Betty Hill ’17 knew she wanted her young daughter to be involved in community service and to benefit from positive role models. And when she couldn’t find a program that fit the bill, she created her own: Power Gurlz.
“Power Gurlz started because I did not see something that supported what my daughter needed at the age she was at,” explains Hill (pictured above, at left). “These kids are smart, early. And they want to be engaged. You can’t sleep on them. You have to cultivate them.”
Aimed at girls ages 6 to 12, Power Gurlz offers fun activities, like arts and crafts or movie outings, as well as volunteering, education and mentorship. Girls can participate in one of three ways: through their schools, through the community or via virtual events.
“My philosophy is empowering girls at an early age. It creates seeds that we’re planting early,” Hill says. “You always remember what someone did that was positive and hold onto that. That’s what I hope Power Gurlz has done for girls and continues to do.”
Now 15, Hill’s daughter Arianna (above, at right) remains engaged with Power Gurlz as a volunteer. She accompanied her mother to the Power Up Teens event held at Alverno this summer. The event, cosponsored by Alverno’s Thea Bowman Institute for Excellence and Leadership, featured a financial coaching and business development workshop as well as a maker’s market featuring teen entrepreneurs.
“It’s just another way for me to fill a gap, support our youth and let them know that we care. We want them to flourish. We want them to succeed,” she says.
In addition to serving as founder and principal of Power Gurlz, Hill works as program coordinator for Mentor Greater Milwaukee. The organization, which is affiliated with the Milwaukee Bucks, ensures that youth in Milwaukee have access to mentorship and that mentors have the training and resources to positively impact their mentees.
“Mentorship is leadership,” Hill says. “You can change the world — the human race — when you are mentored correctly.”
This article appears in the winter 2022 issue of Alverno Magazine.