Today’s guest on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio comes at a time when confidence and leadership development for women and girls is not only gaining momentum, but is more necessary than ever. Co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick are joined by Katherine Carey, communications and digital marketing coordinator with Girl Talk, Inc., to discuss the important work her organization is undertaking in the mentorship of young women.
Carey is originally from Louisiana and graduated from Oglethorpe in May 2017. She studied English, theater and music at Oglethorpe, but her passion for the support of women and girls came from her English studies, which took a closer look at women’s experiences throughout history and literature. When she graduated, the position with Girl Talk, Inc. was the perfect job to combine her personal and professional passions.
Girl Talk, Inc. is an international nonprofit organization that works in 10 countries and nearly all of the United States. At its core, Girl Talk, Inc. is about providing leadership development to middle and high school-aged girls. The program, Carey says. is girl-run and girl-led, with a focus on peer-to-peer mentoring chapters. High schools girls typically start a chapter in their communities as a place to mentor middle school girls and help them navigate those tough, awkward and critical middle school years. At the same time, the high school girls received a unique leadership experience and platform to continue to serve and learn. The chapter mentors make lesson plans for meetings, organize community service projects and develop one-to-one relationships with their chapters and their members.
At the middle school age, developing confidence and self-esteem are incredibly difficult, as many adults can remember. Having a mentor makes this process a littler easier for the middle school girls who attend Girl Talk events and develop relationships with high school girls who have already been in their shoes. Mentorship allows middle school girls a better chance to navigate their developing feelings and relationships in a judgement-free zone, as well as see the bigger picture for themselves academically, personally and professionally.
The organization’s focus on issues such as self-esteem and body image may seem “fluffier” than leadership development and empowerment, but Girl Talk addresses these topics because they are paramount to developing confidence and the ability to lead. The organization also addresses the many differing definitions of leadership and empowerment and embraces them in its tagline, “Leadership defined.” For participants, Carey says, this means that they get to decide what kind of leader they are going to be, because they have a style and skills that belong to them and are uniquely theirs.
Girl Talk, Inc. chapters are accessible to anyone in any community, Carey says, which means the chapters don’t have to be in schools. To start a chapter, a high school leader and an adult advisor need to apply to begin a chapter and undergo background checks. Next, they need a location to meet and receive the Girl Talk curriculum and resources for meetings. The chapters are free to begin.
Girls or their parents who are interested in benefiting from Girl Talk, Inc. can attend Girl Talk Camp, which takes place the first week of June at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta. The camp is for rising 4th through 8th grade girls and offers the whole Girl Talk curriculum in a week. The camp includes events such as fun activities, speakers, arts and crafts, community service projects and even a special day of coding workshops with Google. Carey says that many girls attending the camp may not want to be there or are shy at first, but by the end of the day, they don’t want to leave. Additionally, they spend the week making new friends they would never have met and leave feeling more confident than ever. Attendees are not required to already be members of a chapter.
If you are interested in getting involved in Girl Talk, Inc., the organization is always looking for volunteers, donations, corporate sponsorships, partnerships and, of course, interns, who can apply to program for this coming fall. Learn more about Girl Talk or get involved by visiting www.MyGirlTalk.org, emailing questions to info@MyGirlTalk.org or by following the organization on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Tune in to today’s podcast to learn more about the important work Girl Talk is doing in Atlanta and all over the world.
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