GRIT prepares for fourth annual GRITmas

Follow the growth of the online women's resource as they set up for their Christmas event that helps homeless women in Los Angeles.

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Courtesy of GRIT

GRIT seeks to help other women feel encouraged and empowered.

Lacey Patrick, Staff Writer

(This story was originally published in print on Dec. 5, 2019).

There’s a divide between men and women that social scientists call the “Confidence Gap.” This gap shows that women feel less confident than men in leadership roles, even if they perform at the same level. It’s not only a national issue—it can also be found within Biola’s community. According to a HERI College Senior Survey issued to Biola undergraduate seniors in 2014, women rated their math skills 19.2 percentage points lower and their intellectual confidence 10.8 percentage points lower than their male counterparts. 

This study led a group of female faculty members to create an online resource collective named GRIT—made by women and for women. GRIT’s ideals can be found within their name, which stands for gifting resilience, insight and tenacity.

Born in 2017, GRIT’s first event was GRITmas, a Christmas event that invites students to make care packages for homeless women in Los Angeles. Now, people are seeing a different side of GRIT than when it first began, according to sophomore public relations major Rachel McCready. She said the collective is reaching more women on campus, which can be attributed to multiple new outreach events, such as GRITsgiving and back-to-school parties. 

They also use blogs and social media to share stories that empower and encourage women. However, women are not the only people in GRIT’s growing community, either. Men are also taking interest and getting involved, which McCready said is vital for the student body.

“I think it’s so important to realize that we can do this together,” McCready said. “We can all be empowered together and we can step into what God has called us to do together.”

Now, GRIT is preparing for its fourth annual GRITmas, which was recently approved for funding at SGA’s latest senate meeting. The care packages they provide have feminine care products and chocolate, which are then dropped off at the Downtown Women’s Center. Lexi Lai, the director of campus engagement and advisor of GRIT, said that GRITmas is a vital way to empower women outside of Biola. 

As GRIT aims to empower women. We also want to be sure we’re using our gifts and resources to look beyond our campus and serve others in the surrounding community. GRITmas serves as a tangible way to do this. ”

“We can sometimes take these very basic necessities for granted, and it’s important that we are always looking for ways to support those in need,” Lai said in an email.

This event, like other GRIT events, is vital for creating bonds and showing women on campus how capable and deeply cared for they are.

“The excitement in the air of every event is so prevalent. So many groups of women on campus join us and mingle with each other,” said senior journalism major and GRIT member Jasmyne Bell via email. “Friendships are formed; empowerment happens. GRIT is important for the morale of women at Biola. They see how the university specifically caters to them through GRIT.”

For McCready, there is nothing that matters in GRIT other than a heart that is ready to love people.

“It’s about the passion, it’s about your willingness to love people well,” McCready said. 

GRITmas will take place Dec. 10 in the Collegium at 8 p.m.

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