Changing the World One Heart at a Time

If you are a Pitt student, chances are that you are not only a student, but perhaps an athlete, sorority sister, fraternity brother, honor society member, club leader, service provider, art-maker… the list goes on. There is such an immense amount of student involvement and variety of organizations on campus that it is nearly impossible to be educated on them all; but each one has a unique purpose. Strong Women, Strong Girls is a presence that should be known on campus. The HC Pitt Team and I wanted to learn more about this group of caring and dedicated ladies.

Nicole Jakobowski, one of the chapter directors of SWSG at Pitt, gave us the inside scoop about the organization and provided great insight about how much of an impact the club has. Having joined when she was a freshman, this is Jakobowski’s sixth semester as an active member – or mentor, as they call it. Each semester, there are approximately fifty active mentors, seven executive board members, and the two chapter directors, Nicole and her co-director Suzy Gross. All of these women work together to inspire young girls in the community and act as helping hands. She explained that the responsibility of each mentor is to take part in group mentoring once a week at a different elementary school or community center around the city and take part in a thorough training session twice a year.


From the title, it’s safe to assume that this organization seems to run on a solid foundation of values and objectives, but I wanted to hear from the chapter director herself. When asked about the mission of SWSG, Jakobowski responded, “Strong Women, Strong Girls utilizes the lessons learned from strong women throughout history to encourage girls to become strong women themselves. Every week we have different lessons that emphasize a new skill or characteristic of a strong leader! These lessons range from local to historical figures but always emphasize how the mentee can become a stronger girl.”

These women are not all work and no play. In addition to their obligations, the executive board plans and organizes social activities. Jakobowski explained, “We strive to plan multiple social events each semester to support ‘mentor bonding’ such as cookie decorating nights or potlucks. Additionally, we also collaborate with other clubs to bring interesting events to our mentees.” In the past, the leaders of the organization brought in a variety of dance teams and hosted an extremely successful 5K. You can be on the lookout for their second annual 5K this spring!


If you are interested in getting involved and making a difference with this truly effective and rewarding organization, contact [email protected]! The interview process for new mentors takes place at the beginning of each semester. In the words of Beyoncé, “Who run the world? Strong Women, Strong Girls…” Right?

“SWSG is a wonderful way to directly make an impact in your community. A lot of the girls come from backgrounds where they do not have a strong women influence in their life and to be able to act as one for them is so rewarding!”

Nicole Jakobowski, SWSG Chapter Director at Pitt


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