Well if Beyonce said it, it must be true. Girls truly are running things. For the past few weeks, the Education Team at the Katie Brown Educational Program has been out and about working with groups of inspiring young women.
KBEP kicked off our summer programming by teaching workshops to the young women at the YWCA Girls Exclusive Program in New Bedford. These young women learned about healthy friendships, confidence, and conflict resolution. During an activity about the different types of violence, the girls were able to come up with many examples of each type, including sexual violence. While sexual violence can be a difficult topic to discuss for many people, these girls embraced the subject and participated in a mature conversation about violence, consent, and bodily autonomy. They shared that if a partner tries to pressure you into doing something that you are not comfortable with, then it is sexual violence and you don’t have to do it. It was refreshing to hear them speak up about what they felt is and is not okay to do in a dating relationship.
Our week at the YWCA was followed by a week at Girls Inc. in Taunton, MA. There, we taught groups of young ladies between the ages of 6 and 15. Throughout our time there, the young women showed us their “SSB” — what it means for each of them to be “Strong, Smart, and Bold.” We had an amazing time teaching them about building healthy relationships, setting and respecting boundaries, having positive self esteem, being kind to others, and using conflict resolution skills. We used a lava pit activity to simulate a conflict that we may experience in our relationships. The girls had to use assertive communication skills to find the most efficient way to get the entire group across the lava pit. It was inspiring to see how quickly strong leaders emerged from the group. They sought out creative ways to tackle the challenge. Some girls studied what their peers were doing to be able to pinpoint where mistakes were made. Most impressively, one of the girls drew a diagram to map out the pathway that she discovered by watching the other girls. She then shared this map with her group to help them successfully get across. The participants at Girls Inc. demonstrated that they truly are strong, smart, and bold young women.
We had such a great time working with these two groups of amazing young women, and we look forward to doing so again. With girls like these, we can confidently say that our futures are in great hands. #GirlPower