|Got Choices' Shalon Maral at a juvenile justice center|
|A Got Choices Girl Scout in the system|
My girls are in juvenile detention centers, on probation, and in group homes. Girl Scouts is working with girls from all walks of life. They are involved in gangs, drugs, and prostitution, to name a few of their choice activities before Got Choices … and they are Girl Scouts. We have weekly meetings where I am potentially the only person that the girls see from the “outside” for days on end. These girls are MY girls. And I know that the work we do with them matters.
I can personally relate to these girls on so many levels, because of my experiences as a youth. I have “been there, done that.” I am blessed to have the opportunity to share with them who I was and who I have become. The girls learn about my past and it builds trust between us. We connect.
|At a self-esteem workshop|
Partnering with ITVS has given the girls a look at the world through others’ eyes. They can see other girls who walk the same walk, talk the same talk. The girls relate to documentaries and can view them without being judged. My girls can identify pieces of themselves within the girls in the films. The curriculum motivates them to be better people and to not go down the same path. They are learning to make a new path for themselves. It gives them hope.
ITVS curriculum is current; it tells stories of people the girls can relate to, helping them develop a sense of empathy. The documentaries and activities are engaging so they are motivated to participate and learn at the same time. I love this curriculum and I love sharing it with others. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from the girls!
I believe together we can make a difference in the lives of girls from all backgrounds, including those in detention centers. Using resources like this one helps us one step closer to that goal.