Girls are the future. That fact is evident in the innovative spirit of the newest generation. All over the world, girls are taking initiative to become entrepreneurs, activists, and leaders. We see it right here in Central Alabama with our girls. Last year, August was selected to join the National Teen Advocacy Council while Tiffany’s empowering designs won first place in a local fashion competition; recently, Savitri created a beautiful homage to #StopAsianHate right in our library.
What do all of these young women have in common? August, Tiffany, and Savitri are all former or current members of our Teen Leadership Program — led by Program Manager, Dominique Roller, and supported through a partnership with the Junior League of Birmingham.
One Junior League member, Ashley Newton, has been volunteering with Teen Leadership for three years. She shared that one key impact of the partnership is the opportunity for girls to see women in a variety of professions.
“It’s important to be able to listen to girls in the teen period of their lives, and help bridge the gap to where they are aspiring,”Ashley Newton, Junior League Member and 3rd Year Volunteer
Throughout the school year, Teen Leadership participants meet a couple of Saturdays every month. The teens participate in a variety of opportunities including college tours, professional development workshops, character development sessions, advocacy workshops, and community service projects.
Through all these activities, girls learn critical academic and professional skills, cultivate leadership experience, and grow with a network of inspiring peers and mentors. Ms. Roller says that the program makes a huge impact on girls’ futures by creating a safe space for all girls to express themselves and be given the support they need to go after their dreams.
This summer, Teen Leadership participants had the opportunity to attend an Entrepreneurship Camp and a college readiness workshop called Girls Gearing Up. Read one Teen Leader’s reflections in the blog post, Jasmine’s Inspiration! Recently, Teen Leaders participated in a Goal Setting 101 workshop to help the girls learn what SMART goals are, and how to develop their own goals based on what they would like to accomplish this school year, as well as after high school. Stay tuned to hear more about what the girls are up to this academic year!
We are truly so proud of our Teen Leaders and all the people whose hard work and service make this program possible. With the support of such a strong network of inspiring mentors and peers, the leaders of the next generation will boldly rise to the challenges of today’s world.
This article was featured in the September 2021 issue of the Bold Bulletin. Want to stay linked with Girls Inc. of Central Alabama? Subscribe below!