A young girls’ self-esteem can dramatically influence the decisions she may make throughout her lifetime. Research has shown that girls’ self-esteem peaks at age 9, before a young girl even reaches those difficult middle and high school years. Middle school girls benefit from additional programs and education that focus on self-esteem, service, confidence and leadership skills. Girls with low self-esteem are three times more likely than girls with high self-esteem to engage in harmful or destructive behavior that can leave a lasting imprint on their lives. Yet, according to the Foundation Center Report on Women and Philanthropy, less than 7% of national philanthropic dollars are allocated for women and girls. By providing trained volunteers and funding to our local partner organizations, JLGNF can increase their capacity and make a lasting impact on these young lives.