Listening to her cry brought back terrible memories of my own experiences that I thought I left in middle school. I felt useless holding my little sister in my arms while she held back her tears just long enough to ask, “How can girls be so mean?”
I decided I needed to put myself in her shoes as I remembered how I only dreamed of having an older sister to help me deal with the drama I faced in middle school. I got to thinking about how I had been trying to start a club at school for years that was geared towards mentoring younger kids, and I knew my sister, Delaney, was not the only one feeling this way. I fell in love with the concept of Girl Talk and was grateful to find an organization where I could be a Leader, a mentor, share my love of community service and my personal experiences with younger girls. Middle school is such a pivotal time in a pre-teen’s life and if I could make it even the slightest bit easier, I was going to. I got started on my journey of creating a chapter, although there were many steps and obstacles, the end result was well worth it. I was pleasantly surprised by the response I got from the girls who joined, they loved it almost as much as I did and attended every meeting they could.
I had a solid group of about forty girls - twenty middle school and twenty high school girls. We met every other Monday and completed at least eight different community service opportunities within our school and in our community. My favorite was making Easter baskets for less fortunate kids and being able to deliver them and see the smiles on their faces. Another heart warming experience was having the girls create Valentine’s Day cards for people in the hospital and also delivering those.
I decided to kick it up a notch, and since I am lucky enough to attend a school that is partnered with a University, I reached out to our psychology department. I was able to ask two young psychology students to attend our meetings and answer any of the girls' questions about bullying, school or life in general. The girls in my group responded well and bonded well with these young adults, especially the high-schoolers who for a moment could be mentored as well and get some helpful advice.
This is the start of another school year and another year of positively impacting the lives of young girls. Although this is my last year in high school, I intend on leaving my Chapter’s legacy behind in my sister’s hands. This Girl Talk Chapter is the best thing that could have happened to me. I created beautiful friendships and am looked up to as a big sister by many of the younger girls that joined. This became an outlet for not only them, but also for me to share my advice and my personal experiences whether it was about boys or bullies. If I could give anyone words of advice, they would be to not hesitate. Take the risk and start your own chapter, young girls need a positive role model in their lives and it is such a rewarding feeling being able to be that person.
Girl Talk Guest Writer
Leader @ NSU University School Girl Talk, Fort Lauderdale, FL