FARGO, N.D. – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation has awarded BIO Girls a $15,000 grant to continue to expand their programming across North Dakota. The grant was awarded as a part of a SPARK grant that the BCBSND Caring Foundation offers to non-profit organizations.
Strengthening People, Access, Resources and Knowledge (SPARK) grants are awarded to community-based initiatives that encourage health and well-being in local communities, reflect community priorities and demonstrate strong local collaborations.
BIO Girls is a self-esteem building program serving girls grades 2-6. The BIO Girls program meets for 12 sessions, 90 minutes each, focusing on mental wellness, healthy relationships, leadership and skill development to equip girls with the skills necessary to combat societal pressures and recognize their inherent values. BIO Girls currently serves 1,380 girls in North Dakota at 45 locations, with a 68% increase year over year. These funds will allow BIO Girls to expand their program to reach 1 in 6 (3,500) girls in North Dakota by 2025.
“BIO Girls is doing such amazing things in our North Dakota communities and are working hard to raise self-esteem through empowerment and provide much needed mental wellness programs to adolescent girls. We are so pleased to award them funds and be a part of the change in helping to combat societal pressures and help expand their programming, especially to low-income areas to ensure that all demographics are reached and everyone can participate that are interested,” states Amber Blomberg, BCBSND Caring Foundation Manager.
Missy Heilman, Founder & Executive Director of BIO Girls shares, "BIO Girls is proud to provide proven programming to address critical issues in our communities - the mental health and self-esteem of adolescent girls. Low self-esteem is a strong predictor of emotional issues, behavioral issues, and destructive behaviors throughout the growing years. BIO Girls is proven to significantly increase the self-esteem of participants. We are grateful for the continual support and partnership from Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND through their Caring Foundation SPARK grant as we work to reach 1 in 6 North Dakota girls by 2025."
About the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation
Established in 1989, the BCBSND Caring Foundation (www.BCBSND.com/Caring-Foundation) is a private 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Through giving and investing, the Caring Foundation focuses on key health issues that help improve the health and well-being of North Dakotans and their communities. Caring Foundation staff work with grantees to support nonprofit sustainability, collaborate on shared outcomes and create lasting change.