The blog was originally published on the BIO Girls website.
Choice Bank has been a proud supporter of the BIO Girls program since 2016 and this year we were named a BIO Girls 2022 Official Partner.
BIO Girls is a 12-session program proven to increase self-esteem in adolescent girls. What began as one program in Fargo, ND, in 2013, has since grown to span the Midwest. When Choice Bank first began supporting BIO Girls in 2016, there were five BIO Girls program locations and 200 participants. In 2022, there will be over 70 BIO Girls program locations and the capacity to reach over 2,500 girls.
This unique partnership has stemmed from Choice Bank’s #PeopleFirst motto.
Girls from all demographics can and do, suffer from low self-esteem. Therefore, BIO Girls does not target a specific demographic. Instead, our program is for all who seek self-worth development.
In 2018, BIO Girls created a referral program to seek out girls who can benefit from the program, but would not have the opportunity to participate due to a number of factors. Referred participants receive a full scholarship. BIO Girls also offers scholarships to those requiring financial assistance.
This is where we come in. Choice Bank is a key supporter of the scholarship fund, which ensures that financial barriers don’t hold girls back from experiencing BIO Girls.
“Choice Bank continues to live out their motto, People First, by supporting the mission of BIO Girls,” Missy Heilman, BIO Girls Founder and Executive Director, said. “Choice’s support in the form of scholarship funding has directly increased the self-esteem of hundreds of girls in our region, many of whom may not have had the opportunity otherwise. We are grateful for this meaningful and long-standing partnership.”
“BIO Girls’ mission to improve the self-esteem in adolescent girls through empowerment of self and service to others aligns with our own People First values here at Choice,” Brian L. Johnson, CEO of Choice Bank, said. “We are proud to be a local partner offering all adolescent girls an opportunity to participate in their program through the scholarship program. We believe in their mission and are very excited to see BIO Girls empower young girls across North Dakota and beyond to reach their goals and aspirations and better the places they live.”
BIO Girls has seen an increase in participants on scholarships year over year that would not have been possible without this scholarship.
- In 2019, 52 girls participated in BIO Girls on full scholarship.
- In 2020, 146 girls participated in BIO Girls on full scholarship.
- In 2021, 168 girls participated in BIO Girls on full scholarship.
As BIO Girl’s reach continues to grow, they have taken even further steps to reduce barriers. In 2021, BIO Girls rolled out a pay what you can model, allowing participants to enroll in BIO Girls on a partial or full scholarship with no additional forms or questions asked.
“At Choice, we take deep pride in supporting the nonprofits our team members are passionate about, which is why we wholeheartedly believe in and support BIO Girls’ mission,” Jay Lies, Choice Bank North Dakota Market President, said. “We are fortunate to have BIO Girls serving the same communities that we serve, and proud to see our team members involved by volunteering and their own girls participating in the BIO Girls program.”