Opportunities for Women & Girls

Workshops, Leadership & Community

Thriving invites women and girls who have limited incomes to take part in its many learning, leading, and community-building opportunities in Brookline, including a variety of multi-week workshop series. Some of these series are facilitated by skilled social workers from The Brookline Center. In several, low-income women take the lead as co-planners and co-facilitators. To join upcoming activities, please check the event calendar. All activities are free for women and girls with limited income.

Workshop Series

Thriving’s signature workshop is Surviving and Thriving, offered once or more each year. New programs and events are always in development. All programs are free for women with limited income.

Current and past series include:

  • Manage your Money! (Current offering: 4-week workshop series)

    Join other Thriving women in a small, supportive group with a money management specialist. Explore how to achieve your financial goals. You will learn how to create a solid budget, build your savings, and effectively build and use credit.

    Offered Tuesday evenings, 5-7 p.m., April 3, 10, 24, and May 1 at The Brookline Center. See sidebar for registration information. 

  • Preparing for Employment Together (Current offering: 10-week workshop series)

    Join other Thriving women in a small, supportive group exploring your personal employment goals and vision for the future, including follow-up mentoring to address specific needs and areas of concern. You will learn how to build an effective resume and write an effective cover letter. The group will practice interviewing, learn job search skills, and start networking to learn from potential employers.

    Offered Wednesday afternoons, 2-4 p.m., March 21-May 30 (excluding April 18) at The Brookline Center. See sidebar for registration information. 

  • Healthy Eating and Cooking (Current offering: 10-week workshop series) 

    *Please note that a full 10-week commitment is required to take this workshop.

    Go healthy and learn the latest data on nutritious eating in this small, supportive group. Learn the nutritional value of foods, plan meals, and go shopping at a supermarket with other Thriving women. You’ll try nutritious and delicious recipes and watch as a local chef prepares a meal for you in front of your eyes. Your biggest surprise will be how many of your old, unhealthy eating habits will change by the end of this workshop!

    Offered Thursday mornings, 9:30-11:30 a.m., March 22 – May 31, in the Denny Room at the Brookline Health Department on 11 Pierce Street. For more information or to sign up, contact Misti Jaynes, Thriving Community Liaison, or Ann Brackett.
  • Gardening Joys Together (Current offering: 3-week workshop and through the summer)

    Join other Thriving women in learning the essentials of vegetable and flower gardening, then plan and plant our two community gardens, Webster Street and Lawton Garden. Together, we will help the gardens grow over the summer and, in the fall, share in the joy of the harvest — last year, it was a challenge to give it all away!

    The first meetings are on Fridays at 3 p.m., March 23, 30, and April 6, in the Brookline Foundation Conference Room, 40 Webster Place, Brookline. For further information and to sign up, contact Misti Jaynes, Thriving Community Liaison, or call (857) 247-6253.

  • Fitness with Lynn (Current offering)

    Standing and mat exercise, which Lynn can modify to accommodate any fitness level, is done to the beat of her incomparable selection of current pop music. Lynn, a personal trainer, addresses the whole person including how to fit more exercise into your daily life.

    Offered Mondays, 7:15-8:15 p.m., March 12–April 30. For further information and to sign up, contact Misti Jaynes, Thriving Community Liaison, or call (857) 247-6253.

  • Zumba with Emily (Current offering)

    Dance and fitness blend seamlessly to the beats of salsa, merengue, reggaetón, cumbia, pop, and more. Join other Thriving women at Emily’s Zumba dance/fitness party with great music and easy-to-follow steps that will have you sweating, smiling, and burning calories all at the same time! This class is for all levels and no experience is necessary. We guarantee you will enjoy yourself!

    Offered Saturdays, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, April 7 at two locations:

    • 10 am at 22 High Street Community Room
    • 11 am at Trustman Community Room

    Each class is 45 minutes. For further information and to sign up, contact Misti Jaynes, Thriving Community Liaison, or call(857) 247-6253.

  • Shake your Soul Dance with Marcia (Current offering)

    Free your body, mind, and spirit and get energized by the rhythms of dynamic music! Suitable for all levels of fitness, flexibility, and dance experience. De-stress, recharge, renew, and relax!

    Offered Mondays,  6-7:00 p.m., at two locations:

    • Trustman: March 12, 19, and 26 and
    • 22 High Street: April 2, 9, and 23.

    For further information and to sign up, contact Misti Jaynes, Thriving Community Liaison, or call (857) 247-6253.

  • Surviving and Thriving Workshop Series for Spanish-Speaking Women (8 weeks)

    The Surviving and Thriving series, with all discussions and materials in both Spanish and English.

  • Surviving and Thriving Extension Series (4 weeks)

    A series for women who have already participated in the basic 8-week series, Surviving and Thriving. Reinforcement of the S&T practices, such as positive self-talk, assertiveness, and personal action planning.

  • Empowered Girl Leaders "Managing Personal Finances" (4 weeks)

    Teen girls in public housing learn about banking, saving for college, use of credit, and other important financial topics.

  • Thrive and Lead Series (8 weeks)

    This series addresses personal resiliency and leadership strategies for women students at Pine Manor College.

  • “Surviving and Thriving” Workshop Series (8 weeks)

    Surviving and Thriving offers Brookline women with limited income a safe group space in which to share their struggles and develop practical, essential skills to meet challenges they face. Topics covered are: stress management, problem solving/action planning, using positive ‘self-talk’, assertiveness skills, managing difficult relationships and accessing community resources for themselves and their families.

  • Cook to Feel Great Classes (Periodic)

    Provided by the Boston University Rotaract Club, these healthy cooking classes for women and kids take place at BU.

  • Fitness Moving Forward (8 weeks)

    A certified Personal Trainer leads this strength-building program in Brookline public housing facilities.

  • "Women Moving Forward” Video Project (16 weeks)

    Women train in videography, sound, lighting, and film editing. Then together they create a short film—by women, for women—addressing the challenges faced by women with limited income who are working to establish a career. Past participants have conducted community screenings and discussions in order to build awareness and reduce isolation among low income women through shared storytelling.

  • “Women Healing and Thriving” Community Art Workshop Series (8 weeks)

    This popular series engages women to explore and express themselves through a variety of artistic media, including painting and sculpture. Future plans include creation of a community art project.

  • Meditation and Writing Workshop Series (6 weeks)

    Women explore a variety of meditation strategies, then use these and writing exercises for personal growth.

Leadership Opportunities

Thriving is committed to engaging more and more women and girls with limited income in leadership development opportunities such as: co-facilitation of summits, Listening and Learning Dinners, and film screenings; co-facilitation of workshop series and Working Groups; taking the lead in projects, e.g., editing of film project; planning Dinner agendas; and seeking donations for fundraising. We have also begun creating leadership pathways—specially created, paid leadership opportunities matching interests and talents, e.g., Community Liaison, Evaluation Assistant, Latina Outreach Coordinator.

Community Activities

“Thriving Together Garden” Project (spring and summer)

This gardening group plans, nurtures, and harvests healthy food in a local garden. The group also takes field trips to gardening shows, lectures, and demonstrations.

“Listening and Learning Dinners”

Local churches and restaurants provide food and space for monthly free dinners and programs for women with limited income as well as service providers and other women from the community. They offer critical time for relationship building, socializing, and learning together. Sample topics of discussion are healthy eating, ways to save money on food, positive thinking, and the power of friendship. The Dinners also offer the opportunity for women to learn about other Thriving opportunities available to them.