About Girls Actively Participating

Staff

Jessica Yeomans, GAP!’s Executive Director, has lived and worked in Teton county for 16 years as an integrative nutrition coach, counselor, teacher, restorative justice coordinator, wife and mom. She firmly believes in the importance of having a strong community of women. Jess loves working with girls so they may grow into their best courageous, confident, curious, crazy, shy, unique, artistic, giving, talented, and wonderful selves.

Elly Garrett, GAP! Assistant Director, has lived in Jackson since 2000 and raised two children. She has worked in both the profit and non-profit sector, continually drawn to aspects of women’s empowerment. Elly worked with Jackson State Bank for three years in a sales and marketing capacity, bringing a new electronic deposit product to market. She then moved to CLIMB Wyoming as the business liaison and worked for five years within their therapeutic social emotional learning model, helping single mothers obtain jobs and support their families. She has been a Bikram yoga teacher at Inversion Yoga for the past eight years and was the studio’s operations manager for the last three. Elly recently created space in her life in order to dive back into empowering women. She is grateful to be working with young women in our community as part of the GAP! team.

Kristin Combs, Teton Valley Program Director, is a certified, self-proclaimed nerd and loves all things science related. She spends her free time enjoying nature in a myriad of ways. Education has been a major focus of her life with six years spent as a field educator and faculty member at Teton Science Schools, and three and a half years as a middle-school teacher in St. Anthony, Idaho. Always with a soft-spot for animals, she worked as a backcountry llama guide for four summers and now works to promote science-based wildlife management as the Program Director for Wyoming Wildlife Advocates. Excited to get back into mentoring and teaching youth, she is ecstatic to be leading GAP! in Teton Valley. Kristin has called Victor her home for 14 years along with her husband, Tom and furry kid, Matoskah.

Current Board Members:

Carolyn Ripps (Board Chair)

Stacey Grohne (Vice Chair)

Pam Sather (Treasurer)

Hailey Morton Levinson (former GAP! girl)

Jennifer Bradof

Katie Colbert Brady

Cindy Bartz

Erin Rosenburg

Carrie Kirkpatrick (Raising Girls Program Director)

History of GAP!

In the fall of 1997, middle school teacher Amy Manhart and Julie D’Amours decided start an active club for girls. They were tired of watching traditional gender roles unfold before their eyes. Why do girls shy away from technical skills, afraid of making mistakes in front of a group?

The club grew from eight girls in the eighth grade the first year to twenty the next and has continued to expand its mission and programming to all girls in the Jackson Hole Middle School. They did not want another girl to be defined by society instead of being defined by her own character.

In June 2004 GAP! established its 501© 3 status with nine women sitting on its board making decisions for the betterment of the program.

In 2007, the program celebrated a decade of services in the valley reaching over 400 girls since its inception and changing lives.

2017 will mark twenty years of GAP!‘s important promotion of confident, competent, community minded women. The development of these three characteristics found in today’s most successful women, are what guide our meetings and propel our focus.

History of Raising Girls

Raising Girls was conceived and developed by Jackson Hole-based mother of two Carrie Kirkpatrick in 2010. Wanting to learn from experts and share with other parents, Carrie convened an initial event with a panel of three local counselors and a very engaged audience. Seeing strong interest in the general topic, she committed to continuing the discussion in a public forum.

Raising Girls and The Equipoise Fund coalesced in late 2010 when Carrie and Equipoise President Mickey Babcock recognized not only the complementary nature of their two endeavors, but also the potential synergy and capacity-building of collaboration.

Past Raising Girls Events: (See Resources for event notes)

In 2015, Raising Girls became a program of Girls Actively Participating!