Empowering Girl Pioneers to reach their full potential

Socioemotional Mentorship and Family Engagement at MAIA

At MAIA, education goes beyond the confines of traditional academics. In a country where 57% of Indigenous girls face early marriage or motherhood before 18, our commitment extends to nurturing the holistic development of every Girl Pioneer who embarks on her bold new trajectory at the MAIA Impact School.

Socioemotional intelligence helps all people thrive personally and academically, develop and maintain positive relationships, become lifelong learners, and contribute to a more caring, just world for all.

The Socioemotional Mentorship and Family Engagement Program is central to MAIA’s educational model. It is a unique initiative designed to empower Indigenous girls to reach their full potential.

Personal Development and Empowerment

MAIA’s dedicated mentors offer both individual and group sessions. In 2023 alone, they provided nearly a thousand hours of socioemotional education covering various topics.

Our mentors provide a safe space for Girl Pioneers to explore their identity and grow—from goal setting to sexual and reproductive health, emotional well-being and leadership skills. Through these sessions, they learn to use their voices confidently and navigate the complexities of their lives.

Building Strong Support Systems

In addition to personal development, building a robust support system is crucial for Girl Pioneers’ success. That’s why our program includes monthly home visits and family engagement activities. By involving families in the educational process, we create a network of support that extends beyond the school walls. Together, we work towards the empowerment of not just the girls, but also their families.

MAIA mentor in a home family visit with a Girl Pioneer

Empowering Indigenous Girls: A Conversation with Silvia Naz

Silvia Naz, the Leadership and Reproductive Health Coordinator, leads weekly vocal empowerment classes and sessions on leadership and reproductive health. She works directly with Girl Pioneers on topics of gender rights and developing safety plans. 

Silvia also provides individual mentorship and education sessions for Girl Pioneers who request additional socioemotional and reproductive health support.

Q: Why focus on comprehensive health and leadership topics?
A: I think it’s very important to address topics like comprehensive health and leadership. They are often overlooked, but crucial for navigating daily life.

Q: What challenges do you face when addressing these topics with Girl Pioneers? 
A: There are several challenges at each grade level. Generally, topics may not be discussed at home, leading to misinformation due to limited access to information sources. There may also be shyness or limited participation due to cultural norms.

Q: What transformations have you noticed in the Girl Pioneers?
A: The experience with each curriculum has been different. In the Empowered Voice sessions, a young woman expressed losing her fear of speaking in front of an audience. Others have commented on feeling secure in expressing and asserting their ideas. In Comprehensive Sexuality Education, a young woman shared that the topics helped her better understand her body.


Silvia’s insights highlight the transformative impact of our programs. As we look to the future, our mission remains clear: to empower Indigenous girls to unlock and maximize their full potential.