Allison Morrison presenting to the #LikeAGirl mentees

After five years of planning, Stephanie McKnight’s dream of creating a mentoring program for young female students at Alliance City Schools has finally been achieved. 

The idea came about after the success of the #LikeAGirl photo campaign created by Alliance High School alumni Mia Holt and Chloe Pasco in 2019. While taking part in McKnight’s Sports Medicine Career Tech program, they were tasked with identifying an issue that affected the community. They partnered with students from the Digital Art and Design class to create a photo campaign featuring female athletes at AHS with the hashtag “Like A Girl.” It addressed the stereotypes associated with girls sports and aimed to empower female athletes. When posted to social media, the campaign drew positive attention and was shared over 130 times prompting news coverage from a variety of news outlets.

After seeing the success of #LikeAGirl, McKnight wanted to continue with the momentum and create a mentoring program that would pair female AHS students who are leaders in sports, clubs and academics with girls in kindergarten through eighth grade. The first meeting took place on Oct. 3 with 35 girls signing up to take part in the program and 24 AHS students attending as mentors.

“The first #LikeAGirl meeting was amazing,” Mcknight said. “This has been five years in the making and to see it come to life was incredible.”

The first meeting began with a quick discussion about the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship from Allison Morrison, a school counselor at AHS. The girls then had the chance to take part in a variety of activities that demonstrated teamwork and encouraged the young Aviators to try new skills and sports. Coaches for volleyball, softball, basketball, soccer and wrestling were there to help teach the students some basic skills while the high school mentors went around and worked one-on-one with the mentees. 

Also in attendance were the tennis team and the speech and debate team who helped the girls learn about teamwork through fun activities.

“I was so happy with the turn out,” McKnight said. “Sometimes you get these big ideas in your head and you just aren’t sure how it is going to work out. I think this just goes to show that the community wants our girls to grow. I believe this is going to be just as impactful for our high school mentors as it will be for the young girls in the District.”

While helping the mentees, the AHS mentors will have the ability to hone their leadership and communication skills, which is helping to prepare them for the future.

The #LikeAGirl mentoring program will take place monthly. Each month will feature a different guest speaker and activities for the students to take part in. 

The November #LikeAGirl event will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 7 from 6-7 pm at AHS. It will feature guest speaker Kayla Johnson, LISW-S. To register for the event, click here: