“By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.” – Latin Proverb

I can’t believe the first Girls Inc. Program Cycle for the 2011-2012 school year has already begun. I am so excited to get back to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold!

Of course, I flatter myself thinking that I inspire the girls every moment of every program session, but I have to believe that it is even in the most simple lessons that cause a light bulb to turn on over at least one girl’s head.

I believe this because I know that it happens for me as a program facilitator. It is funny how often I find myself learning from the girls I’m supposed to be educating. And it’s funny how many topics covered by the Girls Inc. curriculum translate so well into my life as an adult woman! I will never forget working with a group of 9-11 year-old girls and going through the Redefining Beauty curriculum. During one program session we asked the girls to think about how TV, magazines, and movies dictate what beauty means to our society. One of the girls sheepishly approached me and quietly but succinctly admitted, “Boys like girls’ butts.” My instantaneous reaction was to be a little shocked! But then a second later I realized she was totally correct. And she voiced a thought I have in my own head. Why wouldn’t she think this? I mean, I believe it myself. On a daily basis the media tells me that the bigger the derriere, the better. From music on the radio (“Baby Got Back” and “Bootylicious”) to infomercials for jeans that feature hiney enhancing padding (all for the low, low price of three installments of $29.95 + S&H!), women and girls of all ages are being programmed to believe that having a large tooshie is the way to be!

When the session was over, I reflected on her comment as I drove home. It is moments like the one she and I shared that make working with Girls Inc. so rewarding. It is moments like that when I realize that I still face the challenges of being a strong, smart, bold girl. And it is moments like that when I realize that by working to inspire girls, they will inspire me.