It's programs like these, as well as Brettschneider's hands-on touch, that make her group appealing for families, many of whom are unaccustomed to promoting girls' education and independence.
She even visits families at home to discuss the details of the group in person.
"In the beginning, sometimes families are skeptical of what we're doing," Brettschneider said. "But we've seen parents really come on board and like that the girls are coming here, because they learn important things about safety and they make friends."
One of Brettschneider's early initiatives was to provide each girl with her own mentor to work with their individual needs. By October, she will have 20 pairs.
These one-on-one relationships can be a valuable source of information and emotional support.
"My mentor and I go to new places to learn about new cultures," said 15-year-old Sara, whose family fled Iraq. "She also helps me learn about transportation. We go do fun activities, but she also helps me when I have school projects."
Sara said meeting the other girls has been incredibly helpful, too, because of the common bond they share.
"We talk about new movies, shopping, stuff like that," she said. "But we also talk about some of the stuff we go through here every day, how we miss our home and what we would like to be in the future."
The group's headquarters -- a cozy and colorful office space -- has become a place the girls can call home.
"They often are sharing bedrooms with grandparents, younger siblings," Brettschneider said. "And this is a place where you can come and relax and read a book or use the computer and, you know, be around girls your own age."
Brettschneider said it's inspiring to watch the girls learn and grow. Ultimately, she wants to help them enjoy their new lives and fulfill all of their dreams.
"It is really important that the girls be able to go to college, but that's not just the one goal," she said. "It's also about making friends and learning how to adjust to a new city and doing all these other things.
"What I see is what all of the girls can accomplish and everything that they can do -- and that's really why all of this exists."
Want to get involved? Check out the GirlForward website and see how to help.