The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 25, 2014

YWCA announces new partnership

By Free Press Staff
The Mankato Free Press

---- — MANKATO — The YWCA Mankato has announced a new partnership with Fusion Life & Leadership, which is owned by Sara Sinnard.

The partnership will bring a comprehensive range of age-appropriate programming to area girls from grades 3-12 including: Girls on the Run (for grades 3-5), newly added Girls Inc. (for grades 6-8), and The Surge Leadership Program (primarily for grades 9-12).

The partnership was inspired in part by two decades of the Minnesota Student Survey indicating that Mankato girls have experienced a higher sense of hopelessness, lower self-esteem and higher thoughts of suicide than their male counterparts.

These gender-specific programs have been developed to provide education regarding important life skills and connections to caring adult role-models, according to a news release by the YWCA.

In 2010, Sinnard and the Greater Mankato Diversity Council founded the SURGE Leadership Program for at-risk high school girls, which helps them understand their own ability to control their futures. Sinnard also facilitates leadership development for girls and women through workshops, life coaching and horse-assisted learning.

Girls on the Run inspires girls to be “joyful, healthy and confident” in an experiential after-school program.

Girls Inc. inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold through programs and experiences that help them navigate gender, economic and social barriers.

“With this partnership, the YWCA will provide needed resources and positive reinforcement for girls utilizing curriculums that provide a deeper impact as they age,” said YWCA Associate Director Sheri Sander-Silva in a statement.

For more information about the programs, visit or call the YWCA Mankato office at 345-4629.