (Camp $tart-Up) in the summer. Our teens are online, I'd love to get you in. And are they on-line?

WLV Sage : Yes, as CompStdnt.

EvaS : Sage, maybe you and Joline can hook up. :)

WLV Sage : Great!

EvaS : Sage, what about the folder you started? That might be a place. :)

WLV Sage : Right. Club Grrls, in our Community Boards area, is for girls this age and is peopled by Computech Kids. I have a modem/phone line in my classroom.

JolineG : Cool! We can start talking. What is the male/female ratio?

WLV Sage : 50/50.

EvaS : Sage, the other person who hosts in this area, who does something similar is WLVStorm.

WLV Sage : Great. I'll hook up with her, too.

EvaS : Sage, perhaps you can bring the three of you together.

WLV Sage : OK.

JolineG : Great, and is anyone else here involved with economic empowerment issues? (personal or community based)

EvaS : Joline, I don't think so. Unless you consider being involved here as that. Storm, by the way, got an AAUW grant to do this. :)

WLV Sage : We're funded by the federal government for 5 years, 1.5 million; state government annually, .25 million; and other small grants.

JolineG : AAUW is one of my favorite organizations. How long does it last? The grant I mean?

EvaS : Joline, Storm's ran out. But the Boston Globe did a story and she got enough money to finish out the school year. :) Joline, tell us more..about the organization, though.

JolineG : You will make a significant difference for the next generation. The fact that it is so hard for you to get stable funding for your company is precisely why I started AIOHO.

EvaS : Joline, yes. And how is that funded?

JolineG : I am convinced that until women and girls develop economic power, we will be vulnerable to everyone else's priorities. We are a non-profit, funded with corporate sponsors (thus the talk with B of A), grants, and sale of products and services. As our programs grow, we sell materials and programs to replicate and reach even larger numbers of teens around the country. It is always nip and tuck, but I try to model what we teach and that is entrepreneurial development.

EvaS : Joline, that's what my mother always said, too, about women being vulnerable without independence. Why do you stress entrepenuership so much? What can girls going into the professions or the arts learn from AIOHO?

JolineG : Because in a world where "jobs" are becoming so fleeting, learning to MAKE a job will be even more critical. We tell girls they should make their passions their work. One of our teens, Katy Myer, won the National Business Plan Competition after she finished an art class and decided to sell hand painted silk scarves. They now sell for between $80-$400.

Stinger5 : I have not yet read your new book, but the one you did on women entrepreneurs, showing how they made it, was very interesting and encouraging. Wish I'd read it earlier, but there's still time for my dream to come true, too.

JolineG : I talk with a lot of women in their 60's and 70's who finally decide it's time. It's never too late. I think of good women as late bloomers.

EvaS : Stinger, may I ask? :) What's your dream?

Stinger5 : To own a bed and breakfast somewhere in the Caribbean. And write to my heart's content. That's it. Not much.

EvaS : Sounds great! Let me know when you do it. :) And more power to you!

Magsbee : That's wonderful!!!

JolineG : So doable!!! What are you doing now?

Stinger5 : Working for the government and getting real mean about it.

JolineG : I can tell you're getting itchy. That's a good sign. I was 34 when I finally figured out I had to start a business, but I came at it kicking and screaming. It's very scary.

EvaS : Joline, I'd imagine, etc. You could lose everything.

JolineG : Money, safety, what will my friends think, and people laugh at you. It's tough to follow your heart.

EvaS : What will my friends, true.

JolineG : But the happiest people I know are those who really struggle to play out their dreams.

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