Thursday, May 7, 2009

YWCA Youth Services: Building Assets in Middle School and High School Youth

Girls Inc. at the YWCA inspires girls to be strong, smart & bold in three Metro Nashville Middle Schools. Their goal is to “EMPOWER every girl to be herself, to resist stereotypes, develop leadership skills and achieve her dreams”. Their curricular focus areas also build the asset category of BOUNDARIES AND EXPECTATIONS in their 180 participants:

  • Project BOLD® - Girls learn to lead safer lives by practicing self-defense and learning to address personal violence issues.
  • Friendly PEERsuasion® - Girls develop skills to resist pressure related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
  • Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy® - Girls learn to make informed, thoughtful decisions about their sexual health.

YWCA’s Youth Advantage inspires youth to be good employees. The program provides free job preparation training for high school boys and girls seeking their first job. Their interactive WorkSmarts curriculum teaches teens about “workplace communication and behavior as well as networking, resume preparation and interviewing skills.” This program builds SOCIAL COMPETENCIES and SUPPORT while building career skills.

Vice President of Programs Pamela Sessions says the YWCA focuses on “empowering young adults to make positive choices”, and that’s a cornerstone of building healthy communities and healthy youth.

For more information about YWCA’s Youth Services, contact Morlunda Brooks at 269-9922 ext. 226. or visit

The Girls’ Bill of Rights (from

  • Girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes. Girls Inc. sends a clear message that every girl is to be honored and valued for who she is.
  • Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm. Girls Inc. motivates girls to speak up for themselves among friends, in school, at home and in the community.
  • Girls have the right to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success. Girls Inc. believes girls should be allowed to discover their own strengths, talents, and dreams. Girls are encouraged to risk failure and to learn from their mistakes.
  • Girls have the right to appreciate and accept their bodies. Girls are encouraged to accept their bodies and be proud of their individual shapes, sizes, colors, abilities and strengths.
  • Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and to be safe in the world. Girls Inc. strengthens girls with knowledge and skills to help them live safer lives and with the ability to defend themselves, if necessary.
  • Girls have the right to prepare for interesting work and economic independence. Girls Inc. recognizes that every girl should possess the skills, knowledge and confidence she needs to achieve financial independence and take charge of her life.