Being a teenager is hard. My teenage years are almost a decade behind me but I remember those years very well: the feelings of insecurity, the extreme emotions and impulses, and trying to stand out while fitting in.
But could you imagine being a teenage girl now? Everything is captured on video/photo and posted on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Having to worry about cyber-bullying in addition to regular bullying. Constantly seeing overly airbrushed idols in the media.
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I thank God that this part of my life is over. However, for millions of girls this time is just beginning. Yes, as adults we may think…you don’t know how good you have it, not having to pay bills, being able to think only of your self, blah, blah, blah. As someone who has worked in a public high school and group home for teen girls, I can tell you being a teenager is hard. And as your family’s household income decreases the problems only increase.
In 2010, my mother had the idea to add a teen mentoring program to the list of services our non-profit organization offered. I loved the idea but I have to admit I was a little reluctant at first. I just couldn’t see a way to make it work with no money. And when I say no money, I mean no money, a budget of $0. For this project, 100% of the funding was coming out of our personal accounts.
Fast-forward two years later and our little mentoring group, Powerful Girls In Progress, has come a long way. We currently have six active teen girls and four regular volunteers. We meet with the girls once a month, go on social outings, attend functions at their schools, and provide their families with charity resource when needed. Our main goal is to give the girls a sense of belonging, acceptance, and confidence. I believe this is the foundation that all girls need.
So why am I writing about this today? I need your help. No, I am not asking for money. I’m asking for your time. If you would please take the time to write a letter to a teenage girl in your life, I would be so very grateful. It doesn’t have to be anything profound. Just a little note to pass down your pearls of wisdom or to say I care. For you graphic designing people, it could be a quote on a card. After finishing your note, mail it to the teenage girl in your life. You may be surprised by the response you get. We tried this with our girls and the feedback was outstanding. Although they might act like they know it all, believe me, they don’t.