About Girls Empowerment Network

Originally called The Ophelia Project, GENaustin (the Girls Empowerment Network) was created in 1996 by 12 concerned mothers raising adolescent girls in Austin, Texas. These mothers met after reading Reviving Ophelia, a book by Dr. Mary Pipher, to address an increasing trend among middle school aged girls – a systematic decline and sometimes permanent loss of self-esteem, the outcome of which can be devastating: epidemic levels of anorexia/bulimia, self-mutilation, depression, low academic achievement, teen pregnancy, and drug abuse.

Our Mission

GEN’s mission is to support and guide girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood.

Our Values

In all our dealings with our stakeholders, GENaustin is dedicated to the following principals:

GENaustin reveres the uniqueness of each person and encourages each girl to be true to herself.

GENaustin promotes open-minded understanding of and respect for individual differences.

GENaustin provides an environment where all girls feel welcome.

GENaustin provides a balanced perspective, refraining from espousing a particular ideology.

GENaustin facilitates all aspects of individual development, including social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth.

GENaustin inspires each girl to be a creative and critical thinker about what is right for her.

GENaustin fosters peer-to-peer learning by encouraging each girl to express her opinion, contribute ideas, and provide active support and leadership.

GENaustin enlists families and others in a network of volunteers working to create positive, synergistic impact on girls’ lives.

GENaustin helps girls realize their personal power to make courageous, responsible choices and stand by their choices with confidence and dignity.