Figure Skating in Harlem's (FSH) mission is to transform young lives and help Harlem girls to grow in confidence, leadership and academic achievement.
Figure Skating in Harlem helps girls transform their lives and grow in confidence, leadership and academic achievement. We are the only organization for girls of color that combines the power of education with access to the artistic discipline of figure skating to build champions in life.
Our Vision: To empower every young girl with the skills and foundation to achieve her dreams. She will be a powerful speaker, an effective leader, live a healthy and financially independent lifestyle, and be a global citizen. We aim to bring the benefits of our model program to even more children by creating chapters in other communities.
The Need: Early adolescence is an important turning point for girls; during this period in life, many girls in New York City slip behind boys in academic test scores and jump ahead in terms of being at risk. Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are more likely to commit suicide than boys in the same age bracket. They have a higher incidence of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease, and must immediately face the consequences when confronted with teenage pregnancy. In addition, girls are increasingly at risk for obesity: in 1970, 1 in 21 girls were obese; today, that number is 1 in 6. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the chances of being overweight or obese are higher among racial and ethnic minorities (FSH's constituency), with the highest prevalence among African-American women.
Scientific research has linked participation in sports, such as figure skating, to:1) better physical health (decreases blood pressure and cholesterol, lowers risk for obesity, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers);2) better mental health (reduces anxiety and depression levels, enhances self-esteem and confidence);3) better physiological health (assists in the development of motor skills at appropriate stages of neurodevelopment); and 4) better social interactions (increases confidence and success in academic and social situations).
According to the New York Women's Foundation, the programs that most effectively combat the above-mentioned risks and help girls flourish emphasize positive development; treat girls as resources rather than potential problems; provide an opportunity for girls to participate in girls-only programming; and work with girls over time rather than serving them for only one year. Despite The New York Women's Foundation's evidence, the risks faced by girls entering adolescence, and the benefits of participation in sports, relatively few development programs focus exclusively