About

Mission

Girls Rock! Rochester, Inc. is dedicated to using music creation and performance as tools for cultivating self confidence in girls and trans youth. We foster creativity while building a supportive community of peers and mentors, while developing life and leadership skills to effect positive social change.

Driving Principles

  1. We believe that music is a powerful vehicle for personal growth and positive change
  2. We value constructive approaches to fighting sexism
  3. We promote collaboration and community above competition and isolation
  4. We recognize the importance of diversity in all forms
  5. We provide a safe and accessible environment for personal and creative exploration
  6. We encourage all voices and stories to be shared and heard

Non-Discrimination Policy

Girls Rock! Rochester does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, physical ability, developmental ability, size, age, economic status, gender expression, gender identity, religion, thought, politics, musical interests, learning styles, citizenship status and sexual orientation, in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarships or other Camp-related policies and programs, as well as volunteer and employment-related policies and activities.

Volunteer Policies

Girls Rock! Rochester welcomes those who identify as female, trans and gender non-binary to apply for leadership positions at camp. Non-leadership roles are open to all genders and identities.

A special note to male-identified allies: Girls Rock! Rochester is primarily led by and for women and girls. We also value diversity, inclusion and sensitivity toward all individuals, regardless of gender identity or expression. The organization welcomes the support of male-identified allies, and expects male-identified allies who would like to volunteer to respect the importance of leadership by women.

History

In October 2011, Kaci Smith, decided to bring the girls rock movement to Rochester, NY. Her previous experience at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls motivated her to start a camp in her hometown. The first informational meeting was held in November and was attended by a small group of musicians, educators and activists. We held our first fundraiser in January 2012 in conjunction with Rochester B.R.A.W.L and attended our first GRCA conference in March 2012. Our first camp was held with 18 campers in July 2012.

Jessica Hasler Southwell (she, her, hers)

Executive Director

Jessica joined Girls Rock! in 2019. With a passion for innovation, transformation, personal growth, and business development, Jessica has over 15 years of experience in the professional business development space and is the Chief Transformation Officer at apPROach Consulting, LLC where she combines project management, strategic planning, process improvement, change management, and creative problem-solving principles to help individuals and businesses grow. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree from Roberts Wesleyan College and serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts.

Amanda Rampe (she, her, hers)

Director of Gear

Amanda has been playing music since elementary school, including French horn, guitar, bass, voice, and some piano. She attended FLCC for an associate's degree in Music Recording Technology, and Nazareth for Music/Business with a minor in entrepreneurship. She currently plays bass and sings in two bands, one of which (Fox 45) has recently released their first full-length album, and completed two brief US tours. Amanda first volunteered with Girls Rock! Rochester in 2013 and has been involved as a year-round organizer since.

Kaci Smith (she, her, hers)

Program Director

Kaci fell in love with the Girls Rock movement in 2007 when she volunteered at Willie Mae’s Rock Camp for Girls. Later she founded Girls Rock! Rochester (GR!R) in her hometown in 2011. In addition to being the Program Director at GR!R, Kaci volunteers for Girls Rock Camp Toronto and serves on the Nominations Committee for the Girls Rock Camp Alliance. Outside of rock camp land, Kaci teaches English as a New Language, plays drums in Richard Snare and is an INFJ.

Board of Directors

  • Jane Bryant

  • Dina Giovanelli

    Sociologist, Monroe Community College
  • Zora Gussow (they, she)

    Everdeen Holler
  • Vicki Hartman (she, her, hers)

    Student
  • Renée Heininger (she, her, hers)

    City Newspaper
  • Hawa Ibrahim

  • Claire Marziotti (she, her, hers)

    Freelance Art Director
  • Lore McSpadden (they, them, theirs)

    Positive Force Movement, LLC
  • Vicky Nothnagle (she, her, hers)

    Language Intelligence
  • Maggie Rex

    Sociologist, SUNY UB & SUNY Geneseo
  • Nora Rubel (she, her, hers)

    University of Rochester
  • Dan Ryan (he, him, his)

    University of Rochester, Medical Center